Background: The objective of this study was to compare bleeding patterns of women using a contraceptive combination of 30 mcg ethinylestradiol (EE) and 3 mg drospirenone (DRSP) continuously or cyclically. Menstrual-related symptoms were also evaluated.
Study design: This open, prospective, randomized study evaluated 78 women using the EE/DRSP combination continuously for 168 days or for six 28-day cycles, each followed by a 7-day hormone-free interval. A diary with pre-established scales was used to assess the frequency and intensity of bleeding and menstrual-related symptoms.
Results: Amenorrhea increased with continuous use; 62.2% of women with continuous use were amenorrheic at the end of treatment (95% CI: 46.6-77.8%). Dysmenorrhea, headache, acne, nausea, edema and increased appetite improved significantly in the continuous-use group, and mastalgia and edema in the cyclic-use group (p<.05). Six subjects in the continuous-use group (15.4%) and three in the cyclic-use group (7.7%) discontinued due to adverse events.
Conclusions: Continuous use was associated with amenorrhea and fewer menstrual-related symptoms compared to cyclic use.
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