Review of the combined contraceptive vaginal ring, NuvaRing®
Frans JME Roumen
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Atrium Medical Centre Parkstad, Heerlen, The Netherlands
Abstract: The purpose of this review was to test contraceptive efficacy, cycle control, tolerability, and acceptability as found in the non-comparative studies with NuvaRing® by those found in the randomized trials comparing NuvaRing and combined oral contraceptives (COCs). All large non-comparative studies and all relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) between NuvaRing and a COC up to and including December 2006 were analyzed. Two large multi-center registration studies, 1 large daily clinical practice study, and 6 RCTs comparing NuvaRing and a COC were identified. The findings in the non-comparative studies were confirmed in the RCTs. Contraceptive efficacy was high showing no significant differences in comparison with the COC; cycle control was good and consistently better than that of the COC; compliance was high and comparable with that of the pill; the incidence of adverse events such as breast tenderness, headache, and nausea was low, but not lower than with the COC despite a halving of the systemic exposure to ethinyl estradiol (EE) with NuvaRing compared with a 30-µg EE-containing COC; the incidence of local and ring-related events was low but higher than with the COC, leading to higher discontinuation rates among NuvaRing users; acceptability was high and comparable between both contraceptives, resulting in a global improvement of sexual function with both methods. After study completion, women using NuvaRing were more likely to continue with their method than women using a COC. The good results with respect to contraceptive efficacy, cycle control, tolerability, and acceptability as achieved with NuvaRing in the large non-comparative registration studies were confirmed in the RCTs comparing NuvaRing with different COCs.
Keywords: acceptability, contraceptive efficacy, cycle control, NuvaRing, tolerability, vaginal ring
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