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Importance of Hormone Levels: Low Dose Birth Control Pills

The next time you visit your doctor, ask about the benefits of low dose birth control pills. Several studies done recently indicate that oral contraceptives (birth control pills) with the hormone levonorgestrel coupled with lower doses of estrogen are the safest option for women concerned about blood clot risks.

Although taking any type of birth control pills raises your risk of blood clots, different hormones are associated with different levels of risk. Levonorgestrel and norethisterone are the types of progestin hormones with the lowest risk of blood clots, while drospirenone and cyproterone acetate increase the risk. Also, the lower the dose of estrogen in the pill, the lower the risk.

Some birth control pill side are lessened with the reduced hormones in low dose birth control pills, making these an attractive option for women who struggle with nausea, bloating, breast tenderness and other side effects of regular-dosage pills.

If you are breastfeeding, close to menopause, or have other health problems, a low-dose progestin-only pill (or mini-pill) may be recommended. If you like the idea of only having a period four times a year, one company now manufactures a low-hormone pill that you can take continuously for 12 weeks, then off for one week while you have your period, and so on. This may be an especially attractive option for women who don’t plan to get pregnant in the next several months, but may cause more breakthrough bleeding. Ultimately, you should talk to your doctor about the best types of birth control pills for you.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.