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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1973 Sep 1;117(1):121-5.

Induction of premature menstruation with anabolic steroids.



To determine the mechanism of the effect of certain anabolic steroids on menstruation induction and to evaluate this effect as an interceptor of early pregnancy, the luteal phase length was studied in the cycles of women ranging in age from 21 to 37 years after postovulatory treatment with 7 different anabolic steroids. Basal body temperature records were kept and endometrial biopsies were obtained late in the pretreatment control periods to confirm ovulation. 2 steroids which had been proven to shorten the luteal cycle phase were administered as follows: Nandrolone phenpropionate was given in a daily 50-mg dose intramuscularly for 3 days. 30 mg of oxymetholone was administered orally every 6 hours for 4 days. The previously untested steroids were administered orally in evenly divided doses every 6 hours for 4 days as follows: oxandrolone, 60 mg daily; stanozolol, 28 mg; methandrostenolone, 60 mg; fluoxymesterone, 40 mg; and ethylestrenol, 30 mg. Plasma progesterone and gonadotropins were measured by radioimmunoassay of blood samples taken 7 days after ovulation. Nandrolone and oxymetholone were found to significantly shorten cycle and luteal phase lengths and depress plasma LH and progesterone levels as compared to control cycles. Nandrolone also significantly depressed plasma FSH levels. Of the 5 new drugs, only ethylestrenol significantly shortened luteal phase length (p less than .001). This finding is questioned by the small sample size and thus the use of this steroid as a menstruation inducer is considered questionable. The mechanism of the effect of nandrolone and oxymetholone appears to be due to their antigonadotropic action that only secondarily reduces progesterone levels. Whether these steroids can affect human chorionic gonadotropin and thus cripple the corpus luteum and interrupt early pregnancy needs further research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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