The effect of monophasic combinations of ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone on gonadotropins, androgens and sex hormone binding globulin: A randomized trial

Dean Moutos, Shannon Smith, Howard Zacur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of different monophasic combinations of ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone on FSH, LH, sex hormone binding globulin, total testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels in non-obese, non-hirsute women were compared. Retrospective analysis of frozen serum from a prospective randomized trial in which women received one of three oral contraceptive pills containing ethinyl estradiol 50 μg/norethindrone 1 mg, ethinyl estradiol 35 μg/norethindrone 1 mg or ethinyl estradiol 35 g/norethindrone 0.5 mg for nine cycles was conducted. Blood samples were obtained prior to treatment and during the third, sixth and ninth pill cycles. Ethinyl estradiol 50 μg/norethindrone 1 mg and ethinyl estradiol 35 μg/norethindrone 1 mg suppressed FSH, LH, and total testosterone and increased sex hormone binding globulin to a similar degree. Ethinyl estradiol 35 μg/norethindrone 0.5 mg resulted in less suppression of FSH, LH, and total testosterone, but greater elevation of sex hormone binding globulin. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate was suppressed to a similar degree with ethinyl estradiol 35 μg/norethindrone 1 mg and ethinyl estradiol 35 μg/norethindrone 0.5 mg, but ethinyl estradiol 50 μg/norethindrone 1 mg resulted in the least suppression of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Ethinyl estradiol 35 μg/norethindrone 1mg caused greater suppression of androstenedione than did the other two oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptive-induced changes in gonadotropins, androgens, and sex hormone binding globulin can be predicted by considering the relative amounts of estrogen and progestin in the pill. When combined with 1 mg of norethindrone, 50 μg of ethinyl estradiol did not result in greater suppression of FSH, LH, or total testosterone or in greater elevation of sex hormone binding globulin than did 35 μg of ethinyl estradiol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-109
Number of pages5
JournalContraception
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1995

Keywords

  • androgens
  • gonadotropins
  • oral contraceptive pills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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