We evaluated the effects of low-dose ethinylestradiol administration in the prevention of the rapid bone loss that follows ovariectomy in women. After 10-30 days from surgery, patients received either a sole calcium supplementation 500 mg/day (n = 20) or ethinylestradiol 20 micrograms/day in addition to the same daily calcium supplement (n = 21), for 12 months. In the control group, urinary hydroxyproline excretion, serum alkaline phosphatase and plasma bone Gla protein levels presented a substantial (p < 0.05) increase, while radial bone density significantly (p < 0.05) decreased 6 months after surgery. In the ethinylestradiol-treated group, the patterns of biochemical markers indicated that ethinylestradiol can restrain the bone remodelling processes. Radial bone density showed no significant modification during the 12 months' study period. In conclusions, these results demonstrate that the administration of 20 micrograms/day of ethinylestradiol can prevent the rapid bone loss that follows ovariectomy.