Acceptability and tolerability of NuvaRing in Ireland

Acceptability and tolerability of NuvaRing in Ireland

S. Jones (1), R. Patel (2)

Irish Family Planning Association, Dublin, Ireland (1); Organon

Laboratories Limited, Cambridge, UK (2)

Introduction: NuvaRing is a monthly contraceptive vaginal ring that

has previously been shown to be effective, with excellent cycle control, a

favourable tolerability profile and high user acceptability (Roumen et al. Hum

Reprod 2001; 16: 469–75). As NuvaRing recently became available in the

Republic of Ireland, a clinical experience programme was initiated to report the

experience and acceptability of the method in Irish women.

Design and methods: This was an open-label, multicentre,

non-randomised study. Each woman used NuvaRing for 3 cycles (each comprising 3

weeks of ring use followed by a 1-week ring-free period). The recruiting GPs or

family planning doctors carried out assessments at baseline and after cycle 3,

using specifically constructed questionnaires.

Results: Of the 177 women enrolled, 133 completed both assessments.

Most women were aged 20–29 years (57%) and were using oral contraceptives or

condoms (65%) prior to starting. The most common reasons for trying NuvaRing

were not having to remember to take pills every day (52%), and novelty (47%).

After three cycles of ring use, 76% of women had used all 3 rings and most found

ring insertion (88%) and removal (91%) easy. Overall, 91% of women felt no

vaginal discomfort or were not bothered by it and most either could not feel, or

were not bothered by feeling the ring during intercourse (92%). The vast

majority of partners (94%) said that they could not feel the ring or only felt

it occasionally; of those who felt the ring, 90% said that they did not mind it.

Compliance with the ring regimen was found to be difficult by only 2% of women.

The great majority of women (94%) also said that they felt that NuvaRing had

many advantages. The most frequently highlighted advantages were the monthly

regimen (77%); offering the benefits of a pill without being a pill (57%);

excellent reliability (51%); and allowing spontaneous intercourse (51%). Most

women said that their experience with NuvaRing was better than their previous

contraceptive (69%), that they would continue its use (79%) and would recommend

it to a friend (86%). Of the 16% of women who expressed reservations about the

method when starting the programme, 81% said that they would continue to use

NuvaRing and 88% would recommend it to others. NuvaRing was well tolerated with

minimal adverse events.

Conclusions: Based on clinical experience in Ireland, women found

NuvaRing highly acceptable, easy to use, reliable and unobtrusive. The main

reasons for liking NuvaRing were the monthly regimen and the benefits of the

Pill without the daily pill taking. As in the clinical trials, the majority of

women who tried NuvaRing liked it and would recommend it to others.

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