The effect upon the human vaginal histology of the long-term use of the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera (HTML)
Bahamondes,Luis; Trevisan,Miriam; Andrade,Liliana; Marchi,Nadia Maria; Castro,Sara; Diaz,Juan; Faundes,Anibal
Contraception 62(1): 23-27
Publication date: 2000
The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of long-term use of the injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) on human vaginal histology. Twenty premenopausal women currently using DMPA as a contraceptive method for two and three years were compared with 20 regularly menstruating women, who never used Depo-Provera and/or other kind of hormonal contraceptive in the last 6 months prior to the study. Subjects and controls were matched by age (±1 year), body mass index (kg/m2) (±1.0), number of pregnancies (±1), age at first intercourse (±1 year), years of sexual activity (±1 year), and number of partners during their life (±1). Vaginal biopsies were performed in users at 90 ± 7 days after the last injection and in nonusers at day 20-25 of the menstrual cycle. In addition, at the day of the biopsy a blood sample was collected to measure estradiol (in all women) and DMPA in users. The level of serum estradiol was significant lower in Depo-Provera users than in controls (p < 0.001). The thickness of the vaginal epithelium was not smaller among DMPA users than among controls, the mean count of Langerhans cells per mm of epithelium were almost identical in both groups, and no significant differences were found on the vaginal maturation indices. In conclusion, the use of Depo-Provera between two and three years did not affect vaginal thinning of the epithelium, Langerhans cell count or maturation index.
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