An investigation into subjective well-being during oral contraceptive (Mercilon®) use

An investigation into subjective well-being during oral

contraceptive (Mercilon®) use

T Fel1, J Almasi1, I Szabo2

1Organon Hungary Ltd, Medical Department, Budapest, Hungary,

2Medical School of the University of Pecs, Clinical Department of Obstetrics and

Gynaecology, Pecs, Hungary

Objective Subjective well-being comprises satisfaction

with life, and relatively high and low levels of positive and negative emotions,

respectively. Oral contraceptives may positively influence well-being by

reducing the fear of unintended pregnancy, improving cycle regularity and

reducing skin problems. The objective of this study was to investigate the

effect of Mercilon® (20 mcg ethinyl estradiol/150 mcg desogestrel) on

subjective well-being.

Design and methods A 6-month, open, prospective,

multicentre study was carried out in subjects aged up to 35 years, with normal

(24-35-day) menstrual cycles and no hormonal contraceptive use 2 months prior to

the study. Subjective well-being was evaluated after cycles 3 and 6 using a

Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Subjects used the 1-7 scale to rate five

statements generating total scores of between 5 and 35 points. SWLS scores were

statistically analysed using analysis of variance. Factors thought to contribute

to score changes (eg, age, body weight and occurrence of irregular bleeding)

were also evaluated.

Results Of the 4279 women starting the study, 4176

(97.6%) completed all six cycles. The subjects’ mean age was 24.9 (±5.9) years.

Subjective well-being improved consistently and significantly (p<0.001) throughout the study as reflected by a mean increase of total SWLS score of 0.82 (0.60-1.05) points. The category with the closest correlation to the improvement was "menstrual cycles" (p=0.003). Specifically, the mean increase in SWLS score was 0.77 (0.60-0.93) for women with previously normal cycles compared with 1.09 (0.85-1.32) for those with a history of cycle irregularities. Mercilon® use significantly reduced the proportion of irregular cycles from 14.7% to 0.3% at cycle 6 (p=0.001). Furthermore, the incidence of "heavy" irregular bleeding decreased from 15% at baseline to 0.3% at cycle 6. Satisfaction with Mercilon® was high; 98% of subjects were "satisfied" or "very satisfied". Adverse events were reported by 5% of subjects.

Conclusions Mercilon® significantly improved subjective

well-being, with a history of cycle irregularities most closely correlating with

improved SWLS scores. Mercilon®’s good cycle control was the most important

factor in the increase of SWLS. Mercilon® may positively influence well-being

as a result of its reliable contraception and noncontraceptive benefits.

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