Oral contraceptives and PCOS

Over the long term, oral contraceptives containing cyproterone acetate appear to have the strongest anti-androgenic properties in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), according to Indian researchers.

But in the first few months of treatment, they say, pills containing desogestrel, cyproterone acetate, and drospirenone have similar effects.

"We found in our clinical practice that many clinicians get confused about which pill to select," Dr Sudhindra Mohan Bhattacharya said. In a paper online in Fertility and Sterility, he and his colleague Dr Ayan Jha address that problem.

Dr Bhattacharya of S. C. Das Memorial Medical and Research Centre, Kolkata, and Dr Jha of the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, enrolled 171 women and randomly assigned them to desogestrel, cyproterone acetate, and drospirenone groups.

At six months, results were similar, but at 12 months, cyproterone acetate significantly decreased the modified Ferriman Galwey score compared with both desogestrel and drospirenone.

Cyproterone and drospirenone also significantly increased sex hormone-binding globulin compared with desogestrel.

In addition, cyproterone significantly decreased the Free Androgen Index compared with desogestrel. Overall, effects on metabolic parameters were identical.

Thus, Dr Bhattacharya advises, given the lack of difference in immediate anti androgenic effects "the clinician can choose any one if he/she decides to use it for a short time, say, six months." He notes that the desogestrel pill is cheaper than the other two.

At 12 months, however, "desogestrel lags behind the other two pills in its anti-androgenic effects," and "cyproterone is much stronger than drospirenone."

Thus, Dr Bhattacharya concludes, in "any women with strong androgenic manifestations, it will be advisable to start with cyproterone acetate. For those with milder degrees of androgenic features, one can select drospirenone."

(Reuters Health, July 2012)

Read More:

New hope for PCOS

Bisphenol A tied polycystic ovary syndrome

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2321 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
48% - 9938 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 7699 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 766 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.68
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.07
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.96
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.54
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.1%
Gold
1,762.35
+0.0%
Silver
19.65
-0.8%
Palladium
2,138.00
-0.3%
Platinum
921.50
-0.8%
Brent Crude
93.65
+1.4%
Top 40
64,167
0.0%
All Share
70,967
0.0%
Resource 10
63,227
0.0%
Industrial 25
87,430
0.0%
Financial 15
16,160
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE