Medical News Today: Low-dose birth control: Everything you need to know

Low-dose birth management is a kind of hormonal birth management that accommodates decrease quantities of hormones than some older, conventional drugs.

For some folks, low-dose drugs might trigger fewer uncomfortable side effects and provide extra well being advantages than higher-dose drugs. Some low-dose drugs comprise each estrogen and progestin, whereas others comprise solely progestin.

In this text, study in regards to the oral forms of low-dose birth control. We additionally cowl the dangers and uncomfortable side effects of the sort of medicine.


low dose birth control
Low-dose birth management drugs might trigger fewer uncomfortable side effects than higher-dose drugs.

Most birth management drugs comprise a mix of estrogen and progestin.

Progestin is an artificial type of the pure hormone progesterone. Together, the 2 hormones regulate the menstrual cycle and stop being pregnant.

Low-dose birth management drugs are available two types. Combination drugs use each estrogen and progestin, however present decrease doses of estrogen than conventional drugs. Progestin-only drugs solely comprise artificial progesterone.

Combination low-dose birth management

Combination drugs comprise 10–35 micrograms (mcg) of estrogen, whereas higher-dose drugs comprise 50 mcg or extra.

Doctors hardly ever prescribe high-dose mixture drugs as a result of the low-dose drugs work simply as properly and trigger fewer uncomfortable side effects. Numerous manufacturers and generic types of mixture drugs can be found.

Some mixture capsule model names embrace:

  • Ortho-Novum
  • Yaz
  • Yasmin
  • Aviane
  • Apri
  • Levlen

People normally take 21 lively drugs adopted by both a 7-day break or 7 drugs with out hormones. They will normally get their interval throughout the week with out hormones.

Progestin-only low-dose birth management

A pack of progestin-only drugs, or minipills, accommodates 28 lively drugs. It is essential to take the capsule on the similar time every day. When folks take minipills in accordance to this schedule, they’re as effective as mixture drugs.

A physician might advocate progestin-only drugs for people who find themselves breast-feeding or approaching menopause. People who can’t tolerate estrogen can also want to use a minipill.

About 40 percent of people that use progestin-only drugs proceed to ovulate. This signifies that these drugs have an effect on the physique in different methods to stop being pregnant.

The minipill can also be out there in each generic and brand-name type. Some progestin-only capsule model names embrace:

  • Camila
  • Ovrette
  • Norethindrone
  • Micronor
  • Heather
  • Errin
  • Nor-QD


tampons on top of calendar marking menstrual cycle
Using low-dose birth management might end in a extra common menstrual cycle.

Low-dose birth management could also be a greater possibility for individuals who expertise insupportable uncomfortable side effects from excessive doses of estrogen.

Low-dose birth management also offers some health benefits, together with:

The minipill may also be useful for individuals who can’t take conventional drugs containing estrogen.


Low-dose mixture birth management ought to be just as effective as birth management containing increased estrogen ranges.

It is crucial to take birth management drugs on the similar time every day and never miss a dose. Failing to take the drugs on the similar time can enhance the chance of being pregnant. This threat is increased with minipills.

Low-dose birth management poses fewer well being dangers than birth management that makes use of excessive ranges of estrogen. This is as a result of excessive doses of estrogen are extra probably to trigger uncomfortable side effects.

Estrogen barely will increase the chance of coronary heart well being points and should elevate blood pressure. Very hardly ever, it could trigger a blood clot to type in a vein, normally within the leg, which is named deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The blood clot can break unfastened and journey to different areas of the physique, probably inflicting a life-threatening embolism.

The threat of estrogen-related cardiovascular well being issues is increased in individuals who:

People who use low-dose birth management are much less probably than these utilizing high-estrogen drugs to expertise coronary heart well being points.

The long-term use of hormonal birth management might slightly increase an individual’s threat of sure cancers, together with breast and cervical.

However, some research exhibits that the chance of cervical cancer in individuals who use birth management drops after 10 years of use. It can also be value noting that the risk of ovarian cancer is lower in individuals who have used birth management.

Some other risks of low-dose birth management embrace:

The threat of growing these points relies on many components, together with way of life and household medical historical past. So it is necessary to focus on the dangers and advantages of oral contraceptives with a healthcare supplier.

Side results

sleeping woman
Changes in sleep are a typical aspect impact of birth management drugs.

Side results are frequent with all hormonal birth management drugs, though some folks report fewer uncomfortable side effects with progestin-only drugs.

The commonest uncomfortable side effects embrace:

  • adjustments in sleep
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • bleeding between intervals, particularly initially
  • sore breasts
  • adjustments in libido

Many folks discover that the uncomfortable side effects disappear after just a few months because the physique adjusts to the brand new hormones.

When to change birth management strategies

Finding the fitting type of birth management is a means of trial and error. Many folks discover that hormonal birth management reduces the ache of interval cramps and regulates the menstrual cycle.

However, it’s common to have to attempt a number of differing types or manufacturers of capsule earlier than discovering one with manageable uncomfortable side effects. Some folks discover that they aren’t ready to tolerate hormonal birth management in any type.

Many non-hormonal choices can be found, together with the copper intrauterine machine (IUD), condoms, a diaphragm, and spermicidal lubricants. If individuals are involved in everlasting contraception, they will focus on surgical choices with a physician.

People may converse to a physician about switching birth management varieties every time the uncomfortable side effects really feel insupportable, or the dangers appear too giant.

Switching birth management sort is likely to be useful for people who find themselves:

  • persevering with to expertise uncomfortable side effects which are no higher after 2–three months
  • having uncomfortable side effects which are insufferable or intrude with every day functioning
  • dwelling with a medical situation, resembling lupus, liver illness, or heart problems, which will worsen the uncomfortable side effects of birth management
  • smoking whereas utilizing hormonal birth management
  • having migraines whereas utilizing birth management, particularly these with aura


Numerous protected and efficient choices can stop being pregnant. Hormonal contraceptives are about 91 p.c efficient with typical use, which is imperfect. With good use, they’re greater than 99 p.c efficient.

People who need to keep away from being pregnant may need to take into account including a backup technique of contraception, resembling condoms.

The best suited birth management technique might range as an individual ages or experiences adjustments to their well being or hormonal ranges. Monitoring uncomfortable side effects is very very important for individuals who use birth management for causes apart from stopping being pregnant.

It is finest to speak to a physician about all birth management choices. It is crucial to be clear about any uncomfortable side effects and to elevate any queries or considerations.


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