Illustration of birth control pills on yellow background


Three efficient types of contraception comprise the hormone estrogen: the contraception patch, mixed hormonal contraception tablets, and a vaginal ring. Medical doctors have sometimes really helpful that ladies keep away from contraception with estrogen if they’ve hypertension, which present US pointers outline as 130 mm Hg systolic stress and 80 mm Hg diastolic stress, or greater. A current medical replace in JAMA clarifies whether or not it’s protected for some ladies with hypertension to make use of these types of contraception.

Why does blood stress matter when selecting contraception?

Contraception containing estrogen can enhance blood stress. When ladies who’ve hypertension use these contraception strategies, they’ve an elevated danger of stroke and coronary heart assault in contrast with ladies who wouldn’t have hypertension. Nonetheless, their precise probabilities of having a stroke or a coronary heart assault are nonetheless fairly low.

When contemplating contraception choices, it’s vital to additionally weigh the attainable dangers of an unintended being pregnant. A girl who has a historical past of hypertension earlier than she turns into pregnant is extra prone to expertise

  • preeclampsia, a being pregnant complication that may have an effect on liver and kidney perform and may even result in eclampsia, or seizures
  • diabetes throughout being pregnant
  • blood clots
  • coronary heart assault

She’s additionally at greater danger for issues with fetal development and preterm beginning.

Why are suggestions round blood stress and contraception being up to date?

When US blood stress pointers modified in 2017, many extra individuals had been identified with hypertension. That occurred as a result of the brand new pointers tightened requirements, as follows:

  • regular blood stress is lower than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic) mm Hg
  • elevated blood stress is between 120 and 129 mm Hg (systolic) and fewer than 80 mm Hg (diastolic)
  • hypertension is 130 mm Hg (systolic) and 80 mm Hg (diastolic) or greater.

With these up to date definitions, almost half of American adults have hypertension. Black ladies are at notably excessive danger: greater than half of Black ladies over the age of 19 are identified with hypertension.

If a girl has hypertension, the JAMA replace recommends weighing three elements earlier than beginning an estrogen-containing contraception: a girl’s age, management of blood stress, and another dangers for coronary heart illness.

  • Protected to make use of contraception containing estrogen: If ladies are 35 years outdated or youthful, have properly managed blood stress, and are wholesome, estrogen-containing contraception can be utilized. Make sure to have a well being skilled test blood stress inside one month of beginning the sort of contraception. Moreover, routine blood stress checks are really helpful twice a 12 months.
  • Ought to keep away from contraception containing estrogen: If ladies are older than 35, even when they’ve properly managed blood stress, estrogen-containing contraception must be averted. Equally, ladies of any age who’ve a number of danger elements for coronary heart illness or who’ve uncontrolled hypertension shouldn’t use contraception containing estrogen. These ladies additionally shouldn’t use the contraception shot (Depo-Provera) as a result of it could enhance ldl cholesterol and result in an elevated danger of stroke, in keeping with the evaluation. (This remedy incorporates a special hormone known as progestin.)

The JAMA replace reviewed proof primarily based on an older definition of hypertension within the context of contraception use. Additional analysis is required to raised perceive how completely different ranges of blood stress may have an effect on ladies utilizing contraception that incorporates estrogen. Nonetheless, it’s unlikely that these suggestions would change additional primarily based on the newer definition of hypertension.

Which contraception strategies don’t comprise estrogen?

So, what can ladies who’re unable to make use of contraception containing estrogen use to stop being pregnant? The excellent news is that there are a number of different contraception strategies out there, each hormonal and nonhormonal.

  • Probably the most dependable types of contraception with out estrogen are the copper intrauterine system (IUD), the hormonal IUD, the implant, and sterilization for ladies or males.
  • Nonhormonal strategies embody the copper IUD, condoms for males or ladies, cervical cap, and diaphragm.
  • Three progestin-only hormonal strategies are protected to make use of: the minipill, the contraception implant, or the hormonal IUD. Nonetheless, the contraception shot (Depo-Provera) just isn’t really helpful for ladies who’ve poorly managed hypertension.

When you do have hypertension, train and dietary modifications stay an vital element of sustaining your coronary heart well being. Focus on together with your physician which contraception choices may be finest for you, so that you simply and your physician can interact in shared decision-making about your preferences.

See the Harvard Well being Start Management Middle for extra data on choices.

The submit Contraception and hypertension: Which strategies are protected for you? appeared first on Harvard Well being Weblog.



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