COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Effects of an oral contraceptive containing 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 2 mg dienogest on thyroid hormones and androgen parameters: conventional vs. extended-cycle use

Nicole Sänger, Skadi Stahlberg, Torsten Manthey, Katrin Mittmann, Uwe Mellinger, Evelyn Lange, Herbert Kuhl, Inka Wiegratz
Contraception 2008, 77 (6): 420-5
18477491

BACKGROUND: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of an oral contraceptive containing 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 2 mg dienogest on thyroid hormones and androgen parameters.

STUDY DESIGN: Thyroid and androgen parameters were measured in 59 women treated with a monophasic combined oral contraceptive containing 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 2 mg dienogest (EE/DNG) either conventionally (13 cycles with 21 days of treatment+7 days without hormones) or according to an extended-cycle regimen (four extended cycles with 84 days of continuous administration of EE/DNG, followed by a hormone-free interval of 7 days). Blood samples were taken on Days 21-26 of the preceding control cycle and on Days 19-21 of the 3rd and 13th conventional cycle, or on Days 82-84 of the first and fourth extended cycle.

RESULTS: At both time points, the serum concentrations of thyroxine-binding globulin were elevated by about 65% in both treatment regimens. Likewise, both groups showed an increase in total triiodothyronine (T3) and total thyroxine (T4) by 30-40%, and no change in free T4. Until the 12th month of conventional treatment, the level of free T3 remained unchanged but decreased slightly during the extended-cycle regimen. In both groups there was a rise of sex hormone-binding globulin by 210-230% after 3 months and by 220-250% after 12 months. The levels of total testosterone were reduced by about 40% and those of free testosterone by 55-65% after 3 and 12 months.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that, during conventional and extended-cycle treatment with EE/DNG, a steady state in the effects on thyroid hormones and androgen parameters was reached within 3 months and that the changes in the various hormonal parameters did not substantially differ between conventional and extended-cycle regimen.

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