The Effect Of Birth Control On Acne
The hormones in combination birth control pills can help reduce acne. The pills decrease the circulation of androgens, which decreases the production of sebum.
The pills must contain both estrogen and progestin to be effective against acne. The minipill only contains progestin, so it doesnt help improve acne.
Many combination birth control pill brands are available. Each contains its own variation of hormones. Pills prescribed for acne should contain progestin with low androgenic possibility. This means the progestin has less androgenic side effects, such as oily skin and acne.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the following pills for the treatment of acne:
- Beyaz, which combines drospirenone, ethinyl estradiol, and levomefolate calcium
- Estrostep Fe, which combines norethindrone acetate, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen, which combines norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol
- Yaz, which combines drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol.
However, other combination pills that arent on this list may still help improve acne.
What Are The Risks Of Taking Birth Control Pills
may seem like an easy go-to option for treating hormonal acne, there are some risks associated with hormonal serious side effects that need to be considered before starting or inserting birth control and monitored over time. If significant side effects occur, it may be a good idea to consult your physician about a different birth control option
for women with acne typically contain at least 35 mcg of Ethinyl EstradiolDermatology categorized the different contraceptive types by their efficiency in clearing acne. We found the study super interesting, so we just had to share the findings with you!
According to this study, drospirenone was the most helpful in preventing acne, while levonorgestrel and norethindrone were the least helpful.
Having said that, many other birth control pills, including Ocella, Yasmin, Trinessat, MonoNessa, Apri, and Reclipse. As mentioned above, some of these medications come with additional risks and side effects that should be considered before starting.
What Are Oral Contraceptives
Oral contraceptives are hormone-containing medications that are taken by mouth to prevent pregnancy. They prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and also by preventing sperm from penetrating through the cervix.
By far the most commonly prescribed type of oral contraceptive in the United States contains synthetic versions of the natural female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This type of birth control pill is often called a combined oral contraceptive. Another type of oral contraceptive, sometimes called the mini pill, contains only progestin, which is a man-made version of progesterone.
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What Are The Types Of Birth Control Pills
There are two different types of birth control pills. Both types contain hormones that prevent pregnancy.
- Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin.
- Progestin-only pills are also called the minipill. Theyre better for some women, such as those who are breastfeeding or have a history of blood clots and strokes and shouldnt take estrogen.
The pill comes in different dosing packets from 21-day pill packs to 90-day pill packs, to even 365 days of active pills. Traditionally, depending on the brand and dose, you take at least three weeks of active pills followed by two to seven days of hormone-free pills. This is called cyclical dosing. Most women have a menstrual period during the inactive pills. Some brands do not provide any inactive pills at all in the pack . With the 21-day packs a woman does not take any pills for a week. During this time, youll have your period, similar to what happens when taking the inactive, hormone-free pills.
Some formulations offer continuous dosing, which means you do not have any inactive pills, and a woman takes an active pill daily. Alternatively, extended cycle dosing is when inactive pills or breaks in the active pill regimen only occur three to four times per year. Skipping the inactive pills prevents menstruation. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best option for you.
How Does The Low Dose Pill Work
As a combination pill, but with lower doses of hormones than regular combined pills, they work in the same way: preventing ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching an egg and thinning the uterine lining to make it tough for a fertilised egg to implant. You take it orally at the same time every single day.
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So Whats The Best Birth Control
It all depends on you. For starters, youll want to consider what your goals are, what your lifestyle is like, how often you have sex, your insurance coverage, what you and your partner are comfortable with, and what youre planning for the future.
Because everyone is different, the contraception that works best for your friends or family members may not be convenient or most effective for you. But regardless of the birth control method you end up choosing, use it as directed for the lowest chance of pregnancy.
Of course, youll want to talk to an OB-GYN provider, certified nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner to get personalized birth control advice. Your care provider can give you more details about each option, and theyll help you make a choice youll feel great about.
Taking time to make sure youve selected the best birth control option for you can give you more power over your choices. And thats well worth it for your health, your well-being, your peace of mind and your future.
