Can Contraceptives Increase Blood Pressure?

Can contraceptives increase blood pressure? Do you know that some types of birth control affect blood pressure?

Some researches says that birth control pills may cause a significant increase in diastolic pressure—and this can continue in older women who have been off the pill for years (Kharbanda EO et al, 2014).

A research study has shown that birth controls containing oestrogen can elevate blood pressure.

Hence, such birth controls should not be taken by hypertensive women.

 

Can Contraceptives Increase Blood Pressure? Birth control methods- types

Birth control or contraceptive is any medicine, device or method that can be used to prevent pregnancy.

The choice of birth control methods is dependent on several factors such as: your health status, desire to have children in the future or not, the need to prevent sexually transmitted infections, how comfortable you are with using the method.

 

Can Contraceptives Increase Blood Pressure?

Below are the different types of birth control:

 

1.Condom

Condoms are barrier devices used  to prevent pregnancy. It is also used to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

There are male and female condoms.

 

  1. Diaphragm– A rubber shaped device that is placed into the vagina

 

3.Cervical cap– It is a thimble shaped rubber  device that is placed over the cervix to prevent pregnancy

 

  1. Contraceptive Injection– It is a temporary, effective and progestin only birth control injection. The injection is also called depo- provera. It prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation in the woman. Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary.

 

  1. The intrauterine device (IUD)- It is a small pliable T shaped device that is placed in the uterus by a doctor.

There are 2 types;

  • Copper IUD- It gradually releases copper which acts as a spermicide
  • Hormonal IUD- It contains a hormone called progestin. It prevents sperm from getting to the egg/ovum by thickening the cervical mucus.

 

 

  1. Contraceptive pills-It contains two hormones, oestrogen and progestin. The hormones stop ovulation from taking place.

 

  1. Contraceptive patch– It is a transdermal patch that is placed on the skin to prevent pregnancy. It releases oestrogen and progestin hormones.

 

  1. Vaginal ring– It is a bendable plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy. It also releases progestin and oestrogen hormones which prevents ovulation.

 

  1. Sterilization– This is a permanent birth control method suitable for those that no longer want to have children.

Such methods include:

  • Tubal ligation- A form of female sterilization where the surgeon cuts or blocks the fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization of an egg in the future.
  • Vasectomy- A form of male sterilization where the tube which acts as a passage for the sperm to make its way to the ejaculate is cut or blocked.

 

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

The risk of high blood pressure increases with age. However, high blood pressure could be hereditary and can occur in your adults as well.

Some other factors that can also trigger hypertension includes high salt intake, high cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes, excess alcohol,  hormonal problems etc

 

Hypertension or high blood pressure is when the force of the blood against the blood vessel walls is too high.

Blood pressure is indicated with two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats.

The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is at rest.

 

Blood pressure ranges

​Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)

Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89

Stage 1 High Blood Pressure: 140-159 Over 90-99

High blood Pressure in People Over Age 60: 150 and above over 90 and above

 

HOW DOES BIRTH CONTROL INCREASE YOUR RISK FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

 

It has been discovered in some research studies that birth controls that contain oestrogen and progesterone can likely increase  blood pressure.

It is believed that the estrogen in the pill may trigger the release of other hormones that can cause your blood pressure to rise.

Progestin has also been found to affect blood pressure, but it does not increase blood pressure to the same degree that estrogen does (Glisic M et al, 2018).

When hypertensive women use this birth control containing oestrogen, they increase their risk of stroke and heart attack compared to women who are not hypertensive.

Furthermore,  it is crucial that women with high blood pressure should avoid birth control with oestrogen.

 

Which birth control method is safe for women with high blood pressure?

The best choice for birth control with women with high blood pressure are contraceptive that does not contain oestrogen such as

  • Copper IUD
  • Condoms and spermicides
  • Sterilization for men and women
  • Cervical cap and diaphragm
  • Progestin only hormonal methods: Mini pill, birth control implant

 

CONCLUSION

If you have high blood pressure, it’s necessary to discuss with your doctor about the best form of birth control method that you can use.

It is also essential that the doctor undergoes a thorough medical history and check your blood pressure from time to time, before deciding on the birth control method that is suitable for you.

However, women of any age who have multiple risk factors for heart disease or who have uncontrolled high blood pressure should not use birth control containing estrogen.

This article is written by Adebiyi Oluwapelumi, owner of Healthinktank.com, a Nigerian health blog.

Can contraceptives increase blood pressure? Drop your comment…

References…

Kharbanda EO, Parker ED, Sinaiko AR, et al. Initiation of oral contraceptives and changes in blood pressure and body mass index in healthy adolescents. J Pediatr. 2014;165(5):1029-33. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.07.048

Glisic M, Shahzad S, Tsoli S, et al. Association between progestin-only contraceptive use and cardiometabolic outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2018;25(10):1042-1052. doi:10.1177/2047487318774847

 

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