Stilbestrol as post-coital oral contraception

In the mid 60s, Morris and van Wagenen showed that diethylstilbestrol prevented implantation in rabbits very efficiently

1966 Study Abstract

The observation that estrogens in sufficient dosage given postcoitally may prevent implantation of the ovum have led to studies regarding practical clinical application.

Estrogens that appear effective in humans include stilbestrol and ethinyl estradiol orally and estrone parenterally. Mestranol should also be effective as well as ORF-3858. Any estrongenic substance in sufficient dosage would probably prevent implantation.

Effective period of administration is only between time of fertilization and implantation or 4 to 6 days following coitus.

Test dosages have been 25-50 mg stilbestrol or .5-2 mg esthinyl estradiol daily for 5 days. It is now considered that 2-5 mg ethinyl estradiol would be more effective. In over 100 midcycle exposures there have been no pregnancies. Others have reported failures with inadequate dosage. Injectable estrone, 2-20 mg on alternate days for 3 doses, has also been reported effective.

The process of implantation is discussed. Endometrial biopsies have usually revealed a “retarded endometrium,” a possible mode of action. Side effects have been those usually associated with estrogens: nausea, vomiting, breast soreness, prolonged menses.



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