Serum lipid and lipoprotein changes induced by new oral contraceptives containing ethinylestradiol plus levonorgestrel or desogestrel.Contraception. 1985 Apr; 31(4):395-408.C
Changes in serum lipid and lipoprotein levels were evaluated in a randomized prospective study conducted in matched healthy young women before and after 6 months' use of three oral contraceptives (OCs): Trigynon (preparation A, n = 13), a triphasic OC containing low doses of ethinylestradiol (EE) and levonorgestrel (LNG); Marvelon (preparation B, n = 14), a monophasic OC containing low doses of EE + Desogestrel (DOG, a new progestogen derived from LNG); and Ovidol (preparation C, n = 11), a sequential OC containing higher doses (50 micrograms) of EE + DOG. After 6 months of use, total triglyceride levels were non-significantly increased by preparations A (+ 29% from basal values) and B (+21%), and very significantly increased by preparation C (+90%). Total cholesterol and phospholipids were unchanged by preparations A and B, whereas phospholipids were significantly increased by preparation C. However, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and their epidemiologically important ratios (HDL-chol:total-chol; LDL-chol:HDL-chol) were kept unchanged by all preparations tested. Apolipoprotein A-1 (Apo A-1) was slightly but significantly increased by all three preparations whereas apolipoprotein B (Apo B) was significantly decreased by preparation B. All ratios Apo A-1:Apo B were accordingly ("favorably") increased, especially during treatment with preparation B. In conclusion, the triphasic OC containing low doses of LNG does not induce obvious, clinically significant, alterations of lipid metabolism, and it is also the case for the low-dose monophasic combination of EE + DOG. The higher-dose sequential preparation of EE + DOG behaves as a more estrogenic compound, increasing total triglyceride concentrations above the normal range.