Gynecology & Obstetrics

Gynecology & Obstetrics
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-0932


A Cross-Sectional Study of the Choice of Oral Estrogen Contraceptives in Women Seeking Contraceptive Counseling: What Type of Pill Do Women Prefer After Being Counseled?

Iñaki Lete, Nagore Barbadillo, Lorea Ugarte, Rafael Sánchez Borrego and Esther de la Viuda

Objective: The availability of oral contraceptives with natural estrogen can change women's perception about the safety of combined hormonal contraceptives. This study therefore aims to investigate the reasons why women, when given the choice of hormonal contraceptives with synthetic or natural estrogen, choose one or the other.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study of a representative sample of 14,900 Spanish women wishing to start combined oral hormonal contraception. All received uniform information about the different oral contraceptive options based on the estrogen they contained.

Results: Of the 14,900 patients included, 2,526 (17%) chose a pill with ethinyl estradiol (EE), whereas 12,374 (83%) chose a pill with natural estradiol. Mean age of the former was 28.5 ± 7.2 years and 31.7 ± 7.9 years in the latter (P<0.005). The most important reason given by women to choose a pill with EE was the price (49.4%). Women who chose a pill with estradiol did so mainly because it contained a natural hormone, similar to the produced by the ovary (70.5%).

Conclusion: Spanish women, who consult their doctors for starting or reinitiating the use of a combined oral hormonal contraceptive method, after receiving information about the estrogen content and the currently available alternatives, mostly choose contraceptives containing estradiol because it is a natural hormone similar to that produced by the ovary. Further studies are still needed to assess continuation rates and tolerability of estradiol-based pills.