When Is Hormone Therapy Used
Hormone therapy is often used after surgery to help reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. Sometimes it is started before surgery . It is usually taken for at least 5 to 10 years.
Hormone therapy can also be used to treat cancer that has come back after treatment or that has spread to other parts of the body.
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Types Of Birth Control
Since the age of ancient Egypt, humans have been aware of the harmful effects of overpopulation and depleting resources. Ancient Egyptians have the earliest records of instructions on how to make a contraceptive pessary.
Other early forms of contraceptives are coitus interruptus and ingestion of herbs that are believed to be an abortifacient.
For many Indian families that cannot afford three square meals a day, birth control is essential to provide the next generation a better future.
Todays working woman has a lot more choice when it comes to birth control methods. Indian women today can freely choose any method they prefer to use.
These birth control methods involve either the intake of hormones that hinder the sperm from reaching the egg, using a physical barrier to prevent the transfer of sperms, or operating on the reproductive organs to block the path of the sperms.
Natural birth control is also available to people who do not believe that science should interfere in the natural ways of man.
Some types of birth control include behavioural methods, fertility awareness, coitus interruptus, avoiding vaginal intercourse and abstinence during fertile weeks.
There is also emergency contraception and permanent methods of birth control .
Causes Of The Side Effects
Birth control pills increase your level of certain hormones. For some women, their bodies can absorb this change in hormones without any unwanted side effects. But this isnt the case for every woman.
Side effects of birth control are rarely severe. In most cases, the side effects will resolve once the body has a few cycles to adjust to the higher levels of hormones. This usually takes about three to four months.
If youre still experiencing side effects after three or four months or if your side effects become more severe, make an appointment with your doctor.
Most women can find a birth control pill that doesnt cause problems and is easy for them to take. Dont give up if the first pill you try doesnt work well for you.
When you and your doctor decide its time to switch pills, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Make sure you discuss each of these topics with your doctor before you fill the prescription.
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Estrogenic Side Effects Background
Estrogen side effects can refer both to the side effects that result from rising levels of Estrogen that originate from aromatization, or from estrogenic side effects that result from other causes that are not related to the rise in E2 . This is very important for the reader to understand, as Estrogen side effects can have numerous causes. The majority of the Estrogen side effects discussed here can all be treated with the use of anti-estrogens, which will be expanded upon a great deal in the next subsection of this article. The most common and prominent estrogenic side effects will be discussed here.
Is The Pill Safe For Long
The pill is generally safe to take over a long period of time. But there is some research that suggests it might raise your risks of developing some types of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, taking birth control pills may increase your risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer over time. The longer you use them, the higher the risk.
However, there have been conflicting study results regarding this risk: some show an increased risk of breast cancer while others show no increase in risk.
But taking the pill is also linked to a reduced risk of other cancers. A recent found that the pill consistently lowered the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer.
A 2017 study found a similar reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer associated use of the pill.
If youre concerned about your risk of certain types of cancer, talk to your doctor. They can help you weigh any other factors that might increase your risk and help you choose an option youre comfortable with.
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What Is A Birth Control Pill
The Department of Health and Human Services defines birth control pills, also known as oral contraceptives or just the pill, as types of medications taken daily by women in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. While the majority of women choose to take birth control pills so they dont risk becoming pregnant accidentally, a small percentage also take them for other reasons, including to regulate or temporarily stop their menstrual cycles or reduce symptoms associated with PMS and/or hormonal imbalances .
As of 2012, in the United States alone around 11 million women report using birth control pills, and the number is more than 100 million women worldwide! The total number of women exposed to any type of synthetic hormonal contraception is even higher, since most figures dont account for women using the morning-after pill a type of high-dose hormonal birth control available in the United States without a prescription since 2000. Surveys show that women most likely to take the pill are white women, women in their teens and 20s, never married and cohabiting women, childless women, and college graduates.
Types of Birth Control Pills
There are dozens of different brands of birth control pills, with most falling into one of two categories: combined pills or progestin-only pills.
Combined birth control pills:
Progestin-only birth control pills :
Birth Control Side Effects
Birth control pills, patches and shots promote continuously raised estrogen levels in a womans body, something thats neither natural nor very safe. A womans natural menstrual cycle is composed of rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone throughout the month. Birth control pills work by keeping estrogen at an unnaturally high level all month long high enough to even fool the body into thinking its already pregnant! Since the body perceives high estrogen levels as a sign of pregnancy, it stops ovulating, and therefore when taking the pill another pregnancy cannot occur.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, its been found that the effects of continuously raised estrogen levels in the female body due to taking birth control pills may include:
- Potential increased risk of breast cancer
- Potential increased risk of blood clotting, heart attack and stroke. The risk of blood clots is highest for very overweight women taking the pill.
