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Today's Birth Control Pills

Today's birth control pills are not your mother's contraceptive:  birth control pills have changed a lot since they were introduced 40 years ago. Older pills contained as many as 100 micrograms of estrogen, causing side effects such as weight gain, nausea and breast tenderness. Today's pills contain one-fifth the amount of estrogen with ultra low-dose pills containing only 20 micrograms of estrogen. 

As with most medicines, it's usually best to take the lowest effective dose.  Lower-doses of estrogen may also mean fewer side effects, with the same contraceptive protection. This was shown in a recent clinical study [published in the March 13, 2001 issue of the peer-reviewed, medical journal Contraception].

In addition to pregnancy prevention, "ultra" low-dose pills provide many other health benefits including decreased risk of several cancers:  cancer of the lining of the uterus [endometrium], ovarian cancer, and colorectal cancers.  In addition, birth control pills reduce the risk of tubal pregnancies, ovarian cysts and acne.  Other benefits of birth control pill include regulating your periods, decreasing your menstrual flow, reducing cramps and reducing PMS.

For more information on birth control Pills, click here.

Created: 7/5/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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