Monophasic Birth Control – what should you know about it?
Monophasic birth control pill is a new form of hormonal contraception that involves use of equal doses of estrogen and progesterone in the formulation to be used during entire monthly cycle.
According to latest estimates reported by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 82% females who rely on contraception to minimize the risk of unintended pregnancies use hormonal contraception in the form of pills. Over the course of past 50 years, hormonal contraception has evolved dramatically. In this article we will discuss how monophasic birth control helps in minimizing the chances of unintended conception.
Monophasic Birth Control Pills – Introduction:
Combined hormonal contraceptives contain both progesterone and estrogen and work in synchrony to prevent the pregnancy. Here is how hormonal birth control pill works:
- Preventing the release of mature egg or stopping the process of ovulation altogether
- Making cervical mucus thicker to restrict the entry of sperms
- Making uterine lining thinner to prevent implantation
In most traditional birth control pills, the quantity and ratio of estrogen and progesterone varies, but in monophasic birth control pills, the quantity and ratio of progesterone and estrogen is the same. It is highly effective in females who are sexually active. Other indications in which monophasic birth control pills are highly effective are;
- Women who have menstrual irregularities by reducing menstrual cramps, ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and reduce the intensity of menstrual bleeding
- Women who have symptomatic polycystic ovarian syndrome
There is also some evidence that use of hormonal contraceptive pills can also improve bone mineral density and reduce the risk of uterine and ovarian malignancies.
Multiphasic pills as the name indicates, refer to hormonal contraceptive pills that contain different concentrations of estrogen and progesterone in the monthly pack. The most common pharmacological variety is triphasic which contains at least 3 different doses of estrogen in the same monthly pack. Multiphasic pills reflect the different serum levels of hormone in the body during the course of monthly ovarian cycle.
Side effects of Monophasic pills:
Following side effects are usually noticed with monophasic pills:
- Mild weight gain
- Spotting between the menstrual cycles
- Feeling of pain or tenderness in the breast region
- Depression or mood changes
Although these side effects are common, in most cases, these are trivial and resolves spontaneously. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, speak to your doctor on emergent basis:
- Blurring of vision
- Severe headaches
- Abdominal or severe chest pain
- Swelling, tingling or pain in the legs
Cautions and considerations of monophasic pills:
Although, monophasic pills are highly safe and effective, it is not a preferred option in the following cases:
- Females over the age of 35 years
- Females who smoke on regular basis
- Female who have a history of blood clots
Women who have a history of stroke, diabetes, hypertension, liver or kidney disease, and migraines should take extra caution while using hormonal contraceptives.
In conclusion, monophasic hormonal contraceptives are 91 to 99% effective at reducing the risk of an unintended pregnancy.
- Van Vliet, H. A. A. M., Grimes, D. A., Helmerhorst, F. M., & Schulz, K. F. (2001). Triphasic versus monophasic oral contraceptives for contra-ception. status and date: Unchanged, published in, (2).
- Yonkers, K. A., Cameron, B., Gueorguieva, R., Altemus, M., & Kornstein, S. G. (2017). The influence of cyclic hormonal contraception on expression of premenstrual syndrome. Journal of Women’s Health, 26(4), 321-328.
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