Items in AFP with MESH term: Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
Using Progestins in Clinical Practice - Article
ABSTRACT: Progestational agents have many important functions, including regulation of the menstrual cycle, treatment of dysfunctional uterine bleeding, prevention of endometrial cancer and hyperplastic precursor lesions, and contraception. Because of the reported side effects of synthetic analogs called "progestins," there has been interest in replicating the natural hormone for clinical use. Natural progesterone is obtained primarily from plant sources and is currently available in injectable, intravaginal and oral formulations. An oral micronized progesterone preparation has improved bioavailability and fewer reported side effects compared with synthetic progestins. Adolescents and perimenopausal women may require progestational agents for the treatment of dysfunctional uterine bleeding resulting from anovulatory cycles. These agents may also be used in women at risk for endometrial hyperplasia because of chronic unopposed estrogen stimulation. Progestin-only contraceptives can be used in women with contraindications to estrogen; however, efficacy requires rigorous compliance. New progestins for use in combination oral contraceptive pills were specifically developed to reduce androgenic symptoms. It is unclear whether these progestins increase the risk of venous thromboembolic disease. Progestin-only emergency contraception offers a regimen that is more effective than combination oral contraceptive pills, with fewer reported side effects.
ABSTRACT: Millions of women in the United States use some type of hormonal contraception: combination oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), progestin-only pills, medroxyprogesterone acetate injections, or subdermal levonorgestrel implants. Abnormal uterine bleeding is a common but rarely dangerous side effect of hormonal contraception. It is, however, a major cause for the discontinuation of hormonal contraception and the resultant occurrence of unplanned pregnancy. The evaluation of abnormal uterine bleeding in women who are using hormonal contraception includes an assessment of compliance, a thorough history and complete physical examination to exclude organic causes of bleeding, and a targeted laboratory evaluation. Pregnancy and the misuse of OCPs are frequent causes of abnormal uterine bleeding. Bleeding is common during the first three months of OCP use; counseling and reassurance are adequate during this time period. If bleeding persists beyond three months, it can be treated with supplemental estrogen and/or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Other options are to change to an OCP with a higher estrogen content or to a different formulation (i.e., a low-dose OCP containing a different progestin). Management strategies for women with abnormal uterine bleeding who are using progestin-only contraceptive methods include counseling and reassurance, as well as the administration of supplemental estrogen and/or an NSAID during bleeding episodes.
New Contraceptive Options - Article
ABSTRACT: Almost one half of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Primary reasons for the high rate of unplanned pregnancy include dissatisfaction with or underuse of effective contraceptive methods and poor compliance with contraceptive methods that require daily adherence. Several effective forms of contraception have become available in the United States within the past four years. The combined hormonal vaginal ring is inserted into the vagina for three weeks and then removed; after one ring-free week, a new ring is inserted. The contraceptive patch works in much the same way as oral contraceptive pills but requires only once-weekly application by the patient. A new intrauterine system that releases levonorgestrel provides the same contraception as traditional intrauterine devices but is associated with less menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea. The intrauterine system is highly effective and carries minimal risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. In providing counseling about contraception, the physician should consider the woman's preference and determine the likelihood of adherence to the regimen. In case of contraceptive failure, emergency contraception is effective.
Initiating Hormonal Contraception - Article
ABSTRACT: Most women can safely begin taking hormonal birth control products immediately after an office visit, at any point in the menstrual cycle. Because hormonal contraceptives do not accelerate cervical neoplasia or interfere with cervical cytology, women who have not had a recent Papanicolaou smear can begin using hormonal contraceptives before the test is performed. After childbirth, most women can begin using progestin-only contraceptives immediately. Estrogen-containing methods can safely be initiated six weeks to six months postpartum for women who are breastfeeding their infants and three weeks postpartum for women who are not breastfeeding. Women can begin any appropriate contraceptive method immediately following an early abortion. Delaying contraception may decrease adherence. Physicians can help patients improve their use of birth control by providing anticipatory guidance about the most common side effects, giving comprehensive information about available choices, and honoring women's preferences. An evidence-based, flexible, patient-centered approach to initiating contraception may help to lower the high rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States.
Medications in the Breast-Feeding Mother - Article
ABSTRACT: Prescribing medications for a breast-feeding mother requires weighing the benefits of medication use for the mother against the risk of not breast-feeding the infant or the potential risk of exposing the infant to medications. A drug that is safe for use during pregnancy may not be safe for the nursing infant. The transfer of medications into breast milk depends on a concentration gradient that allows passive diffusion of nonionized, non-protein-bound drugs. The infant's medication exposure can be limited by prescribing medications to the breast-feeding mother that are poorly absorbed orally, by avoiding breast-feeding during times of peak maternal serum drug concentration and by prescribing topical therapy when possible. Mothers of premature or otherwise compromised infants may require altered dosing to avoid drug accumulation and toxicity in these infants. The most accurate and up-to-date sources of information, including Internet resources and telephone consultations, should be used.
Same-Day Initiation of Hormonal Contraceptives - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Adverse effects of hormonal contraceptives usually diminish with continued use of the same method. Often, physi- cians only need to reassure patients that these symptoms will likely resolve within three to five months. Long-acting injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate is the only hormonal contraceptive that is consistently associated with weight gain; other hormonal methods are unlikely to increase weight independent of lifestyle choices. Switching com- bined oral contraceptives is not effective in treating headaches, nor is the use of multivitamins or diuretics. There are no significant differences among various combined oral contraceptives in terms of breast tenderness, mood changes, and nausea. Breakthrough bleeding is common in the first months of combined oral contraceptive use. If significant abnormal bleeding persists beyond three months, other methods can be considered, and the patient may need to be evaluated for other causes. Studies of adverse sexual effects in women using hormonal contraceptives are inconsistent, and the pharmacologic basis for these symptoms is unclear. If acne develops or worsens with progestin-only contra- ceptives, the patient should be switched to a combination method if she is medically eligible. There is insufficient evidence of any effect of hormonal contraceptives on breast milk quantity and quality. Patient education should be encouraged to decrease the chance of unanticipated adverse effects. Women can also be assessed for medical eligibility before and during the use of hormonal contraceptives.