Friday, September 29, 2023

Low Estrogen Birth Control Pill

Changes In The Placebo Pills

Birth Control Pills For Acne

As early as the 1970s, clinicians found that birth control pills could help arrest the growth of endometriotic implants by inducing a pseudo pregnancy state. When clinicians eliminated the placebo pills for months at a time, pills also provided relief from the severe dysmenorrhea which women with endometriosis suffered.25,26 The most common pills used for this indication contained norgestrel/LNG, because the long-half of this progestin limited unscheduled bleeding and spotting and its potency induced marked therapeutic changes in the endometriotic implants. Later, uninterrupted pill use was recommended to help women who suffered from menstrual migraines.27,28 Episodically, women extended their pill cycles to prevent bleeding at inopportune times . The first product to formally change the standard 7 placebo pills, was a low-dose desogestrel-containing formulation, which replaced the last 5 placebo pills with 5 tablets each with 10 g EE. This substitution was made to try to reduce estrogen withdrawal symptoms during the scheduled bleeding episodes and as well as to decrease unscheduled spotting/bleeding in the subsequent cycle.

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Do Birth Control Pills Cause Cancer

The link between birth control pills and breast cancer risk cannot be ignored. BCPs can increase breast cancer risk, particularly in women who take the pill before they have had children.

The figures are startling. Research from the Womens Lifestyle and Health Study in Sweden and Norway has shown that the risk of breast cancer in women taking the contraceptive pill rose by:

  • 26% in women who had used the pill but had ceased to take it.
  • 58% in women still using the pill compared with never-users.
  • 144% in women aged 45 or over who were still using the Pill.

According to the National Cancer Institute, BCPs may also increase the risk of benign liver lumps which have the potential to turn into cancer.

Plus women on BCPs are also at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer. The good news? The risk lessens after 10 years of no longer taking the pill.

What about ovarian cancer and birth control pills? In this case, studies suggest that BCPs have a protective effect.

But when you consider the many other negative impacts of these tiny pills, you would do better to reduce cancer risks naturally and avoid the other dangers of birth control pills.

There are plenty of steps you can take to reduce the risk of estrogenic cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer. I discuss them here in my post about 15 Ways to Prevent and Manage Breast Cancer Naturally.

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What Can You Expect When You Go Off The Pill

Just as you experienced changes when you started taking the pill, youll notice some changes after you stop using it. Many women have irregular periods, the return of PMS symptoms and heavier flows after they stop using birth control pills.

The hormones in birth control pills regulate your period. While on the pill, most women will have their period on a regular schedule. Going off the pill can feel like throwing out the calendar. You may notice missed or late periods, and possibly longer-lasting periods. Eventually, your periods will stop altogether.

Birth control pills can also help lessen PMS symptoms like period cramps, bloating, headaches, fatigue and mood swings.

Amount Of Hormones In Low Dose Pills


The most commonly used combination birth control pills contain between 30-35 micrograms of estrogen.

These pills were actually once considered an extremely low dose because original formulations of birth control contained up to 150 micrograms of estrogen.

However, modern low dose and ultra-low-dose formulations of combination birth control pills contain 20 or less micrograms of estrogen.

These pills seem to be just as effective as regular birth control pills but cause fewer side effects from estrogen, such as bloating, tender breasts, and nausea.

Many formulations are available for progestin-only oral contraceptives. One formulation contains 75 mcg of norgestrel. Another has 350 mcg of norethindrone.

In 2019, a dosage of 4 mg of drospirenone was approved as a progestin-only oral contraceptive.

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Oral Contraceptives May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

  • increased or decreased appetite
  • weight gain or weight loss
  • brown or black skin patches
  • hair growth in unusual places
  • bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
  • changes in menstrual flow
  • light-colored stool
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • depression, especially if you also have trouble sleeping, tiredness, loss of energy, or other mood changes
  • unusual bleeding
  • menstrual bleeding that is unusually heavy or that lasts for longer than 7 days in a row

Oral contraceptives may increase the chance that you will develop liver tumors. These tumors are not a form of cancer, but they can break and cause serious bleeding inside the body. Oral contraceptives may also increase the chance that you will develop breast or liver cancer, or have a heart attack, a stroke, or a serious blood clot. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using oral contraceptives.

Some studies show that women who take oral contraceptives that contain drosperinone may be more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis than women who take oral contraceptives that do not contain drosperinone. However, other studies do not show this increased risk. Before you begin taking oral contraceptives, talk to your doctor about the risk that you will develop blood clots and about which oral contraceptive or other method of birth control may be the best choice for you.

Oral contraceptives may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Should I Avoid Certain Medications While Taking The Pill

You should always check with your healthcare provider before taking any new medications or herbal supplements. Certain drugs can make the pill less effective and increase your chances of getting pregnant. These products include:

  • Antiseizure medications.
  • Herbal supplements, such as St. Johns wort.
  • Medications used to treat HIV.

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How Are Very Low

Very-low-dose birth control pills are usually started on the first Sunday after your period starts. If you’re perimenopausal but you aren’t having regular periods, you can probably take a hormone called medroxyprogesterone acetate to start your period. These pills are taken for 21 days in a row and then not taken for seven days. During the seven days without medicine, your period will start. Seven days later , you’ll start taking the very-low-dose oral contraceptives for another cycle .

How Birth Control Affects Shbg Levels

Hormone Balancing: Bio-Identical Estrogen and Testosterone | Gail Jackson | TEDxCrenshawSalon

One large meta-analysis found that total testosterone levels can decline by roughly 30%, while free testosterone decline by nearly 60% with the use of hormonal contraceptives. That is a huge reduction! It is thought that its caused by three mechanisms: 1) the suppression of testosterone production by the ovaries, 2) suppression of testosterone production by the adrenal glands, and 3) increased SHBG levels.1

SHBG rises dramatically with the use of some hormonal birth controlsby as much as 250%.1 SHBGs exists to bind to sex hormones, making it easier for them to safely travel through the bloodstream. It is produced in the liver in response to testosterone and estrogen, and since hormonal contraceptives typically include a form of estrogen, it makes sense that SHBG levels increase when hormones are added to the body.

Elevated SHBG levels can be alarming, especially without a known explanation. In men, they can be caused by a number of things, such as excessively high levels of testosterone, overtraining, undereating, and inadequate sleep. These things can also impact females SHBG levels, but to a drastically lower extent. Usually, in women, hormonal birth control can result in high levels of sex hormone binding globulin.

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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.

Heres Exactly How To Find The Best Birth Control Pill For You

Thanks to the plethora of options at your disposal, choosing the right birth control can feel like youre blindfolded and trying to pin the tail on the contraceptive donkey. Even if you narrow your focus to just the pill, you still have a lot of possible choices out there. But if you do your homeworkand are prepared to possibly engage in some trial and erroryou can pinpoint the best birth control pill based on your needs.

Birth control pills that contain a mixture of estrogen and progestin are the most common type out there.

So, how do combination pills work to keep you pregnancy-free? During your typical menstrual cycle, theres a hormonal surge that triggers the release of an egg to potentially be fertilized, Justine P. Wu, M.D., a family planning expert and assistant professor in the department of family medicine within the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan, tells SELF.

overrides that normal hormonal surge, and because of that, theres no egg released, says Dr. Wu, who is also a board chair member of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Progestin does its part by thickening your cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to move and thinning your uterine lining, which makes it less likely for any egg that does get fertilized to attach to it.



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A Guide To Low Estrogen Birth Control

Birth control has been a leading method for preventing pregnancy since its approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 1960.

Low estrogen, or low dose, birth control is a type of hormonal birth control that has a lower dosage of hormones than most other oral contraceptives.

According to the CDC, from 2017-2019, 65.3% of women aged 15-49 years in the United States used contraception, with oral contraceptives being one of the most common methods.

There are many birth control methods available, and each comes with its own set of risks and benefits.

Low estrogen birth control options are often chosen for people who cant take higher doses of hormones due to personal or medical reasons.

Symptoms associated with your menstrual cycle, family history, and certain medical conditions are considered when determining if a low estrogen birth control is the right fit.

There are other low dose birth control pills, but they include hormones other than estrogen.

Some low-dose pills mirror traditional birth control pills and contain both estrogen and progestin , while others may contain only progestin and no estrogen.

