Oral contraceptives, also called birth control pills, are one of the most popular forms of birth control used today. These oral contraceptives work by inhibiting ovulation and are considered to be safe when used properly.
Some studies have shown that the risks of breast cancer and cervical cancer might be increased when taking oral contraceptives. This is due to the fact that the female hormones estrogen and progesterone which are used to make the oral contraceptives, when found in higher levels in the body, are linked to the increased risk of cancer occurring. Conversely, the higher levels of these hormones may lower the risks for endometrial, ovarian and colorectal cancer.
Other complications from taking oral contraceptives while rare, may also include blood clots, stroke, heart attacks, and liver tumors.
There are some situations where the oral contraceptives shouldn’t be used. These include:
• Women who smoke
• Have a history of breast cancer
• Experience uncontrolled high blood pressure
• Have liver disease or uncontrolled diabetes
Oral contraceptives are prescribed by a physician. It is important that a full medical history be taken and a physical examination be performed prior to starting to take them. If you are considering taking an oral contraceptive and would like to discuss this with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.