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Review: contraceptive patch and vaginal ring are as effective as oral contraceptives

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L Lopez

Dr L Lopez, Family Health International, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA;


How do the contraceptive skin patch and vaginal ring compare with combination oral contraceptives (COCs) for contraceptive effectiveness, cycle control, and side effects?


Studies selected compared the contraceptive skin patch (norelgestromin, 150 µg, plus ethinyl estradiol, 20 µg daily; patch changed weekly for 3 wks, then 1 patch-free wk) or contraceptive vaginal ring (etonogestrel, 120 µg, plus ethinyl estradiol, 15 µg daily, kept in place for 3 wks, then 1 ring-free wk; or nestorone, 150 µg, plus ethinyl estradiol, 15 µg daily, kept in place for 1 y) with any COC for ⩾3 menstrual cycles in women of reproductive age (18–45 y) with regular menstrual cycles. Outcomes …

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  • Source of funding: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and US Agency for International Development.