DES as postcoital contraception

IPPF medical bulletin, 1967


Estrogens have been used as postcoital contraceptives with success.

Of 100 women who had midcycle coitus and were given stilbesterol or ethynyl estradiol for 4 or more days, none became pregnant.

Estrogen administration lowered basal body temperature, and endometrial biopsies showed retarded endometrium.

Nausea was present among 40% of the women and 12% experienced breast soreness.

The hypothesised mechanisms of action include: accelerated ovum transport, change in stickiness of the blastocyte, and changes in the implantation site, all leading to the prevention of implantation.



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