- Headaches or migraines
- Mood changes, with some women experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety
- Nausea, cramping, irregular bleeding or spotting between periods
- Breast tenderness
- The pill also does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Therefore if not using another form of protection/contraceptive method, its possible to get any type of sexually transmitted disease your partner might have.
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Birth Control Pills: High Versus Low Dose Oral Contraceptive Pills
Both high and low dose birth control pills are effective ways to prevent pregnancy and each has risks. Consult your physician to know which one is best for you.
Starting birth control pills? Birth control is one of the most celebrated and controversial topics in the history of man.
Though threats of overpopulation are real, the concept of birth control still remains one of the taboos of modern society. In almost all eras and generations, people have always had opposing beliefs on it.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. You should have a complete physical examination every year, including blood pressure measurements, breast and pelvic exams, and a Pap test. Follow your doctor’s directions for examining your breasts report any lumps immediately.
Before you have any laboratory tests, tell the laboratory personnel that you take oral contraceptives.
If you wish to stop taking oral contraceptives and become pregnant, your doctor may tell you to use another method of birth control until you begin to menstruate regularly again. It may take a long time for you to become pregnant after you stop taking oral contraceptives, especially if you have never had a baby or if you had irregular, infrequent, or complete absence of menstrual periods before taking oral contraceptives. However, it is possible to become pregnant within days of stopping certain oral contraceptives. If you want to stop taking oral contraceptives but do not want to become pregnant, you should begin using another type of birth control as soon as you stop taking oral contraceptives. Discuss any questions that you may have with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
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Choosing A Birth Control Pill
Combination hormonal contraceptives contain a synthetic estrogen and a progestin . Knowing the differences between the progestins and about estrogenic effects, androgenic effects, and progestational selectivity can help you choose a pill with minimal side effects.
To briefly explain how the combination of these activities may cause side effects, let’s look at some specific combination of birth control pills.
Oral contraceptives that tend to have high androgenic effects and low estrogen activity, for example, are more likely to cause unwanted hair growth and acne side effects. Additionally, a progestin with higher androgenic effects may tend to produce less breast tenderness, bloating, and mood changes.
It is important to remember, though, that the majority of people using a pill with this combination do not end up developing acne this side effect is more likely to occur in those who have a tendency toward androgenicity. Birth control pills containing this high androgenic/low estrogenic pattern include:
- Loestrin 1/20 Fe
Since there are different types of progestins, they each have different potency in terms of progestational, estrogenic, and androgenic effects. The result of these effects is dependent on the combination of the type and levels of progestin and estrogen.
Typically, the balance between the estrogen and progestin in a pill brand may play a role in the side effects you are experiencing. Each person may respond differently to these components.
List Of Possible Side Effects
The risks factors pointed out in the previous section were just that potentially dangerous conditions that could occur as a result of receiving estrogen replacement. Side effects are entirely different, and at their worst, are typically just bothersome to the individual. Of course, even the most harmless side effects could create problems over a period of time, so it is essential to let the doctor know about any changes associated with this treatment.
In some cases, the doctor may lower the dosage of medication so that the unwanted side effects subside. In other instances, they will often go away on their own within a few weeks as the body adjusts to the hormone replacement treatment.
Here are the most commonly seen estrogen therapy side effects to be mindful of when beginning treatment:
- Abdominal Cramps
- Sudden urination
Along with the side effects of estrogen, there are some drug interactions associated with the use of this treatment. It is essential to alert the doctor to any and all medications that are being taken before beginning estrogen therapy.
The possibility of estrogen side effects is greater in women who smoke and are over the age of thirty-five. For these women, as well as those mentioned in the first section who may not be candidates for estrogen therapy, treatment with supplemental testosterone and an estrogen blocker may be the better alternative.
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You Have To Take The Pill Every Day
Its really important to take your birth control pill every day, or you might not be protected from pregnancy. Using our birth control reminder app, setting an alarm, or keeping your pill pack next to things you use every day can help you remember to take your pills.
If you have a really busy life and think you might not remember your pill every day, check out other birth control methods like IUDs or the implant that are super low-maintenance and almost impossible to mess up. Take our quiz to help find the birth control method thats best for you.