Use With Other Medical Conditions
You need to consider your overall health when choosing a drug. If you have a condition or disease, a certain drug may make it worse. The effects of Yaz or Yasmin would be the same on any medical conditions you have.
Many women can use these pills safely. However, you should avoid them in some cases.
Dont use Yaz or Yasmin if:
- youre pregnant or think you might be pregnant
- you smoke and are older than 35 years of age
Also avoid Yaz or Yasmin if you have:
- blood clotting problems, such as:
- a history of blood clots
- a history of stroke
- a history of heart attack
- certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in your heart
- a problem with your blood thats inherited and makes your blood clot more than normal
In addition, birth control pills may not be a good choice for you if you have or have had:
- cholestasis of pregnancy
- chloasma gravidarim
- hereditary angioedema
Note: Women of any age who use birth control pills are strongly advised not to smoke.
- Yaz: About 12 women out of 100 women may get pregnant.
- Yasmin: About 1 woman out of 100 women may get pregnant.
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What If I Smoke Or Im Not So Reliable About Taking Pills
Smoking while on birth control pills that contain estrogen is a big no-no, because it increases the risk of having a heart attack. The risk is especially high if youre 35 or older. Taking oral contraception and smoking also increases your risk for having a stroke.
Taking a daily pill might not be a good lifestyle fit if youre forgetful or your lifestyle is chaotic. Be honest with yourself: Will you really take the pill every single day at about the same time every day?
Its totally OK if taking birth control wouldnt work for you. There are plenty of other contraceptive options out there.
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.
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How Effective Are Birth Control Pills
With perfect use when taken as indicated every day birth control pills are 99% effective. Research indicates that less than one woman in 100 will become pregnant in the first year of taking the pill. But when pills are missed or taken late, the effectiveness drops to 91%. Thats why its important to be consistent when taking hormonal contraceptives.
Certain medications may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. These include some antibiotics, general anesthesia, the anti-HIV drug Sustiva , antifungals including Gris-peg ,fluconazole, and itraconazole, anticonvulsants like topamax, anti-nausea medications such as Emend , high blood pressure meds including Tracleer , the diabetes medications Actos and Avandia . As well, herbal supplements such as St. Johns Wort, soy products, and vitamin C may decrease birth controls effectiveness.
How Does Hormonal Birth Control Work
Typically, this type of contraceptive relies on synthetic versions of two naturally occurring hormones: progesterone and estrogen.
Synthetic progesterone is primarily responsible for preventing pregnancy. It suppresses ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus so sperm is not penetrable,Aparna Sridhar, MD, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA Health, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
Synthetic estrogen also helps stop ovulation, which is the release of an egg from your ovaries into your fallopian tube, where it can then be fertilized. But its main benefit is cycle control, Dr. Sridhar says. Basically, estrogen prevents breakthrough bleeding so you have a normal period that mimics a natural menstrual cycle.
Some forms of hormonal birth control contain both progesterone and estrogen. These are called combined hormonal contraception. Others only contain progesterone. These non-estrogen methods include the mini Pill, hormonal IUD, implant and injection.
There are a lot of contraceptive methods that can be used to stop you getting pregnant. Each type works differently and has its pros and cons. Some methods work better at preventing pregnancy than others.
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What Is The Difference Between 21
Theonly difference between the 21- and 28-day birth control pills is that the 28-day includes either seven inactive sugar pills or seven iron pills. If youre taking a 21-day birth control pill, youll take the pill for three weeks, and then skip a week before starting a new pack. For 28-day pills, youll start a new pack immediately after finishing your last one.
How Does The Pill Work
Compared to other birth control methods, the pill is hormonal contraception that is taken daily. The pill works by making it harder for sperm to reach the egg. Specifically, it prevents the egg from being released from the ovaries. It also thickens the cervical mucus and changes the uterus lining. Each pack of birth control contains active pills and inactive pills, meaning pills that have hormones, and ones that dont. You would typically have your period when taking the inactive pills. Each brand varies, but you will usually see 21 active, 7 inactive or, 28 active, 4 inactive pills.
