Gynecologists regard Cerazette® - the estrogen-free pill - as an alternative to the combined pill following the recent extension in its "missed pill window", according to new research presented today at the 7th World Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics and Gynecology & Fertility in Athens. And nearly three-quarters - 72% - agree that Cerazette should be regarded as a distinctive oral contraceptive.

Cerazette is an estrogen-free pill that inhibits ovulation in up to 99% of cycles. It is proven to have a contraceptive efficacy greater than 99% - similar to that seen with the combined pill but is free of estrogen-related tolerability and safety concerns. Research shows that ovulation inhibition is maintained after accidental 12-hour delay in tablet intake leading to the recent extension in its "missed pill window" from 3 to 12 hours. [1] That means that contraceptive efficacy is not compromised after accidentally taking Cerazette not more than 12 hours late.

"Cerazette provides women with an important estrogen-free alternative to the combined pill. Critically, it is just as reliable, as easy to take and frequently better tolerated by women who experience estrogen related side effects such as breast tenderness, fluid retention and nausea during use of the combined pill or cyclical disorders," said Dr. Karck, director of Stuttgart's Women's Hospital, Germany, commenting on the new research.

The findings presented today have emerged from 100 face-to-face interviews carried out with office-based gynecologists in Germany and France, and undertaken in June 2004 by Skim Analytical Healthcare on behalf of Organon.

The research revealed that although Cerazette is primarily prescribed to women with contraindications to estrogen currently, the missed pill window extension may lead to wider prescription, including to women who traditionally would have been prescribed a combined pill. The gynecologists list the benefits of the new 12-hour intake window of Cerazette as better patient compliance, lower physician and patient anxiety levels and greater confidence in efficacy.

An open-label observational study in Germany has already shown that estrogen- related side effects (breast tenderness, fluid retention and headache) and dysmenorrhea improved or resolved within three months in over 90% of women who switched from a combined oral contraceptive to Cerazette.

The gynecologists were also asked specifically about the benefits of Cerazette. Preferential prescribing for lactating women (89%), smokers (84%) and women with estrogen contraindications (98%) / rejecting estrogens (75%) was mentioned by majority of doctors.