A 12-month multicenter, randomized study comparing the levonorgestrel intrauterine system with the etonogestrel subdermal implant

Dan Apter, Paula Briggs, Marjo Tuppurainen, Julia Grunert, Eeva Lukkari-Lax, Sarah Rybowski, Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson

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Objective To compare the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS 8), which has an average levonorgestrel release rate of ∼8 μg/24 hours during the first year (total levonorgestrel content 13.5 mg; Jaydess/Skyla), with the etonogestrel (ENG) subdermal implant (total content, 68 mg) with regard to the 12-month discontinuation rate (primary outcome). Design Randomized, open-label, phase III study. Setting Thirty-eight centers in six European countries. Patient(s) Study population of 766 healthy nulliparous and parous women aged 18–35 years. Intervention(s) The LNG-IUS 8 or the ENG implant. Main Outcome Measure(s) Discontinuation rate, by treatment group, at Month 12. Result(s) The 12-month discontinuation rates were 19.6% and 26.8% in the LNG-IUS 8 and ENG implant groups, respectively. The −7.2% difference was statistically significant (95% confidence interval −13.2%, −1.2%). Fewer women in the LNG-IUS 8 group than in the ENG implant group discontinued because of increased bleeding (3.2% vs. 11.3%) or adverse events (14.3% vs. 21.8%). At 12 months, more women in the LNG-IUS 8 group than in the ENG implant group were “very/somewhat satisfied” with their bleeding pattern (60.9% vs. 33.6%) and reported a preference to use their study treatment after study completion (70.1% vs. 58.5%). Conclusion(s) The LNG-IUS 8 was associated with a significantly lower 12-month discontinuation rate compared with the ENG implant; mainly because ENG implant users frequently discontinued due to increased bleeding. More LNG-IUS 8 users than ENG implant users reported being “very/somewhat satisfied” with their bleeding pattern, and reported a preference to continue using their study treatment after the study. Clinical Trial Registration Number NCT01397097.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157.e5
Number of pages12
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • contraception
  • discontinuation
  • etonogestrel implant
  • LARC

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