The study’s primary objective was to clarify whether the use of the oral contraceptive 2 mg dienogest/30 μg ethinylestradiol is associated with a higher risk of VTE than other combined oral low-dose contraceptives. The secondary objective was to investigate the VTE risk associated with drospirenone/Ethinyl estradiol compared to low-dose LNG/EE.

This German community-based, case-control study, recruited VTE cases from the primary care sector. Four controls were matched by age and region to each case. Medical information relevant to the assessment of VTE was abstracted from patient charts and smoking.

A total of 680 VTE cases and 2720 corresponding controls were analyzed. The mean age of cases and controls was – as a result of matching – almost identical. A total of 35, 25, and 60 of the subjects had used DNG-, DRSP- and LNG-containing low-dose COCs, respectively, at the time of the VTE diagnosis. 

The study concluded that COC use is associated with an increased risk of VTE. The VTE ORs that compared DNG/EE and DRSP/EE with other low-dose COCs were close to unity and did not indicate a higher risk for users of DNG/EE or DRSP/EE.