Effects on cycle control and bodyweight of the combined contraceptive ring, NuvaRing, versus an oral contraceptive containing 30 microg ethinyl estradiol and 3 mg drospirenone

Hum Reprod. 2006 Sep;21(9):2304-11. doi: 10.1093/humrep/del162. Epub 2006 Jun 8.


Background: The objective of this study was to compare cycle control, cycle-related characteristics and bodyweight effects of NuvaRing with those of a combined oral contraceptive (COC) containing 30 microg of ethinyl estradiol and 3 mg of drospirenone.

Methods: A randomized, multicentre, open-label trial in which 983 women were treated (intent-to-treat population) with NuvaRing or the COC for 13 cycles.

Results: Breakthrough bleeding or spotting during cycles 2-13 was in general less frequent with NuvaRing than that with the COC (4.7-10.4%) and showed a statistically significant odds ratio of 0.61 (95% confidence interval: 0.46, 0.80) with longitudinal analysis. Intended bleeding was significantly better for all cycles with NuvaRing (55.2-68.5%) than that with the COC (35.6-56.6%) (P < 0.01). Changes from baseline in mean bodyweight and body composition parameters were relatively small for both groups with no notable between-group differences.

Conclusion: NuvaRing was associated with better cycle control than the COC, and there was no clinically relevant difference between the two groups in bodyweight.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Androstenes / administration & dosage*
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Contraceptive Devices, Female*
  • Contraceptives, Oral / therapeutic use*
  • Desogestrel / administration & dosage*
  • Desogestrel / analogs & derivatives
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices*
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects*
  • Patient Compliance


  • Androstenes
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Drug Combinations
  • NuvaRing
  • etonogestrel
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Desogestrel
  • drospirenone