How Can I Choose The Best Birth Control Method
There is no fixed best birth control or contraceptive method. Your doctor or nurse can help you choose the method that works best for you depending upon
- Your overall health.
- Your desire to get pregnant in the near or distant future.
- The effectiveness or success rate of the birth control method.
- How sexually active you are.
- Risks of any side effects.
- Your ease of using the method.
- The number of sex partners you may have.
- Any underlying health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and sexually transmitted infections .
- Your age.
Hormonal Birth Control And Acne
Acne is often the result of hormonal imbalance in the body your doctor might call it an androgen-mediated problem. In other words, androgens play a key role in your body regardless of your sex or gender. Androgens, such as testosterone, boost skin cell growth and stimulate the skin to produce more oil. This can then lead to blocked pores and thus acne.
Most hormones have a counterregulatory hormone a hormone that opposes its effects. The counterregulatory hormone of testosterone is estrogen, which is commonly supplied in birth control pills. This is why many doctors recommend hormonal birth control for treating acne. The estrogen supplied in the birth control can counter the effects of testosterone.
So now we know why birth control methods are often prescribed for acne, lets go back to our original question does birth control cure or cause acne? The reality is that birth control can both cure AND cause acne. Studies show that birth control pills can reduce acne by 55% on average. However, acne may come back even worse after the pill is stopped. Birth control can also make your acne worse if it lacks sufficient antiandrogenic properties.
Tips For Maximum Benefit
Here are tips for getting the most benefit from your acne treatment:
- Continue taking other acne treatment prescribed by your doctor. An oral contraceptive targets only part of the acne problem.
- Be sure to precisely follow the schedule for taking birth control pills. Doing so provides the maximum benefit and safety.
- Talk with your doctor about possible side effects of the birth control you’re considering. These can include breast tenderness, headaches, breakthrough bleeding, or an initial, temporary flare-up of acne. It’s important to know what to expect.
- Tell your doctor about any other medications you’re taking. Some can interfere with the effectiveness of an oral contraceptive and lead to an unwanted pregnancy. Taking some types of birth control pill together with oral rifampin may make it necessary to use a back-up form of contraception.
Also Check: What Doctor Checks Your Hormone Levels
How Womens Naturally Occurring Hormones Can Worsen Acne
In a previous post, Open Pandoras BoxHormones, Women and Acne, we discussed Polycystic Ovary Syndrome , and other forms of ovarian or adrenal hyperandrogenism. One of the signs of these conditions is acne. These are complicated medical problems that need to be evaluated by your gynecologist. Hormonal treatment can often improve many of these symptoms, reduce your risk of serious adverse health effects, and will make your acne easier to treat.
When To Talk To Your Healthcare Provider
If you are curious if birth control pills could be a good fit for you and your skin, speak with your healthcare provider. They will be able to make specific recommendations and discuss your risk for side effects or complications.
Once you begin a regular birth control pill regimen, stay in contact with your healthcare provider. Tell them if you are experiencing any side effects. Its helpful to remember that it can take about two to three months to start seeing an improvement in your acne.
Recommended Reading: Does Melatonin Affect Birth Control Implant
Types Of Birth Control To Treat Acne In Women
The last decade has seen an explosion in new types of birth control. But so far, only three types of birth control pills have been approved by the FDA for treating acne. All three are “combination” oral contraceptives that contain both estrogen and progesterone. In fact, birth control pills that contain only progesterone can actually make acne worse.
Each type of birth control pill used for acne contains a low dose of the same form of estrogen. But each one uses a different form of progesterone.
The FDA has approved the following types of birth control for acne:
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen uses estrogen combined with a progestin called norgestimate. A progestin is a synthetic, or manmade, form of progesterone. The pill is available with different doses of progestin.
- Estrostepuses estrogen combined with a progestin called norethindrone. The pill is available with different doses of estrogen.
- YAZ uses estrogen combined with a manmade form of progestin called drospirenone. The FDA has concluded that birth control pills containing drospirenone may have increased risk for blood clots compared to pills containing other progestins. Other brands containing drospirenone include Beyaz, Gianvi, Loryna, Ocella, Safyral, Syeda, Yasmin, and Zarah.
Studies have not shown a major difference among these three pills in terms of how well they treat acne.
Need More Hormone Help
If youre needing some health upgrading, its time you started you looking into whats going on with your hormones.
Ive designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly whats out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
to get your FREE detox and evaluation!
Don’t Miss: What Vitamins To Take For Hormonal Acne
What’s The Best Birth Control For Acne
Quite frankly, there isn’t one.
Emily was experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone and lab testing showed that she was indeed lacking adequate amounts. But her acne persisted.
Thats because the pill doesnt fix acne or regulate hormones for that matter. It simply suppresses it.
And for some women, acne is worse after stopping birth control.
Over 2 years Emily had been on 5 different birth control pills and felt like her skin was getting worse. So, instead of reaching for another new prescription, it was time to take a holistic approach to her skin.
