It is better to refuse smoking while taking birth control pills. Smoking, as it is, is harmful to health. And in combination with taking estrogen-containing contraceptive pills, the harmful effect of nicotine increases several times.
The effect of smoking on the body s the following:
- blood pressure increases;
- a magnified frequency of cardiac muscle contractions;
- a short-term vasospasm;
- an increase in blood coagulability;
- the movement of blood through the vessels and veins is difficult.
Side effects of smoking and birth control pills are:
- blood coagulability increase;
- the movement of blood through the vessels and veins is hindered.
The biggest trouble for women-smokers is this addiction leads to the formation of blood clots. And thrombosis is the cause of atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke. That’s why WHO does not recommend smoking women (especially if they are older than 35 years) to use estrogen-containing hormones.Factors provoking the formation of thrombi:
- overweight (obesity);
- arterial hypertension (high blood pressure);
- long-term immobilization;
- serious surgery or extensive trauma;
- the work “on foot” or sedentary work (hairdressers, salesmen, drivers, office employees);
- hereditary predisposition to thrombosis (thrombosis, myocardial infarction, or impaired cerebral circulation at a young age);
Therefore, if your age is more than 35 years and you get at least one point from this list, then you need to choose a contraceptive that does not contain estrogen.
Birth Control Pills for Women-smokers
A smoking woman should understand that even the most minimal dose of estrogen contained in the drug increases the coagulability of the blood. In no case do not listen to the advice of “well-wishers” that modern micro-dosed birth control pills can be taken without risk to health.
Smoking women can take contraceptive pills without estrogen (the so-called gestational pills or mini-pills).
These drugs also reliably protect against unwanted pregnancy, but they have an unpleasant disadvantage. Purely gestagenic drugs, in contrast to combined, cannot completely control the menstrual cycle and when applied breakthrough bleeding can be observed. These bleedings are not harmful to health but can cause some discomfort. Therefore, it is necessary to stress out: either tolerate breakthrough bleeding or quit smoking and turn to more convenient combined birth control pills.
There are other ways of hormonal contraception for women who smoke – IUD, which is installed in the uterine cavity for a period of 5 years. There is one more method hormonal implant injected under the skin. It provides reliable contraception for up to 3 years.
With irregular sexual life, you can use non-hormonal contraceptives: birth control pills or creams, a regular intrauterine device or a condom.
There is an issue whether it is possible to use combined contraceptive pills with estrogen if the woman is less than 35 years old and she does not smoke very much. In such a situation, it is possible, but before starting to use it is desirable to undergo a blood test for hereditary thrombophilia.
This analysis must necessarily be prescribed to those who:
- had problems with pregnancy;
- antiphospholipid syndrome is observed;
- there is a history of thrombosis;
- if someone from close relatives had died at a young age from a stroke, a heart attack.
In the process of taking birth control pills, a woman who smokes should take an annual test to check for blood coagulation. In order not to allow an increase in blood clotting, drink a sufficient amount of liquid (1.5 – 2 liters per day), especially in the heat weather. You can use onions, garlic, cherries, cranberries, blueberries and ginger to dilute the blood. Special drugs can be prescribed that dilute the blood on the doctor’s recommendation.
And the best way to avoid harmful effects on the circulatory system and other organs is to give up smoking