- Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera) is a drug that is commonly given to young women with cancer during chemotherapy and radiation to control heavy bleeding associated with anovulation. Because hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian suppression has been associated with ovarian protection from the effects of chemotherapy and medroxyprogesterone acetate has been identified as a radiosensitizing agent, we explored the effects of medroxyprogesterone acetate on a rat model with known radiation injury characteristics. Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with medroxyprogesterone acetate or vehicle from day 22 to day 37 of life and were either irradiated or sham-irradiated on day 30 of life and then killed on day 44. Radiation with medroxyprogesterone acetate administration produced a greater loss in preantral and healthy control follicles than in control follicles. No suppression of luteinizing hormone or follicle-stimulating hormone had occurred by day 30 but ovarian glutathione content was reduced. These findings indicate that the administration of medroxyprogesterone acetate with radiotherapy may enhance ovarian injury.