Influence of oral contraceptives on anthropomorphometric, endocrine, and metabolic profiles of anovulatory polycystic ovary syndrome patients

Fertility and sterility (Impact Factor: 4.59). 06/2014; 101(6). DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.02.039


To evaluate the influence of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) on anthromorphometric, endocrine, and metabolic parameters in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Retrospective cross-sectional cohort study for the period 1993–2011.

Tertiary university hospital.

PCOS patients, who never, ever, or at time of screening were using OCPs were included. A total of 1,297 patients, of whom 827 were white, were included. All PCOS patients diagnosed according to the Rotterdam 2003 consensus criteria were divided into three groups: current users, (n = 76; 6% of total), ever users (n = 1,018; 78%), and never users (n = 203; 16%). Ever users were subdivided based on the OCP-free interval.


Main Outcome Measure(s)
Anthromorphometric (blood pressure, cycle duration) and ultrasound (follicle count, mean ovarian volume) parameters, endocrine (SHBG, testosterone, free androgen index, antimüllerian hormone [AMH]) and lipid profiles.

Current users and ever users were compared with never users. In current users, SHBG was increased and androgen levels decreased. Patients with an OCP-free interval of <1 year had a higher mean follicle count, higher AMH level, and increased serum androgen level compared with never users. SHBG levels remained increased until 5–10 years after cessation of OCP use.

OCP use causes a milder phenotypic presentation of PCOS regarding hyperandrogenism. However, it does not alter parameters associated with increased health risks.

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Available from: Bart C J M Fauser, Oct 11, 2015
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    • "Another attractive aspect of serum AMH measurements is that they are not affected by contraceptive medications to the same degree as serum FSH, which propagated the unfortunate misunderstanding that AMH was not affected by contraceptives. Numerous studies have now confirmed that hormonal contraceptives often lower serum AMH [93–96]. A well designed prospective study of 44 women demonstrated serum AMH was lowered by an average of approximately 30% within two menstrual cycles of starting the contraceptive regardless of the route [97▪▪]. "
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