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Can Birth Control Pills Cause High Blood Pressure?

Can Birth Control Pills Cause High Blood Pressure?

Many women take birth control pills each day to successfully control their risk of an unwanted pregnancy.  You may assume that these pills are relatively safe.  While it is true that untold numbers of women have taken contraceptives for years without any problems, others have experienced severe health-related issues as a result of taking birth control.  The safety of this medication is largely determined by the individual health of the person taking it.  According to the American Heart Association, birth control pills can increase blood pressure in some women especially if you’re overweight or experienced high blood pressure during pregnancy.

When Is It Safe To Take Birth Control?

You may wonder when it is safe to take birth control.  Due to much negative publicity that has occurred within the media over the years, a large number of women have begun to question the safety of taking contraceptives for any length of time.  According to the Mayo Clinic, most contraceptives are generally safe, but they do slightly raise blood pressure in most patients.  Therefore, the medication is believed to be fairly safe if you do not suffer from any health problems that are directly related to hypertension or other diseases related to the cardiovascular system.

Dangers of Taking Contraceptives

While most birth control medication is believed to be safe as long as you are healthy, there are certain dangers that may exist, depending on how your body responds to it.  It is important to note that the risk of birth control causing severe high blood pressure is dependent upon several factors.  For example, the American Heart Association has found evidence that some women have an abnormal sensitivity to birth control medication and, therefore, have an increased risk of experiencing high blood pressure as a direct result of taking the medication.  High blood pressure is a primary concern of those who take birth control, and while you may not experience anything more than a slight increase in blood pressure, you could suffer dangerously high blood pressure levels.  This would likely force you to stop taking birth control in order to avoid other medical complications that are even more serious

Who Should Avoid Taking Birth Control?

The American Heart Association has laid out a framework for those who should avoid taking birth control.  At the very least you should consult with your physician regarding the specific concerns before taking the pill.  If you are overweight, or you already have a history of high blood pressure, you may be at a greater risk of suffering adverse consequences from taking birth control.  In addition, if you have kidney disease, even in the most minor of stages, or you smoke you may experience dangerously high blood pressure.  Therefore, the American Heart Association recommends that you have your blood pressure checked at least every six months if you have any of these problems.

 

Resources

The American Heart Association
High Blood Pressure and Women
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandYourRiskforHighBloodPressure/High-Blood-Pressure-and-Women_UCM_301867_Article.jsp

Mayo Clinic
Birth Control FAQs: Benefits, Risks, and Choices
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/birth-control-pill/wo00098/nsectiongroup=2

WebMD
Causes of High Blood Pressure
http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/blood-pressure-causes

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