The mechanism of action of a new low-dosed combined oral contraceptive.Arch Gynecol. 1980; 229(2):107-14.AG
The effect of a new low-dosed combined oral contraceptive (OC) containing 37.5 microgram ethinyl estradiol and 0.75 mg lynestrenol (Ovoresta M) upon gonadotropin release and follicular activity was studied in two groups of normally cyclic women. When the administration of the OC was started on day 1 of the cycle, the normal pattern of gonadotropin secretion was disrupted, and the midcycle LH and FSH peak was abolished. The mean level of LH and FSH was somewhat lower than in normal cycles, but the difference was not significant. In one case, serum estradiol rose to the level of the normal cycle indicating follicular activity. Even though there was a rise in serum estradiol to normal values when the OC was started on day 10 of the cycle (in 4/5), both the midcycle LH and FSH surge and ovulation were suppressed (in 3/4). The pituitary response to 100 microgram LH-RH on day 21 was impaired. The LH-response correlated significantly with the serum estradiol concentration. In summary, the low-dosed OC exerts its effect by interfering with follicular ripening and inhibiting the preovulatory LH surge.