DES use as a postcoital contraceptive agent is discussed
1972 Study Abstract
To study the contraceptive effective in human beings, large doses of estrogen were administered to 2000 women between 14 and 52 years of age.
In 1418 cases (71%) ethinyloestradiol (EO) was used, in 524 cases (26%) diethylstilbestrol (DS), and in 58 cases (3%) the estrogen administered was not recorded.
- Initially 2-5 mg of EO or 25-50 mg DS were given for 5 consecutive days.
- Later 5 mg EO or 50 mg DS were given for 5 days.
- Administration was to start within 48 hours of coitus, preferably within 24 hours.
In 47.5% the unprotected coitus occurred between 12 and 16 days before the next expected menstruation, in 60.9% it occurred between 10 and 17 days, and in 9.6% (193 cases) the day of the cycle was not mentioned.
There were 14 pregnancies among the 2000 women. In only 3 cases did the pregnancy occur after 3 mg doses of EO or 30 mg DS started within 36 hours. No pregnancies occurred after 5 mg EO or 50 mg DS. In 3 cases the pregnancy could have been the result of a later unprotected coitus. In another 3 cases medication was started after more than 48 hours.
In cases of vomiting occurring within 1 hour after ingestion of a tablet, another tablet was given 30 minutes after an anti-emetic. If all tablets were vomited estradiol benzoate, 30 mg per day for 5 days, was injected. Other side effects were tender breasts, menorrhagia, headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, and amenorrhea. Changes in their cycle were reported by 662 women. Most stabalized after 1 cycle. Side effects prohibit this method for routine contraception but it could be valuable in special cases.
There is as yet no statistical proof of its degree of effectiveness. The method of action of these drugs is not certainly known.
- Post-coital oestrogen in large doses, IPPF medical bulletin, NCBI PubMed PMID: 12333066, 1972 Apr.
- Featured image credit Rachel Williams.