How To Treat Acne Caused By Birth Control
When dealing with acne caused by birth control, check which formulation you are using and see if it is a progesterone-only or androgenic progestin, and inquire with your doctor to see if you can switch to a combination pill on our list .
Also keep in mind that birth control can make your acne-flare up at first before you start seeing improvement in your acne. It may be beneficial to wait a few months before deciding to switch to another formulation.
You May Like: Does 7 11 Have Melatonin
What Is The Best Birth Control For Acne And Weight Loss
The estrogen component of birth control is the main source of weight gain. While progesterone-only birth control pills can reduce the effects of weight gain, they are generally not effective for acne. The best birth control for both acne and weight loss would be a combination pill with the lowest dose of estrogen i.e. ultra low-dose pills.
What Is The Effect Of Combined Oral Contraceptives
and rarely mestranol. The usual amount is 2050 µg.
Estrogen effect provides some anti-androgenic effect through 3 mechanisms:
1. Suppress secretion of pituitary gonadotropins, inhibit ovulation, and thus inhibit androgen3. Increase the liver production of SHBG and reducing circulating testosterone.
The choice of is essential for women with acne-prone skin. Women with acne need to avoid taking progestins with potent androgenic effects, i.e., levonorgestrel and norgestrel. A better choice of progestins for women with acne would be drospirenone, gestodene, and desogestrel with a weaker androgenic effect.The for women with Acne are pills that contain drospirenone and Ethinylestradiol. Examples of these pills are Yasmin, Ocella, Safyral, Syeda, Gianvi, Loryna, Nikki, Vestura, and Zarah.
You May Like: How To Raise Testosterone Fast
How To Know Which Option Is Right For You
Every person is different and will respond differently to oral contraceptives.
Speaking with your healthcare provider will help you determine what pill is best for you.
Your healthcare provider will ask about what is important to you in a birth control pill. Factors may include:
- Fewer side effects
- Less painful periods
- Less acne
Some people don’t respond well to a pill that contains estrogen, and they may benefit from the minipill, which only contains progestin.
Your healthcare provider will be able to help guide you in making the best choice for your body and your lifestyle.
Role Of Estrogens In The Body
In females, estrogens are responsible for:
- The development and activity of the female sex organs
- The development of secondary sex characteristics like the growth of breasts and widening of the hips
In both males and females, estrogens:
- Increase bone density
Expand to learn about where estrogens are produced in the body
Option : A Combined Hormonal Method
If you have acne, any combined hormonal birth control method may be able to help you manage it. Combined hormonal methods, which contain progestin and estrogen hormones, include a bunch of different kinds of pills, the ring, and the patch. One advantage of the combined pill is that there are a few types to choose from, so you have flexibility to find a different formulation if you dont like the first one you try. There isnt one hormonal method that has been shown to control acne better than any other, says Dr. Colleen Krajewski of Magee Womens Hospital-UPMC.
Q. How do I choose a combined hormonal method?
A. Use our side-by-side method comparison to check out the additional benefits of combined pills, the patch, and the ring, and get in touch with your health care provider. Your provider can make a recommendation for the best combined method to try based on your individual health history and lifestyle.
When it comes to choosing a combined pill, there are a lot of different options. Three brandsEstrostep, Ortho Tri-cyclen, and YAZmight seem the most familiar because they are approved by the FDA for the treatment of acne. This means the makers of these three brands asked the FDA for approval to advertise treatment of acnebut research has shown that other combination pills are just as effective for treating acne. It doesnt matter which combination pill you choose, says Krajewski. Any type of combination pill will be just as effective for managing acne.
So What Birth Control Should You Use If You Have Acne
Though there are certain guidelines, you can follow the above when considering birth control and acne. If you struggle with acne, it’s recommended that you choose an option known to help balance acne-producing hormones or, at least, one that is known to have little or no effect on acne. This category includes various options, from hormonal pills to vaginal implants, patches, and others. Before consulting with your OB/GYN, read through the above, and create a list of questions and concerns to help you both identify the best birth control choice for you! As always, monitor any symptoms or side effects and discuss them with your provider. Sometimes it takes trying a couple different birth control options to find a good fit.More info:
Also Check: What Is Hormone Replacement Treatment
Who Is A Good Candidate For Taking Birth Control For Acne
Taking birth control comes with risks so you should consider the risk factors before starting with any birth control methods. Once your doctor has approved you as a good candidate for birth control, you will have to determine whether or not the possibility of clear skin is worth the potential side effects and risks.
The best candidates for birth control are those who have no personal or family history of clotting disorders or blood clots, fall within a healthy BMI, do not smoke, and are under the age of 35. If you are concerned about weight gain and mood swings, you may want to consider options that contain slightly less estrogen.