Be mindful that the pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Is There A Way To Balance Hormones Without Birth Control
There are several medications besides birth control that can help balance hormones and effectively treat acne. One of the most effective is called Spironolactone , an oral medication used to treat high blood pressure does not contain hormones or synthetic hormones. It’s actually a diuretic that works as an androgen blocker, which means it blocks the effects of male hormones in the body like testosterone, contributing to oil production and, ultimately, acne.
Making An Informed Decision
Unless youre trying to get pregnant or youve reached menopause, birth control pills might be a good option. Depending on the type of birth control pill you use, youre protected from pregnancy after 7 to 10 days of starting to take it.
Do your research and talk with your doctor. If you have a sexual partner, talk to them about your birth control use.
If you think its appropriate, you can also talk with family members and friends. However, keep in mind that anothers experience with birth control pills or any other form of contraceptives wont necessarily be the same as your experience.
The right birth control choice for you is the one that fits your lifestyle and health needs.
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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.
How To Choose The Right Birth Control
Every individual is different and will have unique needs when it comes to figuring out the right birth control approach.
Speaking with your healthcare provider will help you determine what option is right for you.
You should not take any birth control pill if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
Low-dose birth control might not be the right option for those who :
- Experience migraines with aura
- Presently have, or have had, breast cancer in the past
- Have a family history of stroke, heart disease, or blood clots
- Have a history of elevated blood pressure or hypertension
However, there are sometimes exceptions to these categories.
If you are in one of these groups and are interested in low dose oral contraceptives, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to see if low-dose birth control is a safe option for you.
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Reasons To Stay Clear Of Low
Alas, there are downsides to low-dose birth control, too. The biggest one is that you must take it every day for it to effectively prevent pregnancy. Theres no wiggle room on this one.
Other downsides include:
- Some people have side effects like decreased libido, headaches, bloating, nausea, or breast tenderness. The good news is these may lessen over time.
- All birth control pills come with a risk of heart attack, blood clots, or strokes. People who smoke or have certain medical conditions are more likely to have these side effects.
- The minipill can cause spotting .
Additionally, certain medications decrease the effectiveness and make you vulnerable to an unwanted pregnancy. These include:
If you take any of these above medications, your healthcare provider might suggest another way for you to prevent pregnancy.
You can take your low-dose birth control in different dosages. There are two types of dosing: conventional and continuous/extended cycle.
How To Get Birth Control Pills Online
You may be able to order birth control online after speaking with a licenseddoctor.Here is an overview of how to get birth control pills online: First, book an appointment with alicensed doctor online. PlushCare allows you to speak with a board-certified doctor from the comfort and privacyof your home. During the appointment, speak with your physician about your medical history and find moreabout birth control options. After your virtual consultation, your doctor can prescribe a recommended formof birth control. Your prescription for birth control pills or other birth control methods will electronicallybe sent to a local pharmacy for you to pick up.
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What Is The Best Low
The birth control pills available today have lower doses than they did when they first came out, which has really decreased the risk of side effects. In fact, one pill in 1960 is the equivalent of taking one week of pills today!
Because of these changes, most birth control brands today are low-dose pills. The Mayo Clinic says that most combination birth control pills, which combine the hormones progestin and estrogen, have 1035 micrograms of estrogen. Low-dose pills would then contain estrogen levels at the lower end of this range.
Birth Control With Least Weight Gain
If you are looking for a birth control pill that is least associated with weight gain and fluid retention, that would be with the fourth generation progestin drospirenone.
Drospirenone is unique in that it has:
- Anti-androgen effects .
Based on how drospirenone works, it can have the following effects:
- Improve acne and decrease excess hair growth .
- Improve symptoms of PMDD , such as irritability.
- It is FDA approved for this indication
However, drospirenone doesnt come without drawbacks, including:
The overall increase in risk blood clots isnt well known but due to it, drospirenone isnt generally recommended in those with significant risk factors, such as a history of smoking or in women over 35 years old.
As a side note, the fourth-generation progestin, dienogest, is similar to drospirenone but does not share the diuretic properties, so is less likely to cause weight loss.
Drospirenone is available in a variety of birth control products including:
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