Attitudes and prescribing patterns of extended-cycle oral contraceptives

Contraception. 2011 Jul;84(1):71-5. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2010.11.015. Epub 2011 Jan 11.


Background: The survey was conducted to assess attitudes and patterns of health care providers (HCPs) prescribing extended regimen oral contraceptives (OCs).

Study design: A prospective, anonymous, written survey that assessed attitudes and prescribed preferences of extended-cycle OCs was distributed at six educational conferences.

Results: An estimated 90% of the conference attendees participated in the survey. Of the 799 HCPs surveyed, 92% have recommended extended-cycle regimens with ob/gyn practitioners most likely to recommend their use (p<.05). The most commonly prescribed extended regimen remains an 84-day active pill cycle followed by a 7-day hormone-free interval (49%). The majority of HCPs (73.5%) continue to prescribe OCs which induce monthly withdrawal bleeds as their most common regimen.

Conclusion: While HCPs appear to be recommending extended OC regimens more often, monthly cyclic regimens are the most commonly prescribed.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Contraceptives, Oral / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menstruation
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Contraceptives, Oral