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Open Access Research article

Efficacy of a combined contraceptive regimen consisting of condoms and emergency contraception pills

Rui Zhao12, Jun-Qing Wu12*, Yu-Yan Li12, Ying Zhou12, Hong-Lei Ji12 and Yi-Ran Li12

Author Affiliations

1 Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research/WHO Collaborating Center on Human Research, Shanghai 200032, China

2 National Laboratory of Contraceptives and Devices Research of China, Shanghai 200032, China

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:354  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-354

Published: 14 April 2014

Abstract

Background

To evaluate and compare the effectiveness of the combined regimen (consisting of condoms and emergency contraception pills (ECP)) and using condoms only for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

Methods

One-thousand-five-hundred-and-sixty-two (1,562) couples as volunteers enrolled at nine centers in Shanghai. Eight-hundred-and-twelve (812) were randomized to use male condoms and ECP (i.e., Levonorgestrel) as a back-up to condoms (the intervention group) and 750 to use male condoms only(the control group), according to their working unit. Participants were visited at admission and at the end of 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. The cumulative life table rates were calculated for pregnancy and other reasons for discontinuation.

Result

The gross cumulative life table rates showed that the cumulative discontinuation rates for all reasons during the year of follow-up in the condoms plus emergency contraception group and the condoms only group were 7.76 ± 0.94 and 6.61 ± 0.91, respectively, per 100 women (χ2 = 0.41, p = 0.5227). The cumulative gross pregnancy rate of the condoms plus emergency contraception group and the condoms only group were 2.17 ± 0.52 and 1.25 ± 0.41, respectively, per 100 women (χ2 = 1.93, p = 0.1645). The Pearl Index in the condoms plus emergency contraception group and the condoms only group were 2.21% and 1.26%, respectively.

Conclusion

Male condoms remain a highly effective contraceptive method for a period of one year while consistently and correctly used. In addition, the lowest pregnancy rate followed from perfect use condom.

Keywords:
Contraception; Methods; Pregnancy rates; Cumulative life table rates; Women