Multicenter comparison of the contraceptive ring and patch: A randomized controlled trial

Mitchell D. Creinin, Leslie A. Meyn, Lynn Borgatta, Kurt Barnhart, Jeff Jensen, Anne E. Burke, Carolyn Westhoff, Melissa Gilliam, Caryn Dutton, Susan A. Ballagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


To understand if the contraceptive ring or patch was more acceptable, as measured primarily by continuation, to women using an oral contraceptive and interested in a nondaily, combined hormonal contraceptive. Five hundred women were randomly assigned to use the contraceptive ring (n=249) or contraceptive patch (n=251) for four consecutive menstrual cycles, starting with their next menses. Participants returned for a single follow-up visit during the fourth cycle for an evaluation, which included a questionnaire to assess acceptability and adverse effects. Rates of completion of three cycles were 94.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 91.0-97.1%) and 88.2% (95% CI 83.4-92.0%) for ring and patch users, respectively (P=.03). Of these women, 71.0% (95% CI 64.8-76.6%) and 26.5% (95% CI 21.0-32.6%), respectively, planned to continue their method after the study (P<.001). Women switching to the patch were significantly more likely than women switching to the ring to experience longer periods (38% compared with 9%), increased dysmenorrhea (29% compared with 16%), frequent nausea (8% compared with 1%), frequent mood swings (14% compared with 8%), and frequent skin rash (12% compared with 2%) and were less likely to experience frequent vaginal discharge (8% compared with 17%). Ring users preferred the ring to the oral contraceptive (P<.001), and patch users preferred the oral contraceptive to the patch (P<.001). Nugent scores increased only in patch users (P=.01), although most of these women were asymptomatic. Women satisfied with combined oral contraceptives and interested in a nondaily method are more likely to continue using the contraceptive ring than the contraceptive patch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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    Creinin, M. D., Meyn, L. A., Borgatta, L., Barnhart, K., Jensen, J., Burke, A. E., Westhoff, C., Gilliam, M., Dutton, C., & Ballagh, S. A. (2008). Multicenter comparison of the contraceptive ring and patch: A randomized controlled trial. Obstetrics and gynecology, 111(2), 267-277.