Endothelial Function, Endothelin-1, and Fibrinogen in Young Women Using the Vaginal Contraceptive Ring
Objective: To assess the effects of the vaginal contraceptive ring cycle on indices of cardiovascular health and risk by studying healthy women during the active hormone phase compared with the ring-free phase of a standard 21/7-day cycle. Design: Observational prospective cohort; 4 weeks’ duration.
Setting: Department of Human Physiology, University of Oregon.
Patient(s): Twenty healthy women.
Intervention(s): Endothelial function testing using standard flow-mediated vasodilation of the brachial artery and sublingual nitroglycerin administration. All participants underwent venous blood collection.
Main Outcome Measure(s): Endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent vasodilation of the brachial artery using Doppler ultrasound imaging. Baseline levels of high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, total cholesterol, endothelin-1, and fibrinogen.
Result(s): The active hormone phase of the vaginal ring cycle showed significantly higher vasodilation compared with the ring-free phase. The active hormone phase also showed increased fibrinogen levels compared with the ring-free phase. Low-density lipoprotein lipid levels also fluctuated and were significantly higher during the ring-free phase.
Conclusion(s): Preliminary study observations of improved endothelial function and lowered low-density lipoprotein levels during the active hormone phase versus the ring-free phase suggest that the vaginal contraceptive ring has beneficial effects on vascular health in women. (Fertil Steril 2009;92:441–7. 2009 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.)
Fertility and Sterility
DOI of Published Version
Meendering, Jessica R.; Torgrimson, Britta; Miller, Nicole; Kaplan, Paul; and Minson, Christopher, "Endothelial Function, Endothelin-1, and Fibrinogen in Young Women Using the Vaginal Contraceptive Ring" (2009). Health and Nutritional Sciences Faculty Publications. 106.