In this article, Ill explain how this type of birth control works and then dive deeper into the effectiveness, benefits, risks, and side effects you can typically expect with low estrogen oral contraceptives.

What Should I Do If I Forget A Dose

Low Ogestrel, Online Birth Control

If you miss doses of your oral contraceptive, you may not be protected from pregnancy. You may need to use a backup method of birth control for 7 to 9 days or until the end of the cycle. Every brand of oral contraceptives comes with specific directions to follow if you miss one or more doses. Carefully read the directions in the manufacturer’s information for the patient that came with your oral contraceptive. If you have any questions, call your doctor or pharmacist. Continue to take your tablets as scheduled and use a backup method of birth control until your questions are answered.

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Estrogen Dominance And Birth Control Pills

Natural hormone balance is the foundation of a womans emotional and physical health. During a womans natural menstrual cycle her estrogen levels rise and fall at different times of the month. The pill disrupts this cycle altogether keeping estrogen levels high all month.

Continuously elevated levels of estrogen can overload the liver, which cant perform its essential function of detoxification. As a result, these unhealthy estrogen metabolites go back into your bloodstream and get circulated in your body quickly leading to Estrogen Dominance

ED from the pill also leads to too much estradiol , also known as an aggressive estrogen, compared to estriol , which is the protective estrogen. This imbalance can be behind tender breasts, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, fibroids, endometriosis, breast, and ovarian cysts, and even breast and ovarian cancer.

High estrogen levels can also cause a rise thyroid binding globulin, which binds up thyroid hormones making less available to do its work in your body. ED has also been linked to the development of thyroid nodules and cancer.

To learn more about estrogen dominance and what you can do to reduce it, read my other blog post on the topic.

What Is Known About The Relationship Between Oral Contraceptive Use And Cancer

Nearly all the research on the link between oral contraceptives and cancer risk comes from observational studies, both large prospective cohort studies and population-based casecontrol studies. Data from observational studies cannot definitively establish that an exposurein this case, oral contraceptivescauses cancer. That is because women who take oral contraceptives may differ from those who dont take them in ways other than their oral contraceptive use, and it is possible that these other differencesrather than oral contraceptive useare what explains their different cancer risk.

Overall, however, these studies have provided consistent evidence that the risks of breast and cervical cancers are increased in women who use oral contraceptives, whereas the risks of endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers are reduced .

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Is There Any Way My Daughter Can Lower Her Risk Of Getting Blood Clots While Taking The Pill

Make sure you let your daughter know if any of her blood relatives have had blood clots, especially when they were young . There are other factors that can contribute to the likelihood of whether a teen or adult woman develops blood clots such as a diagnosis of Factor V Leiden, trauma, or surgery, being overweight and smoking.

If your daughter smokes, encourage her to quit. If she is planning a flight or long car ride , remind her to get up and walk around and drink lots of fluids to lessen the risk of blood clots. If she is having surgery , talk to her health care provider about whether she should go off the Pill 3-4 weeks before the surgery.

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The Standard Days Method

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In research by Georgetown University, this has been shown to be as effective as a natural contraceptive method and equal to the diaphragm and condom.

When you use this approach you identify the 12-day fertile window in your menstrual cycle, taking into account other fertility factors such as the variation of ovulation timing from one cycle to another, the lifespan of an egg and the lifespan of sperm .

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Which Birth Control Method Is Most Effective

The most effective birth control method is abstinence however, this is not the preferred method for most people. Alternatively, the most effective birth control options are the implant and IUDs , especially when paired with a condom.

The implant is a small device that is inserted into your arm and slowly releases the hormone progestin into your body. It lasts for up to four years.

Non-hormonal and hormonal IUDs are available as small devices. The IUD is placed into your uterus, lasting up to 12 years.

Implants and IUDs are considered more effective than the pill as there is no human error in remembering to take your medication. If taken perfectly, the contraceptive pill , shot , vaginal ring , and patch can all be highly effective. Speak to your doctor aboutwhich method will work with your medical history and lifestyle.

Remember that birth control pills only protect from pregnancy. They do not protect against sexually transmitted infections or diseases. Thats why its always recommended to use them in conjunction with condoms. Consider both getting STI testing before having intercourse with a new partner and asking your partner if they intend to be monogamous.

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