Cytologic findings in cervical smears in patients using intramuscular medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera) for contraception

E. E. Volk, J. M. Jax, T. J. Kuntzman

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13 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to assess the findings in cervical smears associated with intramuscular depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera) contraception. Seventy-four cervical smears of reproductive-age patients on Depo-Provera were reviewed for cytologic abnormalities, predominant cell type, and intermediate cell glycogenation (extensive (EGly) = navicular cells / glycogenation in 10 or more high-powered fields (hpf); moderate (MGly) = 5-10 hpf; and focal (FGly) = less than 5 hpf). A control group of 38 nonpregnant patients without hormonal therapy was reviewed. Study group patients' (SGP) age ranged from 16-44 years (average 28.1); control group patients (CGP) from 17-42 years (average 29.4). Time since last menstrual period (LMP) for the SGP was 16.9 months (range 1-96); LMP for CGP was 18.2 days (range 5-33). Four (5.4%) SGP had squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL), four (5.4 %) atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS), and one (1.4%) atypical repair. No CGP had SIL or ASCUS. Seventy-three (98.6%) SGP had intermediate cell (IC) predominance; one had parabasal cell predominance. Of the CGP, 28 (73.7%) had IC predominance, nine (23.7%) superficial cell (SC) predominance and one (2.6%) had near equal IC and SC. EGly was seen in 22 (29.7%) SGP; two (5.3%) in CGP (chi-square 7.53; 0.95 = 3.84). MGly was seen in 29 (39.2%) SGP; 10 (26.3%) in CG. FGly was seen in 17 (22.9%) SGP; 14 (36.8%) in CGP. No glycogenation was seen in six (8.1%) SGP; 12 (31.6%) in CGP. Time since LMP was inversely proportional to glycogenation in SGP: EGly-LMP 11.6 months; MGly-LMP 14.9 months; FGly-LMP 15.0 months; and no glycogenation-LMP 22.5 months. Glycogenation of IC appears inversely proportional to Depo-Provera effect. EGly due to recent Depo-Provera administration mimics changes associated with pregnancy. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-164
Number of pages4
JournalDiagnostic cytopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical smears
  • Contraception
  • Depo-Provera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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