Progesterone vaginal ring for contraceptive use during lactation
Contraception 82(5): 428-434
Publication date: 2010
The progesterone vaginal ring (PVR) has been shown to be effective as a contraceptive in breastfeeding women who need a better method of spacing pregnancies, and previous clinical trials of 1-year duration demonstrated its efficacy to be similar to that of the IUD during lactation. The duration of lactational amenorrhea is significantly prolonged in PVR users in comparison to IUD users with fewer median numbers of bleeding/spotting (B/S) episodes and B/S days. This long-acting delivery system designed for 3-month use needs to be renewed every 3 months as long as breastfeeding continues. The system designed as a matrix ring delivers 10 mg/day of the physiological hormone progesterone. Various factors such as comfort, ease of use, user control, rather than provider-dependent, and the fact that it contains a natural hormone have contributed to a high acceptability of the PVR method by breastfeeding women. The frequency of breastfeeding, breast milk volume and infant growth were not different in PVR users or IUD users, and the safety of this new method has been well documented. This article describes the available information and the results of the studies that led to approval of this method in several countries in Latin America so far. Further evaluation of the PVR acceptability in different populations where breastfeeding is popular and highly recommended for the infant's benefit is warranted.