Raquel Goldstein, RPA-C, MS, is a physician assistant at Dr. Polcino’s office. Today she speaks about thrombophilia’s effect on a woman using birth control. Since about 10% of women will carry thrombophilia, it is important to be informed about this genetic trait and what is recommended if it is identified.
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It has been a common thought that when using a medication for a particular problem, always try to use the lowest dose possible so potential side effects would be decreased. In terms of oral contraceptives, the dosage of these medications has been gradually reduced over the years in order to decrease the risks of abnormal blood clotting and breast concerns. Now the new very low dose oral contraceptive formulas are being reviewed due to their potential effects on long-term bone health when used in young women.
Bone mass increases greatly in young women. It is an important buildup which can have great effects later on in life.
Osteoporosis is a common problem especially in older women, and it is a condition of low bone mass, increasing the possibility of fractures. Recent studies have indicated that young women who have been on the very low dose oral contraceptives may have a decrease in the buildup of their bone mass, setting them up for potential problems as they grow older.
As always, before beginning any medication, you must have a good discussion with your health care provider about that medication. When considering an oral contraceptive, ask questions about the various dosages available so the best choice can be made.