Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Jul;163(1 Pt 2):396-403.

Effects of newer oral contraceptives on the inhibition of coagulation and fibrinolysis in relation to dosage and type of steroid.

Author information

Department of Clinical Chemistry, Ribe County Hospital, Esbjerg, Denmark.


Oral contraceptives influence plasma proteins, causing changes in plasma procoagulants and fibrinolytic effectors. Estrogen is thought to be responsible for these changes, whereas progestogens, in particular those with an androgenic effect, may influence the magnitude of the changes. This concept is consistent with epidemiologic studies, suggesting a correlation between estrogen dose and cardiovascular episodes in oral contraceptive users. A delayed resolution of fibrin might contribute to an increased risk caused by decreased coagulation inhibition or fibrinolytic efficacy. Estrogen (30 micrograms or more) has a dose-dependent effect on clotting factors, including antithrombin III and proteins C and S. The effect of high- and low-dose oral contraceptives containing various progestogens on the fibrinolytic system is less clear. We have found that low-dose oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel or lynestrenol enhance fibrinolysis, as revealed by an increase in plasminogen (30% to 40%), a decrease in histidine-rich glycoprotein (15% to 26%), an increase in tissue plasminogen activator activity (greater than 150%), and a decrease in tissue plasminogen activator inhibition (30% to 40%), concomitant with a slight decrease in tissue plasminogen activator antigen level (15% to 20%). New oral contraceptives contain less androgenic progestogens. Preliminary results of an ongoing study of women receiving either 20 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol with 150 micrograms of desogestrel or 30 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol plus 75 micrograms of gestodene revealed no change or changes similar to the older low-dose preparations after 6 months of treatment. Of particular importance was the finding that coagulation activation, expressed by the levels of thrombin-antithrombin III-complexes, fibrin formation, and the efficacy of fibrinolysis, expressed by the levels of fibrin degradation products, was identical in the two groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center