Considering the advantages of parenteral routes of administration of combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs), their low prevalence of use in Europe is surprising. The Contraceptive health research of informed choice experience (CHOICE) study involved 11 European countries. It aimed at evaluating the influence of counselling on users' choice between three modalities of CHC administration (the pill, the transdermal patch, and the vaginal ring). We report here the results for Switzerland.
Women (N = 2629) with a need for contraception received extended counselling. Questionnaires were used to collect data about the women's preferred method before and after counselling, and the reasons for their ultimate decision.
After counselling, 40% of the women chose a contraceptive method that was different from the one initially intended. The number of vaginal ring users (28% vs. 11% intended) and patch users (7% vs. 4% intended) increased (p < 0.0001). Of the initially undecided women, 93% chose a contraceptive method after counselling. However, although information was provided on the risks, side effects and benefits associated with the different contraceptive methods, surprisingly few women retained this knowledge.
The provision of balanced information on all CHCs influenced women's decisions to a great extent. Unlike the pill, non-oral methods were significantly more often chosen.