The effects of sex, oral contraception, and menstrual cycle phase on intraocular pressure, central corneal thickness, and foveal thickness: A descriptive analysis

Lourdes Fortepiani, Brian K. Foutch, Molly R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The primary goal of this study was to investigate the effects of sex, oral contraceptive (OC) use, and menstrual cycle phase on common ocular parameters assessed during ophthalmic evalua-tions, namely intraocular pressure (IOP), central corneal thickness (CCT), and foveal thickness (FT), in young healthy adults. We measured IOP, CCT, and FT in 60 participants (16 men, 16 contraceptive users, and 28 cycling women) over two sessions that characterized the menstrual cycle phase in women. For men in our study, two sessions were separated by two weeks. For women, the two sessions were scheduled during the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. There was a trend towards higher IOP in men, and the difference was significant for white, non-Hispanic subjects and for white subjects considered separately. There was also a trend for thicker corneas in women, but men had significantly thicker foveae. CCT and FT were not different between men and OC-users, hinting at a moderating hormonal effect of oral contraceptive use. We found that IOP, CCT, and FT were equivalent between the follicular and luteal phases, which may be owing to the timing of our sessions. However, our findings strongly suggest that clinicians should consider contraceptive use during routine ophthalmic evaluations, as it could inform glaucomatous risk in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number48
JournalVision (Switzerland)
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Corneal thickness
  • Foveal thickness
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Oral contraception
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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