Clinical science

Triangle, North Carolina, United States

Clinical science

Triangle, North Carolina, United States
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Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

The delivery of combination contraceptive steroids from a transdermal contraceptive patch or a contraceptive vaginal ring offers potential advantages over the traditional oral route. The transdermal patch and vaginal ring could require a lower dose due to increased bioavailability and improved user compliance. To compare the contraceptive effectiveness, cycle control, compliance (adherence), and safety of the contraceptive patch or the vaginal ring versus combination oral contraceptives (COCs). Through February 2013, we searched MEDLINE, POPLINE, CENTRAL, LILACS, ClinicalTrials.gov, and ICTRP for trials of the contraceptive patch or the vaginal ring. Earlier searches also included EMBASE. For the initial review, we contacted known researchers and manufacturers to identify other trials. We considered randomized controlled trials comparing a transdermal contraceptive patch or a contraceptive vaginal ring with a COC. Data were abstracted by two authors and entered into RevMan. For dichotomous variables, the Peto odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was calculated. For continuous variables, the mean difference was computed. We also assessed the quality of evidence for this review. We found 18 trials that met our inclusion criteria. Of six patch studies, five examined the marketed patch containing norelgestromin plus ethinyl estradiol (EE); one studied a patch in development that contains levonorgestrel (LNG) plus EE. Of 12 vaginal ring trials, 11 examined the same marketing ring containing etonogestrel plus EE; one studied a ring being developed that contains nesterone plus EE.Contraceptive effectiveness was not significantly different for the patch or ring versus the comparison COC. Compliance data were limited. Patch users showed better compliance than COC users in three trials. For the norelgestromin plus EE patch, ORs were 2.05 (95% CI 1.83 to 2.29) and 2.76 (95% CI 2.35 to 3.24). In the levonorgestrel plus EE patch report, patch users were less likely to have missed days of therapy (OR 0.36; 95% CI 0.25 to 0.51). Of four vaginal ring trials, one found ring users had more noncompliance (OR 3.99; 95% CI 1.87 to 8.52), while another showed more compliance with the regimen (OR 1.67; 95% CI 1.04 to 2.68).More patch users discontinued early than COC users. ORs from two meta-analyses were 1.59 (95% CI 1.26 to 2.00) and 1.56 (95% CI 1.18 to 2.06) and another trial showed OR 2.57 (95% CI 0.99 to 6.64). Patch users also had more discontinuation due to adverse events than COC users. Users of the norelgestromin-containing patch reported more breast discomfort, dysmenorrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In the levonorgestrel-containing patch trial, patch users reported less vomiting, headaches, and fatigue.Of 11 ring trials with discontinuation data, two showed the ring group discontinued less than the COC group: OR 0.32 (95% CI 0.16 to 0.66) and OR 0.52 (95% CI 0.31 to 0.88). Ring users were less likely to discontinue due to adverse events in one study (OR 0.32; 95% CI 0.15 to 0.70). Compared to the COC users, ring users had more vaginitis and leukorrhea but less vaginal dryness. Ring users also reported less nausea, acne, irritability, depression, and emotional lability than COC users.For cycle control, only one trial study showed a significant difference. Women in the patch group were less likely to have breakthrough bleeding and spotting. Seven ring studies had bleeding data; four trials showed the ring group generally had better cycle control than the COC group. Effectiveness was not significantly different for the methods compared. Pregnancy data were available from half of the patch trials but two-thirds of ring trials. The patch could lead to more discontinuation than the COC. The patch group had better compliance than the COC group. Compliance data came from half of the patch studies and one-third of the ring trials. Patch users had more side effects than the COC group. Ring users generally had fewer adverse events than COC users but more vaginal irritation and discharge.The quality of the evidence for this review was considered low for the patch and moderate for the ring. The main reasons for downgrading were lack of information on the randomization sequence generation or allocation concealment, the outcome assessment methods, high losses to follow up, and exclusions after randomization.


Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions around the world. Effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives may be related to metabolic changes in obesity or greater body mass or body fat. Hormonal contraceptives mainly include oral contraceptives, injectables and implants, the transdermal patch, and the vaginal ring. We systematically reviewed the evidence on the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives among overweight and obese women. To examine the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives in preventing unplanned pregnancies among women who are overweight or obese versus women of lower weight or body mass index (BMI). Through January 2013, we searched MEDLINE, CENTRAL, POPLINE, ClinicalTrials.gov, and ICTRP. The previous search also included EMBASE. We contacted investigators to identify other trials. All study designs were eligible. Any type of hormonal contraceptive could have been examined. Reports had to contain information on the specific contraceptive method(s). The primary outcome was pregnancy. Overweight or obese women must have been identified by an analysis cutoff for weight or BMI (kg/m(2)). Data were abstracted by two authors. Life-table rates were included where available. For dichotomous variables, we computed an odds ratio with 95% confidence interval (CI). We used reported pregnancy rates or relative risk (RR) when those were the only results provided. The main comparisons were between overweight or obese women and women of lower weight or BMI. We assessed the quality of evidence for this review. We found nine reports with data from 13 trials that included a total of 49,712 women. Five reports from 2002 to 2012 compared BMI groups; of those, one reported a higher pregnancy risk for overweight or obese women. In that trial, women assigned to an oral contraceptive containing norethindrone acetate 1.0 mg plus EE 20 μg and having a BMI at least 25 had greater pregnancy risk compared to those with BMI less than 25 (reported RR 2.49; 95% CI 1.01 to 6.13). The comparisons reported in the other four studies were not significantly different for pregnancy. These included studies of a combined oral contraceptive (COC), a transdermal patch, an implant, and an injectable. The COC study showed no trend by BMI or weight. With the transdermal patch, body weight was associated with pregnancy (reported P < 0.001) but BMI was not. The implant study had one pregnancy and the injectable study reported no pregnancies.Four studies from the 1990s used weight alone rather than BMI. Results were mixed. Studies of a vaginal ring (never marketed) and a six-rod implant showed higher pregnancy rates for women weighing at least 70 kg versus those weighing less than 70 kg (reported P values: 0.0013 and < 0.05, respectively). However, two implant studies showed no trend by body weight. The evidence did not generally show an association of BMI with effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives. However, the evidence was limited for any individual contraceptive method. Studies using BMI (rather than weight alone) can provide more information about whether body composition is related to contraceptive effectiveness. The efficacy of subdermal implants and injectable contraceptives may be unaffected by body mass. The contraceptive methods examined here are among the most effective when the recommended regimen is followed.The overall quality of evidence was low for this review. More recent reports provided moderate quality evidence, while the older studies provided evidence of low or very low quality for our purposes. Investigators should consider adjusting for potential confounding related to BMI. Trials should be designed to include sufficient numbers of overweight or obese women to adequately examine effectiveness and side effects of hormonal contraceptives within those groups.


Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Knowledge of contraceptive effectiveness is crucial to making an informed choice. The consumer has to comprehend the pros and cons of the contraceptive methods being considered. Choice may be influenced by understanding the likelihood of pregnancy with each method and factors that influence effectiveness. To review all randomized controlled trials comparing strategies for communicating to consumers the effectiveness of contraceptives in preventing pregnancy. Through February 2013, we searched the computerized databases of MEDLINE, POPLINE, CENTRAL, PsycINFO and CINAHL, ClinicalTrials.gov, and ICTRP. Previous searches also included EMBASE. We also examined references lists of relevant articles. For the initial review, we wrote to known investigators for information about other published or unpublished trials. We included randomized controlled trials that compared methods for communicating contraceptive effectiveness to consumers. The comparison could be usual practice or an alternative to the experimental intervention.Outcome measures were knowledge of contraceptive effectiveness, attitude about contraception or toward any particular contraceptive, and choice or use of contraceptive method. For the initial review, two authors independently extracted the data. One author entered the data into RevMan, and a second author verified accuracy. For the update, an author and a research associate extracted, entered, and checked the data.For dichotomous variables, we calculated the Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals (CI). For continuous variables, we computed the mean difference (MD) with 95% CI. Seven trials met the inclusion criteria and had a total of 4526 women. Five were multi-site studies. Four trials were conducted in the USA, while Nigeria and Zambia were represented by one study each, and one trial was done in both Jamaica and India.Two trials provided multiple sessions for participants. In one study that examined contraceptive choice, women in the expanded program were more likely to choose sterilization (OR 4.26; 95% CI 2.46 to 7.37) or use a modern contraceptive method (OR 2.35; 95% CI 1.82 to 3.03), i.e., sterilization, pills, injectable, intrauterine device or barrier method. For the other study, the groups received educational interventions with differing format and intensity. Both groups reportedly had increases in contraceptive use, but they did not differ significantly by six months in consistent use of an effective contraceptive, i.e., sterilization, IUD, injectable, implant, and consistent use of oral contraceptives, diaphragm, or male condoms.Five trials provided one session and focused on testing educational material or media. In one study, knowledge gain favored a slide-and-sound presentation versus a physician's oral presentation (MD -19.00; 95% CI -27.52 to -10.48). In another trial, a table with contraceptive effectiveness categories led to more correct answers than a table based on pregnancy numbers [ORs were 2.42 (95% CI 1.43 to 4.12) and 2.19 (95% CI 1.21 to 3.97)] or a table with effectiveness categories and pregnancy numbers [ORs were 2.58 (95% CI 1.5 to 4.42) and 2.03 (95% CI 1.13 to 3.64)]. Still another trial provided structured counseling with a flipchart on contraceptive methods. The intervention and usual-care groups did not differ significantly in choice of contraceptive method (by effectiveness category) or in continuation of the chosen method at three months. Lastly, a study with couples used videos to communicate contraceptive information (control, motivational, contraceptive methods, and both motivational and methods videos). The analyses showed no significant difference between the groups in the types of contraceptives chosen. These trials varied greatly in the types of participants and interventions to communicate contraceptive effectiveness. Therefore, we cannot say overall what would help consumers choose an appropriate contraceptive method. For presenting pregnancy risk data, one trial showed that effectiveness categories were better than pregnancy numbers. In another trial, audiovisual aids worked better than the usual oral presentation. Strategies should be tested in clinical settings and measured for their effect on contraceptive choice. More detailed reporting of intervention content would help in interpreting results. Reports could also include whether the instruments used to assess knowledge or attitudes were tested for validity or reliability. Follow-up should be incorporated to assess retention of knowledge over time. The overall quality of evidence was considered to be low for this review, given that five of the seven studies provided low or very low quality evidence.


Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Age-related decline in bone mass increases the risk of skeletal fractures, especially those of the hip, spine, and wrist. Steroidal contraceptives have been associated with changes in bone mineral density in women. Whether such changes affect the risk of fractures later in life is unclear. Hormonal contraceptives are among the most effective and most widely-used contraceptives. Concern about fractures may limit the use of these effective contraceptives. Observational studies can collect data on premenopausal contraceptive use as well as fracture incidence later in life. We systematically reviewed the evidence from observational studies of hormonal contraceptive use for contraception and the risk of fracture in women. In May 2012, we searched for observational studies. The databases included MEDLINE, POPLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), LILACS, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science. We also searched for recent clinical trials through ClinicalTrials.gov and the ICTRP. For other studies, we examined reference lists of relevant articles and wrote to investigators for additional reports. We included cohort and case-control studies of hormonal contraceptive use. Interventions included comparisons of a hormonal contraceptive with a nonhormonal contraceptive, no contraceptive, or another hormonal contraceptive. The primary outcome was the risk of fracture. Two authors independently extracted the data. One author entered the data into RevMan, and a second author verified accuracy. We examined the quality of evidence using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale (NOS), developed for case-control and cohort studies. Sensitivity analysis included studies of moderate or high quality based on our assessment with the NOS.Given the need to control for confounding factors in observational studies, we used adjusted estimates from the models as reported by the authors. Where we did not have adjusted analyses, we calculated the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Due to varied study designs, we did not conduct meta-analysis. We included 14 studies (7 case-control and 7 cohort studies). These examined oral contraceptives (OCs) (N=12), depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) (N=4), and the hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) (N=1). This section focuses on evidence from the six studies with moderate or high quality evidence that we included in the sensitivity analysis.All six studies examined oral contraceptive use. We noted few associations with fracture risk. One cohort study found OC ever-users had increased risk for all fractures (reported RR 1.20; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.34). However, a case-control study with later data from a subset reported no association except for those with 10 years or more since use (reported OR 1.55; 95% CI 1.03 to 2.33). Another case-control study reported increased risk only for those who had 10 or more prescriptions (reported OR 1.09; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.16). A cohort study of postmenopausal women found no increased fracture risk for OC use after excluding women with prior fracture. Two other studies found little evidence of association between OC use and fracture risk. A cohort study noted increased risk for subgroups, such as those with longer use or specific intervals since use. A case-control study reported increased risk for any fracture only among young women with less than average use.Two case-control studies in the sensitivity analysis also examined progestin-only contraceptives. One reported increased fracture risk for DMPA ever-use (reported OR 1.44 (95% CI 1.01 to 2.06), more than four years of use (reported OR 2.16; 95% CI 1.32 to 3.53), and women over 50 years old. The other noted increased risk for any past use, including one or two prescriptions (reported OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.29), and for current use of 3 to 9 or 10 or more prescriptions. In addition, one study reported reduced fracture risk for ever-use of the hormonal IUD (reported OR 0.75; 95% CI 0.64 to 0.87) and longer use of that IUD. Observational studies do not indicate an overall association between OC use and fracture risk. Some reported increased risk for specific user subgroups. DMPA users may have an increased fracture risk. One study indicated hormonal IUD use may be associated with decreased risk. Observational studies need adjusted analysis because the comparison groups usually differ. Researchers should be clear about the variables examined in multivariate analysis.


Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

Contraception services can help meet the family planning goals of women living with HIV as well as prevent mother-to-child transmission. Due to the increased availability of antiretroviral therapy, survival has improved for people living with HIV, and more HIV-positive women may desire to have a child or another child. This review examines behavioral interventions to improve contraceptive use, for family planning, among women who are HIV-positive. We systematically reviewed studies that examined behavioral interventions for HIV-positive women that were intended to inform contraceptive choice, encourage contraceptive use, or promote adherence to a contraceptive regimen. Through October 2012, we searched MEDLINE, CENTRAL, POPLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ClinicalTrials.gov and ICTRP. For other relevant papers, we examined reference lists and unpublished project reports, and contacted investigators in the field. Studies evaluated a behavioral intervention for improving contraceptive use for contraception. The comparison could be another behavioral intervention, usual care, or no intervention. We also considered studies that compared HIV-positive women versus HIV-negative women. We included nonrandomized (observational) studies as well as randomized trials.Primary outcomes were pregnancy and contraception use, e.g., uptake of a new method, improved use or continuation of current method. Secondary outcomes were knowledge of contraceptive effectiveness and attitude about contraception in general or about a specific contraceptive method. Two authors independently extracted the data. One author entered the data into RevMan and a second verified accuracy. We examined the quality of evidence using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale.Given the need to control for confounding factors in observational studies, we used adjusted estimates from the models when available. Where we did not have adjusted analyses, we calculated the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Due to varied study designs, we did not conduct meta-analysis. The seven studies meeting our inclusion criteria had a total of 8882 women. All were conducted in Africa. Three studies compared a special intervention versus standard services. In one, the special intervention site showed greater use of non-condom contraceptives per visit (OR 6.40; 95% CI 5.37 to 7.62) and reported a lower pregnancy incidence. In another study, use of modern contraceptives was more likely for women at sites with enhanced versus basic integrated services (OR 2.48; 95% CI 1.31 to 4.72), but the groups did not differ significantly in change from baseline. In the third study, new use of modern contraceptives, excluding condoms, was less likely for women with integrated services versus those with routine care (OR 0.56; 95% CI 0.42 to 0.75), but new use of condoms was more likely (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.52 to 1.98).Four older studies compared HIV-positive women versus HIV-negative women. None showed any significant difference between the HIV-status groups in use of modern contraceptives. Two did not provide an intervention for the HIV-negative women. In the larger of the two studies, HIV-positive women were less likely to become pregnant (OR 0.55; 95% CI 0.43 to 0.69). HIV-positive women were more likely to discontinue their hormonal contraceptive (OR 2.52; 95% CI 1.53 to 4.14) but more likely to use condoms (OR 2.82; 95% CI 2.18 to 3.65) and spermicide (OR 2.36; 95% CI 1.69 to 3.30). Two studies provided the intervention to both HIV-status groups. One included many of the women from the study just mentioned, and also showed fewer pregnancies for HIV-positive women (OR 0.39; 95% CI 0.23 to 0.68). In the other study, the HIV-status groups were not significantly different for pregnancy or consistent condom use. Comparative research on contraceptive counseling for HIV-positive women has been limited. We found little innovation in the behavioral interventions. Our ability to make statements about overall results is hampered by varied study designs, interventions, and outcome assessments. The quality of evidence was moderate. Since some of these studies were conducted, improvements in HIV treatment have influenced the fertility intentions of HIV-positive people.The family planning field needs better ways to help women choose an appropriate contraceptive and continue using that chosen method. Women with HIV may have special concerns regarding family planning. Research could focus on assessing the woman's needs and training providers to address those issues rather than delivering standardized information.


Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Many hormonal contraceptives have been associated with changes in carbohydrate metabolism. Alterations may include decreased glucose tolerance and increased insulin resistance, which are risk factors for Type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. These issues have been raised primarily with contraceptives containing estrogen. To evaluate the effect of hormonal contraceptives on carbohydrate metabolism in healthy women and those at risk for diabetes due to overweight. In February 2012, we searched the computerized databases MEDLINE, POPLINE, CENTRAL, and LILACS for studies of hormonal contraceptives and carbohydrate metabolism. We also searched for clinical trials in ClinicalTrials.gov and ICTRP. Previous searches also included EMBASE. All randomized controlled trials were considered if they examined carbohydrate metabolism in women without diabetes who used hormonal contraceptives for contraception. Comparisons could be a placebo, a non-hormonal contraceptive, or another hormonal contraceptive that differed in drug, dosage, or regimen. Interventions included at least three cycles. Outcomes included glucose and insulin measures. We assessed all titles and abstracts identified during the literature searches. The data were extracted and entered into RevMan. We wrote to researchers for missing data. For continuous variables, the mean difference (MD) was computed with 95% confidence interval (CI) using a fixed-effect model. For dichotomous outcomes, the Peto odds ratio with 95% CI was calculated. We found 31 trials that met the inclusion criteria. Twenty-one trials compared combined oral contraceptives (COCs); others examined different COC regimens, progestin-only pills, injectables, a vaginal ring, and implants. None included a placebo. Of 34 comparisons, eight had any notable difference between the study groups in an outcome.Twelve trials studied desogestrel-containing COCs, and the few differences from levonorgestrel COCs were inconsistent. A meta-analysis of two studies showed the desogestrel group had a higher mean fasting glucose (MD 0.20; 95% CI 0.00 to 0.41). Where data could not be combined, single studies showed lower mean fasting glucose (MD -0.40; 95% CI -0.72 to -0.08) and higher means for two-hour glucose response (MD 1.08; 95% CI 0.45 to 1.71) and insulin area under the curve (AUC) (MD 20.30; 95% CI 4.24 to 36.36).Three trials examined the etonogestrel vaginal ring and one examined an etonogestrel implant. One trial showed the ring group had lower mean AUC insulin than the levonorgestrel-COC group (MD -204.51; 95% CI -389.64 to -19.38).Of eight trials of norethisterone preparations, five compared COCs and three compared injectables. In a COC trial, a norethisterone group had smaller mean change in glucose two-hour response than a levonorgestrel-COC group (MD -0.30; 95% CI -0.54 to -0.06). In an injectable study, a group using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate had higher means than the group using norethisterone enanthate for fasting glucose (MD 10.05; 95% CI 3.16 to 16.94), glucose two-hour response (MD 17.00; 95% CI 5.67 to 28.33), and fasting insulin (MD 3.40; 95% CI 2.07 to 4.73).Among five recent trials, two examined newer COCs with different estrogen types. One showed the group with nomegestrel acetate plus 17β-estradiol had lower means than the levonorgestrel group for incremental AUC glucose (MD -1.43; 95% CI -2.55 to -0.31) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) (MD -0.10; 95% CI -0.18 to -0.02). Two trials compared extended versus conventional (cyclic) regimens. With a dienogest COC, an extended-use group had greater mean change in AUC glucose (MD 82.00; 95% CI 10.72 to 153.28). In a small trial using two levonorgestrel COCs, the lower-dose group showed smaller mean change in fasting glucose (MD -3.00; 95% CI -5.89 to -0.11), but the obese and normal weight women did not differ significantly. Current evidence suggests no major differences in carbohydrate metabolism between different hormonal contraceptives in women without diabetes. We cannot make strong statements due to having few studies that compared the same types of contraceptives. Many trials had small numbers of participants and some had large losses. Many of the earlier studies had limited reporting of methods.We still know very little about women at risk for metabolic problems due to being overweight. More than half of the trials had weight restrictions as inclusion criteria. Only one small trial stratified the groups by body mass index (obese versus normal).


Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common problem. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. Combined oral contraceptives, which provide both progestin and estrogen, have been examined for their ability to relieve premenstrual symptoms. An oral contraceptive containing drospirenone and a low estrogen dose has been approved for treating PMDD in women who choose oral contraceptives for contraception. To review all randomized controlled trials comparing a combined oral contraceptive containing drospirenone to a placebo or another combined oral contraceptive for effect on premenstrual symptoms. We searched for studies of drospirenone and premenstrual syndrome in the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library), MEDLINE, and POPLINE (20 Dec 2011); EMBASE, LILACS, PsycINFO, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) of the World Health Organization (02 Mar 2011). We also examined references lists of relevant articles and wrote to known investigators to find other trials. We included randomized controlled trials in any language that compared a combined oral contraceptive (COC) containing drospirenone with a placebo or with another COC for effect on premenstrual symptoms. The primary outcome included affective and physical premenstrual symptoms that were prospectively recorded. Adverse events related to combined oral contraceptive use were examined. Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed study quality. For continuous variables, the mean difference (MD) was computed with 95% confidence interval (CI). For dichotomous outcomes, the Peto odds ratio (OR) with 95% CI was calculated. We included five trials with a total of 1920 women. Two placebo-controlled trials of women with PMDD showed less severe premenstrual symptoms after three months with drospirenone 3 mg plus ethinyl estradiol 20 μg than with placebo (MD -7.92; 95% CI -11.16 to -4.67). The drospirenone group had greater mean decreases in impairment of productivity (MD -0.31; 95% CI -0.55 to -0.08), social activities (MD -0.29; 95% CI -0.54 to -0.04), and relationships (MD -0.30; 95% CI -0.54 to -0.06). Side effects more common with the use of the drospirenone COC contraceptive were nausea, intermenstrual bleeding, and breast pain. The respective odds ratios were 3.15 (95% CI 1.90 to 5.22), 4.92 (95% CI 3.03 to 7.96), and 2.67 (95% CI 1.50 to 4.78). Total adverse events related to the study drug were more likely for the drospirenone COC group (OR 2.36; 95% CI 1.62 to 3.44). Three trials studied the effect of drospirenone 3 mg plus ethinyl estradiol 30 μg on less severe symptoms. A placebo-controlled six-month trial had insufficient data for primary outcome analysis. Another six-month study used levonorgestrel 150 μg plus ethinyl estradiol 30 μg for the comparison group but did not provide enough data on premenstrual symptoms. In a two-year trial, the drospirenone COC group had similar premenstrual symptoms to the comparison group given desogestrel 150 μg plus ethinyl estradiol 30 μg (OR 0.87; 95% CI 0.63 to 1.22). The groups were also similar for adverse events related to treatment (OR 1.02; 95% CI 0.78 to 1.33). Drospirenone 3 mg plus ethinyl estradiol 20 μg may help treat premenstrual symptoms in women with severe symptoms, that is, premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The placebo also had a large effect. We do not know whether the combined oral contraceptive works after three cycles, helps women with less severe symptoms, or is better than other oral contraceptives. Larger and longer trials of higher quality are needed to address these issues. Trials should follow CONSORT guidelines.


Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Providing contraceptive education is now considered a standard component of postpartum care. The effectiveness is seldom examined. Questions have been raised about the assumptions on which such programs are based, e.g., that postpartum women are motivated to use contraception and that they will not return to a health center for family planning advice. Surveys indicate that women may wish to discuss contraception both prenatally and after hospital discharge. Nonetheless, two-thirds of postpartum women may have unmet needs for contraception. In the USA, many adolescents become pregnant again within a year a giving birth. Assess the effects of educational interventions for postpartum mothers about contraceptive use In May 2012, we searched the computerized databases of MEDLINE, CENTRAL, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and POPLINE. We also searched for current trials via ClinicalTrials.gov and ICTRP. Previous searches also included EMBASE. In addition, we examined reference lists of relevant articles, and contacted subject experts to locate additional reports. Randomized controlled trials were considered if they evaluated the effectiveness of postpartum education about contraceptive use. The intervention must have started postpartum and have occurred within one month of delivery. We assessed for inclusion all titles and abstracts identified during the literature searches with no language limitations. The data were abstracted and entered into RevMan. Studies were examined for methodological quality. For dichotomous outcomes, the Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated. For continuous variables, we computed the mean difference (MD) with 95% CI. Due to varied study designs, we did not conduct meta-analysis. Ten trials met the inclusion criteria. Of four trials that provided one or two counseling sessions, two showed some evidence of effectiveness. In a study from Nepal, women with an immediate postpartum and a session three months later were more likely to use contraception at six months than those with only the later session (OR 1.62; 95% CI 1.06 to 2.50). However, most comparisons did not show evidence of effectiveness. In a trial conducted in Pakistan, women in the counseling group were more likely than those without counseling to use contraception at 8 to 12 weeks postpartum (OR 19.56; 95% CI 11.65 to 32.83). The assessments were short-term. The remaining two studies were from the USA; one did not provided sufficient data and one had too small a sample to detect differences.Six trials provided multifaceted programs with many contacts. Three showed evidence of effectiveness. Of those, two USA studies focused on adolescents. Adolescents in a home-visiting program were less likely to have a second birth in two years compared to adolescents who received usual care (OR 0.41; 95% CI 0.17 to 1.00). In the other trial, adolescents receiving enhanced well-baby care were less likely to have a repeat pregnancy by 18 months compared to those with usual well-baby care (OR 0.35; 95% CI 0.17 to 0.70). In an Australian study, teenagers in a structured home-visiting program were more likely to use contraception at six months than those who had standard home visits (OR 3.24; 95% CI 1.35 to 7.79). The trials without evidence of effectiveness included two for adolescents in the USA (computer-assisted motivational interviewing and cell phone counseling) and a home-visiting program for women in Syria. The overall quality of evidence was moderate. Half of these postpartum interventions led to fewer repeat pregnancies or births or more contraceptive use. However, the evidence of intervention effectiveness was of low to moderate quality. Trials with evidence of effectiveness included two that provided one or two sessions and three that had multiple contacts. The former had limitations, such as self-reported outcomes and showing no effect for many comparisons. The interventions with multiple sessions were promising but would have to be adapted for other locations and then retested. Researchers and health care providers will have to determine which intervention might be appropriate for their setting and level of resources.


Nanda K.,Clinical science
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Miscarriage is a common complication of early pregnancy that can have both medical and psychological consequences such as depression and anxiety. The need for routine surgical evacuation with miscarriage has been questioned because of potential complications such as cervical trauma, uterine perforation, hemorrhage, or infection. To compare the safety and effectiveness of expectant management versus surgical treatment for early pregnancy failure. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (9 February 2012), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 4 of 4), PubMed (2005 to 11 January 2012), POPLINE (inception to 11 January 2012), LILACS (2005 to 11 January 2012) and reference lists of retrieved studies. Randomized trials comparing expectant care and surgical treatment (vacuum aspiration or dilation and curettage) for miscarriage were eligible for inclusion. Two review authors assessed trial quality and extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information. For dichotomous data, we calculated the Mantel-Haenszel risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). For continuous data, we computed the mean difference (MD) and 95% CI. We entered additional data such as medians into 'Other data' tables. We included seven trials with 1521 participants in this review. The expectant-care group was more likely to have an incomplete miscarriage by two weeks (RR 3.98; 95% CI 2.94 to 5.38) or by six to eight weeks (RR 2.56; 95% CI 1.15 to 5.69). The need for unplanned surgical treatment was greater for the expectant-care group (RR 7.35; 95% CI 5.04 to 10.72). The mean percentage needing surgical management in the expectant-care group was 28%, while 4% of the surgical-treatment group needed additional surgery. The expectant-care group had more days of bleeding (MD 1.59; 95% CI 0.74 to 2.45). Further, more of the expectant-care group needed transfusion (RR 6.45; 95% CI 1.21 to 34.42). The mean percentage needing blood transfusion was 1.4% for expectant care compared with none for surgical management. Results were mixed for pain. Diagnosis of infection was similar for the two groups (RR 0.63; 95% CI 0.36 to 1.12), as were results for various psychological outcomes. Pregnancy data were limited. Costs were lower for the expectant-care group (MD -499.10; 95% CI -613.04 to -385.16; in UK pounds sterling). Expectant management led to a higher risk of incomplete miscarriage, need for unplanned (or additional) surgical emptying of the uterus, bleeding and need for transfusion. Risk of infection and psychological outcomes were similar for both groups. Costs were lower for expectant management. Given the lack of clear superiority of either approach, the woman's preference should be important in decision making. Pharmacological ('medical') management has added choices for women and their clinicians and has been examined in other reviews.


