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Review: 6 RCTs show similar efficacy and safety for continuous dosing and 28 day combination contraceptive pills

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 Q Are continuous (extended) combination oral contraceptives (COCs) as effective and safe as monthly cyclic COCs?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Gynaecology ★★★★★★☆

METHODS

Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, POPLINE, reference lists, and corresponding authors of studies.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing continuous or extended cycle COCs (>28 d of active pills) with traditional dosing (21 d of active pills) in women of reproductive age. Exclusion criteria: COCs for treating such conditions as endometriosis. Study quality was assessed.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

bleeding patterns, participant satisfaction, pregnancy, study discontinuation, and adverse events.

MAIN RESULTS

6 RCTs met the selection criteria. RCTs were not combined in a meta-analysis because of differences in type of COC, time of exposure, and definitions …

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