Should You Use Centchroman as Contraceptive?

The answer to the above question is, yes Centchroman should be used as oral contraceptive. Centchroman is highly effective as contraceptive (although it is slightly less effective than combined oral contraceptive pills). Centchroman is a novel and effective nonsteroidal (non hormonal) contraceptive used as once a week dosing. Centchroman acts by modulating the estrogen receptors. It has estrogenic as well as anti-estrogenic actions, e.g. in uterus and breast it has estrogenic action, whereas in bones it has estrogenic action.

After stopping the medication, most women regain fertility (in one Indian study it was seen that except one woman all became pregnant within one year after stopping Centchroman and delivered normal babies). If any woman wants to avoid the side effects (however mild side effects) associated with hormonal combined oral contraceptive pills, taking Centchroman is a good option for them.

Advantages of Centchroman as oral contraceptive pill:

  • Highly effective (as reported in various studies the failure rate is only 1.6 per 100 women per year), safe and easy to use (once a week dose) unlike daily dosing for hormonal combined oral contraceptive pills.
  • Does not require any pelvic examination by a doctor (preferably gynaecologist) before taking Centchroman, unlike with hormonal combined oral contraceptive pills.
  • Devoid of side effects commonly associated with hormonal combined oral contraceptive pills, such as nausea, vomiting, weight gain and dizziness. Liver, lipid profile and other abnormalities are not present with Centchroman.
  • Return of fertility after stopping Centchroman is very good.
  • There is no data suggestive of causing any congenital abnormalities.
  • Centchroman maintain normal ovulatory cycle.

Some disadvantages of Centchroman:

  • Centchroman is not well studies and adequate clinical trials are lacking, which limits its use as oral contraceptive. The studies conducted also small in size.
  • In some women (less than 10% of users), menstruation may be delayed, but it is harmless. The delayed menstruation becomes regular after few months of use and the medication need not to be discontinued.
  • The contraceptive failure rate is slightly higher than hormonal combined oral contraceptive pills.

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1 Comment

  • ladyjustice April 27, 2011 08.46 pm

    You shouldn’t be so hasty to recommend this drug. As a pharmacist and a woman, I certainly would not recommend it. The anti-implantation (and potential abortive) effects of this drug make it extremely ethically and morally volatile. We need to have respect for a woman’s right to make informed decisions about how she chooses to prevent pregnancy, and your post does not address the mechanism of this drug at all. I would venture to say that many women would be uncomfortable taking a drug that allows them to conceive a child without inhibition and then repetitively abort each conceptus before it is able to implant. That’s basically how this drug works.

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