Basics

Oral Contraceptive Pills And Your Blood Pressure


Millions of women use oral contraceptive pills which are an effective way to avoid untimely pregnancy. The other benefits include regular periods and better skin. Statistics reveal that 17% of the women who use birth control pills are 30 years of age or younger. Though, it is an effective medium or birth control, you must know about its effects on blood pressure.

Oral contraceptive pills constitute of two hormones which are produced naturally in the body namely, estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for regulation of woman's menstrual cycle which plays essential and significant role in fertility. Progesterone is responsible for necessary contraceptive action and birth control pill contains only this hormone.

There are a few side effects of oral contraceptive pills, one of them being their effect on blood pressure:

* Increase in blood pressure: The mechanism of occurrence of progesterone hormone is full of complications and has a direct effect on small blood vessels. This in turn causes increase in blood pressure which can range from being gradual to potentially serious. The increase in BP can even demand discontinuing of birth control pill.
* Personal histories: The increase in blood pressure condition can become worse when it implies relationship with family history of blood pressure. This increase is more accountable in female relatives and doubles during pregnancy. The other history problems include heart and blood vessel problems.

Before you start taking birth control pill, your doctor will check the blood pressure and if you do not have the availability of long blood pressure history reports, he can make several checks over a span of time for observations. During treatment, it is important to monitor blood pressure regularly. It can also demand for more frequent checks if any increase is traced.

The rising up of blood pressure with the absorption of birth control pill does not necessarily mean you need to discontinue taking pill or opt for a different method of contraception. The risk of high blood pressure increases in older women of age more than 35, during pregnancy. Your doctor will monitor the blood pressure keenly and advise based upon the following circumstances and possibilities:

1.    The doctor can continue normally if blood pressure does not show substantial increase.
2.    He can try any other pill if any specific pill is causing abnormalities in blood pressure depending upon the level of progesterone hormone.
3.    The specialist can also opt for different birth control method.

There may be cases demanding for ceasing the birth control pill based upon the side effects and symptoms. The doctor can also be consulted for different methods of birth control.