The effect of oral contraceptive treatment on the serum concentration of dehydroisoandrosterone sulfate

James D. Madden, Leon Milewich, C. Richard Parker, Bruce R. Carr, Robert M. Boyar, Paul C. MacDonald

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39 Scopus citations


Dehydroisoandrosterone sulfate (DS), the major C19-steroid in the human circulation, was measured in serum obtained from blood samples collected daily (8 to 10 a.m.) throughout the menstrual cycles of eight normal, presumably ovulatory women and daily throughout the treatment cycles in four women taking an oral contraceptive (norethindrone, 1 mg., plus mestranol, 80 mcg.). The serum concentrations of DS in the ovulatory women ranged from 1,025 to 4,200 ng. per milliliter; mean, 2,062 ± 137 ng. per milliliter (mean and standard error; n = 213). Serum DS concentrations during the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycles of these women were similar. In women taking the oral contraceptive, the plasma DS concentrations ranged from 475 to 1,400 ng. per milliliter (mean, 895 ± 83; n = 119). The 24 hour secretory pattern of DS was evaluated in one subject during a nontreatment cycle and again after 20 days of oral contraceptive treatment. In this subject, the mean serum DS level was 34 per cent lower during oral contraceptive treatment than the level before treatment. The decrease in the serum concentration of DS during oral contraceptive treatment likely results from a reduction in adrenal DS secretion since DS secretion by the normal human ovary is negligible and ovarian dehydroisoandrosterone secretion is small. Therefore, it is likely that the reduced serum DS levels in women taking oral contraceptives are the consequence of reduced adrenal secretion of DS resulting from reduced release of adrenocorticotropic hormone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-384
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 15 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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