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Jørgen Frøkiær

Oral Contraceptives and Renal Water Handling; A diurnal study in young women

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To test the hypothesis that use of oral contraceptives (OC) changes diurnal variation in fluid balance mechanisms including blood pressure, secretion of vasopressin and oxytocin, and renal water and electrolyte excretion. Fifteen naturally cycling (NC) women in mid-follicular phase and 11 long-term OC users were included in a 24-h standardized inpatient study for measurements of vasopressin, oxytocin, sodium, and osmolality in plasma as well as urinary excretion of electrolytes, aquaporin-2, and prostaglandin E2. Blood pressure and heart rate were monitored noninvasively. Plasma vasopressin showed circadian rhythm (P = 0.02) and were similar in both groups (P = 0.18) including nighttime increases (P < 0.001). There was no circadian rhythm in plasma oxytocin within (P = 0.84) or between groups (P = 0.22). OC users had significantly lower plasma osmolality (Δosm: 3.05 ± 0.29 mosm/kg, P = 0.04) and lower plasma sodium (ΔNa+: 0.91 ± 0.09 mmol/l, P = 0.05). The two groups showed similar nighttime decreases in diuresis (1.08 ± 0.04 mL/(kg·h), P < 0.001) and increases in urine osmolality (109 ± 9 mosm/kg, P = 0.02), but similar rates of excretion of Aquaporin-2, prostaglandin E2 and sodium. Nighttime decreases in mean arterial pressure of approximately 13% were significant in both groups (P < 0.001), but 24-h average mean arterial pressure was significantly higher in OC users than in controls (+4.7 ± 0.4 mmHg, P = 0.02). Packed cell volumes were similar between groups (P = 0.54). OC does not change the diurnal patterns of renal fluid excretion, but resets the osmoreceptors for vasopressin release and leads to a significant increase in arterial blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiological Reports
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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