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Short-term treatment with levonorgestrel does not antagonize the ethinyl estradiol-induced increase of uterine blood flow in postmenopausal women.

Author(s): Entezami M, Heger-Mahn D, Ebert A, Halis G, Lubbert H

Affiliation(s): Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Free University of Berlin, Germany. Entezami@ukbf.fu-berlin.de

Publication date & source: 1997-09, Contraception., 56(3):181-3.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a short-term ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel medication on blood flow in the uterine arteries in postmenopausal women in a prospective placebo-controlled double-blind study. Twenty-one healthy postmenopausal woman at least 2 years after menopause received 60 micrograms ethinyl estradiol (EE) for 14 days followed by 40 micrograms EE plus 125 micrograms levonorgestrel (LNG) for 12 days (total treatment period 26 days). Sonographically, uterine volume, endometrial thickness, and blood flow in the uterine arteries [as reflected by pulsatility (PI) and resistance indices (RI)] were measured. Uterine size increased from 44 to 80 mL (day 14, p < 0.001) and 87 mL (day 26, p = NS). Endometrium grew from 3 to 8 mm (day 14, p < 0.001) and 11 mm (day 26, p = NS). Uterine arterial PI fell from 2.76 to 1.37 (day 14, p < 0.001) and 1.34 (day 26, p = NS), whereas RI fell from 0.9 to 0.68 (day 14 and day 26, p < 0.001). In conclusion, short-term treatment with LNG does not antagonize the vascular effect of EE on the uterine arteries as reflected by PI and RI. This result might have clinical significance in the selection of the progestin used in hormonal replacement therapy.

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