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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 ★★★★★★☆
Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, POPLINE, reference lists, and corresponding authors of studies.
Study 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.
bleeding patterns, participant satisfaction, pregnancy, study discontinuation, and adverse events.
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 …
For correspondence: Dr A Edelman, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA.
Sources of funding: US Agency for International Development and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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