Ulipristal acetate prevents ovulation more effectively than levonorgestrel: Analysis of pooled data from three randomized trials of emergency contraception regimens

Vivian Brache, Leila Cochon, Maëva Deniaud, Horacio B. Croxatto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background The days just prior to ovulation are the most crucial for emergency contraception (EC) efficacy. Ulipristal acetate (UPA) and levonorgestrel's (LNG) capacity to inhibit follicular rupture have never been compared directly at this time of the cycle. Study Design Raw data from three pharmacodynamics studies with similar methodology were pooled to allow direct comparison of UPA, LNG and LNG+meloxicam's ability to prevent ovulation when administered orally in the advanced follicular phase, with a leading follicle of ≥18 mm. Results Forty eight LNG-treated (1.5 mg) cycles, 31 LNG (1.5 mg) + meloxicam (15 mg), 34 UPA (30 mg) cycles and 50 placebo cycles were compared. Follicle rupture was delayed for at least 5 days in 14.6%, 38.7%, 58.8% and 4% of the LNG-, LNG+meloxicam-, UPA- and placebo-treated cycles, respectively. UPA was more effective than LNG and placebo in inhibiting follicular rupture (p=.0001), while LNG, when administered at this time of the cycle, was not different than placebo. The addition of meloxicam improved the efficacy of LNG in preventing follicular rupture (p=.0292 vs. LNG; p=.0001 vs. placebo; non-significant vs. UPA). UPA was effective in preventing rupture in the 5 days following treatment, even when administered at the time of the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge (UPA 79%, LNG 14% and placebo 10%). None of the treatments were effective when administered on the day of the LH peak. The median time from treatment to rupture was 6 days during the ulipristal cycles and 2 days in the placebo and LNG/LNG+meloxicam cycles (p=.0015). Conclusion Although no EC treatment is 100% effective in inhibiting follicular rupture when administered in the late follicular phase, UPA is the most effective treatment, delaying ovulation for at least 5 days in 59% of the cycles. LNG is not different from placebo in inhibiting follicular rupture at this advanced phase of the cycle. No treatment was effective in postponing rupture when administered on the day of LH peak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-618
Number of pages8
JournalContraception
Volume88
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Emergency contraception
  • Levonorgestrel
  • LH surge
  • Ovulation inhibition
  • Ulipristal acetate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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