Lopez L.M.,Clinical science
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Unprotected sex is a major risk factor for disease, disability, and mortality in many areas of the world due to the prevalence and incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV. The male condom is one of the oldest contraceptive methods and the earliest method for preventing the spread of HIV. When used correctly and consistently, condoms can provide dual protection, i.e., against both pregnancy and HIV/STI. We examined comparative studies of behavioral interventions for improving condom use. We were interested in identifying interventions associated with effective condom use as measured with biological assessments, which can provide objective evidence of protection. Through September 2013, we searched computerized databases for comparative studies of behavioral interventions for improving condom use: MEDLINE, POPLINE, CENTRAL, EMBASE, LILACS, OpenGrey, COPAC, ClinicalTrials.gov, and ICTRP. We wrote to investigators for missing data. Studies could be either randomized or nonrandomized. They examined a behavioral intervention for improving condom use. The comparison could be another behavioral intervention, usual care, or no intervention. The experimental intervention had an educational or counseling component to encourage or improve condom use. It addressed preventing pregnancy as well as the transmission of HIV/STI. The focus could be on male or female condoms and targeted to individuals, couples, or communities. Potential participants included heterosexual women and heterosexual men.Studies had to provide data from test results or records on a biological outcome: pregnancy, HIV/STI, or presence of semen as assessed with a biological marker, e.g., prostate-specific antigen. We did not include self-reported data on protected or unprotected sex, due to the limitations of recall and social desirability bias. Outcomes were measured at least three months after the behavioral intervention started. Two authors evaluated abstracts for eligibility and extracted data from included studies. For the dichotomous outcomes, the Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio (OR) with 95% CI was calculated using a fixed-effect model. Cluster randomized trials used various methods of accounting for the clustering, such as multilevel modeling. Most reports did not provide information to calculate the effective sample size. Therefore, we presented the results as reported by the investigators. No meta-analysis was conducted due to differences in interventions and outcome measures. Seven studies met our eligibility criteria. All were randomized controlled trials; six assigned clusters and one randomized individuals. Sample sizes for the cluster-randomized trials ranged from 2157 to 15,614; the number of clusters ranged from 18 to 70. Four trials took place in African countries, two in the USA, and one in England. Three were based mainly in schools, two were in community settings, one took place during military training, and one was clinic-based.Five studies provided data on pregnancy, either from pregnancy tests or national records of abortions and live births. Four trials assessed the incidence or prevalence of HIV and HSV-2. Three trials examined other STI. The trials showed or reported no significant difference between study groups for pregnancy or HIV, but favorable effects were evident for some STI. Two showed a lower incidence of HSV-2 for the behavioral-intervention group compared to the usual-care group, with reported adjusted rate ratios (ARR) of 0.65 (95% CI 0.43 to 0.97) and 0.67 (95% CI 0.47 to 0.97), while HIV did not differ significantly. One also reported lower syphilis incidence and gonorrhea prevalence for the behavioral intervention plus STI management compared to the usual-care group. The reported ARR were 0.58 (95% CI 0.35 to 0.96) and 0.28 (95% CI 0.11 to 0.70), respectively. Another study reported a negative effect on gonorrhea for young women in the intervention group versus the control group (ARR 1.93; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.71). The difference occurred among those with only one year of the intervention. We found few studies and little clinical evidence of effectiveness for interventions promoting condom use for dual protection. We did not find favorable results for pregnancy or HIV, and only found some for other STI. The overall quality of evidence was moderate to low; losses to follow up were high. Effective interventions for improving condom use are needed to prevent pregnancy and HIV/STI transmission. Interventions should be feasible for resource-limited settings and tested using valid and reliable outcome measures.

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