Effect of a single vaginal administration of levonorgestrel in Carraguard® gel on the ovulatory process: A potential candidate for "dual protection" emergency contraception

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Objective: The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Carraguard vaginal gel containing 0.75 mg of levonorgestrel (CARRA/LNG gel) administered in a single dose at different stages of follicle development over subsequent follicle rupture and hormonal levels. Method: Randomized, blinded, cross-over study comparing the effects of a single administration of CARRA/LNG gel or Carraguard (CARRA) gel. Twenty-four healthy women were enrolled in two centers. The gels were administered when the follicle had reached diameters of 12-14, 15-17 and ≥18 mm in eight women each. Volunteers were followed for one treatment, one washout cycle and a second treatment cycle. Follicle rupture or nonrupture was assessed by transvaginal ultrasound. Luteinizing hormone, estradiol and progesterone levels were measured daily for 5 days following treatment, and three times per week until menses. Results: No follicular rupture within the 5-day period following administration was observed in 74% and 30% of the CARRA/LNG and CARRA gel treatment cycles, respectively, while ovulation was documented in 4% and 61%, respectively. The overall proportion of cycles with lack of follicular rupture or ovulatory dysfunction (follicle rupture preceded by an inadequate LH surge) was 96% for CARRA/LNG and 39% in the CARRA gel cycles. Conclusion: Single vaginal administration of 0.75 mg LNG in CARRA gel in the late follicular phase is effective for interfering with the ovulatory process.