Oral contraception is a controversial topic. Is it healthy? Is it dangerous? What are the issues associated with these drugs?
I recently did a deep dive into this class of drugs for the professionals I train who work with women. I wish I had this table early on in my career so I could help more of my female patients/clients make informed decisions around their healthcare.
Here are some things to know:
✅ These drugs use various types of synthetic progestins (drugs that partially mimic progesterones impact on the uterine lining, cervical mucosa and or hypothalamus)
✅ These drugs also more strongly or weakly interact with progesterone receptors elsewhere in the body
✅ These drugs can also have estrogen & testosterone effects as well
✅ This can lead to both negative and positive “side effects.” For example, one drug might help with PMS while worsening acne. Another drug may be helpful for mood, but also raise the risk of blood clots.
✅ These drugs can be especially beneficial or harmful for certain conditions
✅ Because these drugs are so varied and regarded as similar or the same, many physicians don’t bother to familiarize themselves with the nuances. They instead just prescribe one or a couple drugs to all women