Long-term oral contraceptive use does not affect trabecular bone density

Tom Lloyd, James R. Buchanan, Gregory R. Ursino, Cathleen Myers, Gerald Woodward, David R. Halbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


To determine whether long-term exposure to exogenous estrogen in oral contraceptives influences trabecular bone mass in premenopausal women, we studied 25 closely matched, healthy, premenopausal women, who were recruited from an active obstetrics and gynecology practice. Eleven women had never used oral contraceptives, and 14 women had used oral contraceptives for a minimum of 67 months. All oral contraceptive users had used preparations that provided a minimum of 50 μg mestranol per day. Trabecular bone density was determined by quantitative single-energy computerized tomography of the L1-3 lumbar vertebral bodies. Trabecular bone density was similar for both the control group and the oral contraceptive users, 160.6 ± 6.9 versus 161.2 ± 7.4 mg/ml, respectively. The power to detect a 15% difference in bone density between these two samples was 0.87. We concluded that long-term, premenopausal oral contraceptive use has no effect on vertebral bone density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-404
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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