Play, the hormone

Experts are shocked by the low culture of contraception and convince women not to be afraid of hormonal means

Women’s fears of oral contraceptives were exposed during the presentation of the drug company Bayer Schering Pharma – low-dose oral contraceptive “Jess”: fear of weight gain, growth of the mustache, interference in the hormonal background and others. The new drug is called a drug it is not accidental – except for the contraceptive effect, “Jess” is recognized effective in stopping acne and treating complex forms of PMS. During the discussion of the benefits of the new remedy, questions arose concerning the culture of oral contraceptive use (OC) in general. The correspondent of SE tried to highlight some of them.

According to statistics, in Russia only 21% of women of fertile age are “covered” by contraception, and only 13% are hormonal. In particular, this is due to poor knowledge of both doctors and patients. On the question of Professor Pasman, who of the gynecologists present at the conference personally uses the OK, only five people raised his hand. “I am shocked,” the professor admitted, who spoke a lot about groundless fears for OK. “I hope that the percentage of abortions in this audience is less than in the Novosibirsk region.” And in the realm of the matter, they do not go really well – there are 46 abortions per 1,000 women, the ratio of childbirth to abortion, although it has declined from 1.5 to 1.1 abortions for 1 birth in recent years, still far from European statistics, where contraception covered 40-70% of women of childbearing age,

Abortion instead of the pill
“Abortion for many patients is still an easy, affordable operation,” laments the head of the department of the organization of medical assistance of the Health Department of the NSO Marina Sviridova. – But the consequences of this easy operation are very severe – inflammatory processes, ectopic pregnancies, secondary infertility. Reproductive-auxiliary technologies are not cheap now – the cost price of the subsequent, desirable pregnancies sharply increases “. Binds poor reproductive health indicators with abortion and low contraceptive and family planning culture and professor Natalia Pasman:

“Whatever problems we analyze: inflammatory, endocrine, hormone-dependent disorders, infertility, miscarriage, maternal mortality – the main reason is the abortions carried out. And while women prefer to have surgery, and often – not one, than to drink some hormone tablet there. “

Taking hormonal pills is prevented by fears. According to Professor Pasman, women are afraid of cancer, they are afraid to grow fat, they are afraid that they will lose their hormonal background and begin to grow a mustache. Fears did not arise from scratch – the first oral contraceptives appeared in Europe in 1960 and for a long time had a lot of side effects due to the fact that they were highly dosed. However, already at the end of the last century there appeared OCs with a low estrogen content, for example, in Yarin, the drug with the best tolerability to date, contains 30 micrograms of estrogen, and in novelty “Jesse” it in general is 20.

And suddenly I will become pregnant? 
If you have used interrupted intercourse or condoms all your life, it’s hard to believe that the spermatozoids released into free swimming will not be able to fertilize the egg. And even more so if the most active substance in tablets has become even smaller. How do pills work? Impossibility of fertilization is achieved by suppression of ovulation, increased viscosity of cervical mucus (spermatozoa simply can not penetrate through it) and a decrease in the susceptibility of the endometrium. Low dosage does not affect the contraceptive effect. At experiments on the last generation of OK for 2128 women and 24 337 cycles, there were only 16 pregnancies. In this case, all those who became pregnant missed taking the pills, and repeatedly. So with disciplined consumption you can relax and have fun.

Suddenly I’ll get fat? 
And from taking modern contraceptive pills you can really get extra pleasure. For example, weight loss. If before the OK detained fluid in the body, now the formula allows you to withdraw excess water. Experiments with the last generation of OC showed that in rare cases the weight increases by a maximum of 2 kg due to increased appetite, it often remains stable and there is a possibility of losing weight to 5 kg. The modern OC on the breast tissue is very weakly influenced, practically without giving nagging and soreness, and in some cases generally removes the symptoms of mastopathy. 

Pleasant additions
As for the general symptoms of PMS, when OC is used in the latest generation, they are often effectively removed. According to Professor Michael Hotel, who participated in the development of the contraceptive, studies have shown that the quality of life in women suffering from PMS has improved significantly with OC reception: irritability, depression, and the production of endorphins-hormones of joy have increased. For those who have menstruation, not just PMS, caused a headache, hormonal contraceptives are prescribed for the normalization of the cycle.

Due to the fact that taking pills normalizes the cycle, resolves the problem of amenorrhea, there may be a case told by professor Pasman: the patient, accustomed to unstable menstruation, skipping pills, simply did not notice that she had become pregnant. She continued to drink OK until 35 weeks, subsequently gave birth normally. “We can conclude that it is not necessary to interrupt the pregnancy that occurred when taking OK, they do not harm the fetus,” the professor comments. “But, of course, it’s better to be attentive and at the first suspicions stop taking the pills and go to the doctor.”

Those who are afraid of mustaches, you can also not worry: OK normalizes the hormonal background due to the antiandrogenic effect – that is, reduces the level of male hormones, and consequently, reduces the production of sebum and largely reduces the appearance of acne and seborrhea. 

According to dermatologist Olga Vylegzhanina, those low-dose OK, who have acne treatment prescribed, can even be prescribed to adolescent girls who do not live sexually to treat acne. 

Professor Pasmann is sure that OK is a “hormonal crutch for women”, not many of which can boast of reproductive health today. Maybe start on it lean?