Ovarian activity in obese and nonobese women treated with three transdermal contraceptive patches delivering three different doses of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel

Contraception. 2013 Feb;87(2):201-11. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.08.042. Epub 2012 Oct 1.


Background: The effect of obesity on ovarian follicular suppression in women using low-estrogen dose contraceptive patches has not been determined.

Study design: A Phase II, parallel-group, multicenter, three-cycle study evaluated three patches containing different ethinyl estradiol (EE) and levonorgestrel (LNG) doses. Serum levels of EE, LNG, sex hormone-binding globulin and progesterone were compared in 41 obese [body mass index (BMI) ≥30] and 75 nonobese (BMI <30) women.

Results: Suppression of ovulation during the luteal phase was dose dependent, with the highest dose (AG200-15) preventing progesterone increases in all women (cycles 2-3). In the follicular phase, the lowest-dose patch had the highest rate of increased progesterone in nonobese subjects. Progesterone levels ≥3.0 ng/mL in the follicular phase were more common in obese than nonobese women.

Conclusions: AG200-15 suppresses ovulation in obese and nonobese women. All three patches found increased progesterone in the follicular phase, albeit more in obese versus nonobese women.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / administration & dosage*
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / administration & dosage*
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase / blood
  • Follicular Phase / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Levonorgestrel / administration & dosage*
  • Levonorgestrel / blood
  • Luteal Phase / blood
  • Luteal Phase / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Ovary / drug effects*
  • Ovary / physiopathology*
  • Ovulation / drug effects
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Progesterone
  • Levonorgestrel