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Are There Women Who Should Not Use Hormonal Contraceptives?


Updated October 19, 2009

Are There Women Who Should Not Use Hormonal Contraceptives?
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Question: Are There Women Who Should Not Use Hormonal Contraceptives?
It is important to discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider as hormonal contraceptives are not suited for all women. In an update on oral contraceptives published in the American Family Physician, “The World Health Organization has developed a risk classification system to help physicians advise patients about the safety of oral contraceptive pills.”
Answer: In general, the following factors may influence whether or not hormonal birth control is the right option. It may not be the safest method for women who are:
  • Pregnant (or suspect to be)
  • Less than 6 weeks postpartum
  • Over the age of 35
  • Smokers
Additionally, combination contraceptives are not recommended for women who are breastfeeding. However, women in this category can safely use progestin-only methods of hormonal birth control, such as:Hormonal contraception may also not be suited for women with the following health issues:
  • Active liver disease (or a history of liver tumors)
  • Diabetes
  • History of heart disease, stroke, or high blood pressure
  • Cancer (or a history of cancer of any reproductive organ)
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Breast cancer, history of breast cancer or an abnormal growth in the breast
  • History of blood clotting problems
  • Migraines
  • Moral objection to hormonal methods of birth control

Also See:

Back to Main Page: Hormonal Birth Control Questions

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