Tailored regimens for combined hormonal contraceptives

This Practice Paper discusses the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health (FSRH) recommendation for “tailored regimens,” which advise there is no health benefit from the 7-day hormone-free interval and that shorter or fewer intervals may increase contraceptive efficacy.

SPS commentary:

Tailored regimens include:

- “extended use” which comprise 9 weeks of active treatment (63 pills, nine patches, or three rings) followed by a hormone-free interval of four or seven days.
- Flexible extended use which comprises consecutive pills, rings, or patches and a four day hormone-free interval taken when desired.
- Continuous use which involves taking consecutive pills, rings, or patches without a planned hormone-free interval.
- Reduced hormone-free interval where 4-day hormone-free intervals are considered instead of seven days.


British Medical Journal