Other Possible Benefits Of Birth Control
Birth control pills have benefits besides contraception. They lower your risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer and can help with acne. But it’s not clear if ultra-low-dose formulas do as good a job of providing these perks.
Birth control isn’t one-size-fits-all, so you should weigh the pros and cons of going extra-low with your doctor.
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Your Blood Pressure May Change
If youve ever looked up the side effects for combination birth control, you may have noticed that high blood pressure is usually listed. Thats because hormonal birth control, particularly types that contain estrogen, can potentially increase blood pressure, according to ACOG. Of course, not everyone experiences changes in blood pressure while on birth control. Its also possible that your blood pressure may have increased only slightly, so it didnt raise any red flags during physical exams. But all of this could explain any dips in blood pressure after stopping hormonal birth control.
Blood Clots And Deep Vein Thrombosis
Blood clots from birth control pills are rare, affecting about 12 in every 10,000 women who use oral contraceptives, depending upon the type of birth control pill you take. Deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot that affects veins deep inside the body, is also rare, affecting three to nine out of every 10,000 women on birth control annually.
Despite this, blood clots can and sometimes do happen to women who use birth control. Your risk of experiencing a blood clot from using birth control is higher if you smoke, with smokers aged 35 or older the highest risk group.
The possibility of a blood clot from birth control tends to increase the more you smoke, meaning every additional cigarette increases your risk. Our guide to smoking and birth control covers this topic in more detail, as well as other smoking-related health risks for birth control users.
Because of this, your healthcare provider will usually recommend an alternative form of contraception if you smoke, particularly if youre 35 or older.
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The Combined Pill With Other Medicines
Some medicines interact with the combined pill and it does not work properly. Some interactions are listed on this page, but it is not a complete list. If you want to check your medicines are safe to take with the combined pill, you can:
- ask a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist
- read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine
The antibiotics rifampicin and rifabutin can reduce the effectiveness of the combined pill. Other antibiotics do not have this effect.
If you are prescribed rifampicin or rifabutin, you may be advised to change to an alternative contraceptive. If not, you will need to use additional contraception while taking the antibiotic and for a short time after. Speak to a doctor or nurse for advice.
Epilepsy and HIV medicines, and St John’s wort
The combined pill can interact with medicines called enzyme inducers. These speed up the breakdown of hormones by your liver, reducing the effectiveness of the pill.
Examples of enzyme inducers are:
- the epilepsy drugs carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone and topiramate
- antiretroviral medicines used to treat HIV
A GP or nurse may advise you to use an alternative or additional form of contraception while taking any of these medicines.
Gum Disease And Crohns Disease
Gum disease is a more common side effect of birth control pills and this may be because the Candida and Prevotella bacterial species that contribute to it are more abundant in the mouth when taking birth control.
Crohns disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, also occurs more often in women on birth control, perhaps almost three times as often. This may be a result of the change in gut microbes and estrogens negative impact on gut permeability.
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How Do I Change To A Different Pill
If you want advice about changing your contraceptive pill, you can visit a GP, contraceptive nurse , or sexual health clinic.
You should not have a break between different packs, so you will usually be advised to start the new pill immediately or wait until the day after you take the last of your old pills.
You may also be advised to use alternative methods of contraception during the changeover, as the new pill may take a short time to take effect.
Risks Of Hormonal Birth Control
Some forms of hormonal birth control can cause health risks such as:
- Blood clots: People who smoke, are above the age of 35, or have a history of heart disease or clotting disorders may be at an increased risk of developing blood clots if they take combined oral contraceptive pills containing estrogen. Blood clots can develop in the legs, abdomen, lungs, eyes, heart, or brain.
- High blood pressure: Some forms of hormonal birth control can cause high blood pressure, so healthcare providers typically check the persons blood pressure before they prescribe birth control.
- Heart attack: A blood clot in the heart can lead to a heart attack.
- Stroke: A blood clot in the brain can lead to a stroke.
- Deep vein thrombosis : A blood clot in the legs can cause DVT.
- Breast and cervical cancer: Hormonal birth control may slightly raise the persons risk of developing breast and cervical cancer.
- Liver tumors: In rare cases, going on hormonal birth control can lead to the formation of benign tumors in the liver.
- Gallbladder stones: People who have a family history of gallstone disease may experience accelerated development of gallbladder stones once they go on hormonal birth control.
Your healthcare provider will assess your health as well as your personal and family medical history in order to determine whether you are at risk for any of these conditions and which form of birth control may be most appropriate for you.
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