Send to

Choose Destination
Contraception. 2009 May;79(5):345-9. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.11.009. Epub 2009 Jan 17.

Bone mineral density in a cohort of adolescents during use of norethisterone enanthate, depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate or combined oral contraceptives and after discontinuation of norethisterone enanthate.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Mayville, South Africa.



Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), norethisterone enanthate (NET-EN) and combined oral contraceptives (COCs) have been shown to have a negative effect on bone mineral density (BMD) in adolescents. The aim of this study was to investigate BMD in 15- to 19-year-old new users of DMPA, NET-EN and COCs.


This 5-year longitudinal study followed up new users of DMPA (n=115), NET-EN (n=115) and COCs (n=116) and 144 nonuser controls. BMD was measured at the distal radius using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.


BMD increased in all groups (annual percent increase: nonusers, 1.49%; DMPA, 1.39%; NET-EN, 1.03%; COCs, 0.84%) during follow-up (p<.001). There was evidence for lower BMD increases per annum in NET-EN (p=.050) and COC (p=.010) users compared to nonusers but no difference between DMPA and nonusers (p=.76). In 14 NET-EN discontinuers, an overall reduction of 0.61% per year BMD was followed upon cessation by an increase of 0.69% per year (p=.066).


This study suggests that BMD increases in adolescents may be less in NET-EN and COC users; however, recovery of BMD in NET-EN users was found in the small sample of adolescents followed post-discontinuation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center