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The Effect of Oral Contraceptive Pills on the Macula, the Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer, and Choroidal Thickness

Yusuf Madendag, Gokhan Acmaz, Mustafa Atas, Erdem Sahin, Ahter Tanay Tayyar, Ilknur Çol Madendag, Fatma Özdemir, Vesile Senol

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Health Sciences University Kayseri Education and Research Hospital, Kayseri, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:5657-5661

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.905183

ClinicalTrial.gov reg # NCT02841202

Available online:

Published: 2017-11-27


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of oral contraceptive pills (OCP) on the macula, the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), and choroidal thickness (CT).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 24 healthy women taking monophasic OCP (3 mg drospirenone and 0.03 mg ethinylestradiol) for contraception only for at least one year were compared with a control group of 24 healthy women who were not taking an OCP. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to evaluate the posterior ocular segments, and measurements were taken in the follicular phase (day 3) of the cycle in all women.
RESULTS: No disparity in terms of age and body mass index between the groups was observed (p=0.436, p=0.538, respectively). In comparison of the macular region and CT between groups, we found that all variables except foveal center thickness and CT were significantly thinner in the OCP group. Nasal and temporal inferior parts of the RNFL and average RNFL were significantly slimmer in the study group versus the control group (p=0.013, p=0.018, and p<0.001, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: OCP resulted in several structural changes in the posterior ocular segment. Thus, women using OCP for more than one year may have some eye problems. Therefore, it OCT should be performed for these women. Further clinical trials researching long-period effect of OCP on the eyes are needed.

Keywords: Choroid, Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal, Macula Lutea, Retinal Neurons



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