An update on oral contraceptive options (PDF)

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The oral contraceptive marketplace has undergone evolutionary changes over the years. Early oral contraceptive formulations contained higher doses of estrogen and progestin, which were associated with several safety concerns. Consequently, scientists returned to the laboratories to develop lower-dose formulations that would minimize risk without compromising efficacy. To date, numerous formulations have entered the marketplace that allow for tailored dosing to meet a woman?s clinical and individual needs. In order to provide additional treatment options and create more convenient oral contraceptive regimens, monophasic, multiphasic, extended-cycle, progestin-only, and chewable regimens have emerged. This article will review the main health risks and benefits of oral contraceptives, the concept of extended-cycle regimens, and the financial implications associated with oral contraceptive use.

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