And be forewarned birth control isnt a surefire way to get rid of acne. It is possible that birth control may make your acne worse and it is not uncommon that your skin will get worse before it gets better when you start the pill. Unfortunately, it can take some time and some work to find the right pill to improve your acne with little to no side effects. There is no way to predict what will or wont work for you. Make sure you discuss your options with your OBGYN and dermatologist to find what works best for you.
Central Business Office
Does Birth Control Cause Acne
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Have you ever noticed a friends skin clearing up after starting birth control? Combined oral contraceptive pills can be used for more than just preventing pregnancy.
Oral birth control is widely used to treat and control acne. Healthcare providers have prescribed the pill to women with problematic hormonal acne for decades, and the FDA even recommends three specific birth control pills for women suffering from acne.
On the other hand, theres also a persistent belief that birth control pills can cause acne — a belief thats backed up by some anecdotal cases.
The relationship between birth control pills and acne can be confusing. After all, hormones are highly complicated. Luckily, with a bit of explanation, its easy to understand the role oral birth control plays in controlling, treating and managing acne.
Below, weve explained how birth control can work as an acne treatment, as well as whether or not birth control can cause acne.
Weve also looked at the types of birth control most commonly used for acne, as well as the difference between oral birth control and other acne treatments.
Also Check: Can You Give Melatonin To Infants
Types Of Acne That Birth Control Can Treat
Acne can take the form of a blackhead, whitehead, a small mark, or even a cyst, but it’s the underlying cause of your acne that determines whether birth control might be an effective treatment. According to Levin, teenage or inflammatory acne can be treated with oral antibiotics, but hormonal acne is not usually successfully treated by antibiotics.
That’s where hormonal medication, such as birth control, can come into play. If home treatment doesn’t help your breakouts, or if you’re finding yourself with large, hard, or pus-filled bumps, you may want to consult your doctor to learn if you’re experiencing hormonal or cystic acneboth of which may be treated with birth control. Other signs that you’re dealing with hormonal acne rather than good old-fashioned inflammatory acne include breakouts that follow a cyclical pattern with your menstrual cycle and acne that pops up mainly along your jawline or chin.
Can Birth Control Pills Help Acne
The pill works by giving you such a high dose of hormones that your brain stops talking to your ovaries. This mechanism reduces production of testosterone, which is why some docs think birth control pills fix your acne.
By lowering testosterone, oil production is also reduced. The theory is that the oil is why you get acne and by lowering the hormone that influences its production then you can eliminate acne. Of course, youre also eliminating your mood, motivation, and libido too because women need testosterone.
Also Check: Does Taking Estrogen Cause Cancer
What Birth Control Is Best For Teenagers
IUDs and contraceptive implants can be used by all women of childbearing age, including teens. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that IUDs and the arm implant should be the first-line choice for young women who are sexually active.
If a parent of a teen is wondering what might be safe for his or her daughter to consider, the arm implant and the IUD can serve teens the best, Dr. Stanwood says. Thats because you set it and forget it. They are busy. This allows them to focus on academics.
How Does The Pill Treat Acne
Acne occurs as a result of several factors relating to a hormonal imbalance, including the overproduction of a natural oil called sebum on the skin and the accumulation of dead skin cells in the hair follicle or pores.
In addition, some females have abnormally high levels of androgens, such as testosterone. High androgen levels can stimulate the production of sebum and increase the growth of skin cells in both the skin and hair follicles.
Hormonal medication, including the birth control pill, can help regulate these hormones and minimize acne.
The birth control pill works best when a person takes it at the same time every day and as the prescription specifies. Sometimes, the birth control pill is more effective alongside other medications.
Read Also: What Does Testosterone Pills Do
How Oral Injectable Or Implanted Hormones Can Worsen Acne In Women
Certain birth control pills, progestin only mini-pills, Depo-Provera birth control shot, and the Mirena IUD may actually cause or worsen acne. Medications containing testosterone such as oral Estratest, used to increase sexual desire, energy and muscle mass, and compounded hormonal cream or gel treatments containing testosterone and/or progesterone very often cause or aggravate acne. Over the counter DHEA and certain muscle-building supplements can too. Anabolic steroids used by bodybuilders will cause significant acne.
Which Birth Control Is The Best For Weight Loss
Women often report that they gain weight after opting certain birth control methods such as pills and contraceptive patches. There has not been any conclusive evidence to prove that the birth control method causes weight gain. Theoretically, the gain in weight due to birth control may be a result of fluid retention or fat gain. Some women also report an increased appetite following birth control pills. Although studies have not supported the role of contraceptives in causing weight gain, if you believe that you are gaining weight because of a birth control method, you can consult your doctor for an alternative. Generally, non-hormonal birth control options such as condoms, sponges, diaphragms, cervical caps, and ParaGard are considered to not cause weight gain. If you are on birth control methods and wish to lose weight, you must eat healthy, cut down on salt and soda, and stay physically active to lose weight.
Also Check: How Old Do You Have To Be To Take Estrogen