Androgenic, oestrogenic and antioestrogenic effects of desogestrel and lynestrenol alone: effects on serum proteins, sex hormones and vaginal cytology

  • G. Cullberg
  • L.-Å. Mattsson


Desogestrel (Dgl)/ ethinyloestradiol (Marvelon, Organon) has a pronounced increasing effect on sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This can be due to an oestrogenic effect of Dgl or lack of androgenicity. These possibilities were evaluated using the effects on serum proteins and vaginal cytology. 0.125, 0.250 and 0.500 mg Dgl daily was given orally in a randomized order to eight healthy fertile women and also, in comparison 5 mg lynestrenol (Lyn). Each treatment lasted 6 weeks. The methods used were electroimmunoassay for SHBG, ceruloplasmin, cortisol binding globulin (CBG), thyroxin binding globulin (TBG) and prealbumin, radioimmunoassay for 17β-oestradiol (E2), testosterone and vaginal cytology as maturation value (MV). Results found indicated a dose-dependent depression of E2, SHBG and MV. The correlation was however much stronger for Dgl dose versus SHBG decrease (r=0.97) than for E2 decrease versus SHBG (r=0.54) indicating an hepatocyte blocking effect by Dgl rather than a lowered E2-stimulation of SHBG production. No androgenic effects such as increases in prealbumin or depression of TBG were seen after Dgl but a small significant increase in prealbumin was found for Lyn. No oestrogenic effects such as increases in CBG, cerulqplasmin or MV were seen for Dgl or Lyn but an antioestrogenic effect on NV was seen.


Oral Contraception Thyroxin Binding Globulin Androgenic Effect Oral Contracep Vaginal Cytology 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Cullberg
  • L.-Å. Mattsson

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