"Nov. 20, 2012 -- Oral contraceptives should be made available without a prescription to reduce unintended pregnancies, according to a newly published opinion by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Serious ill effects have not been reported following acute ingestion of large doses of oral contraceptives by young children. Overdosage may cause nausea, and withdrawal bleeding may occur in females.
Noncontraceptive Health Benefits
The following noncontraceptive health benefits related to the use of oral contraceptives are supported by epidemiological studies which largely utilized oral-contraceptive formulations containing doses exceeding 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol or 0.05 mg of mestranol.
Effects on menses:
- Increased menstrual cycle regularity
- Decreased blood loss and decreased incidence of iron-deficiency anemia
- Decreased incidence of dysmenorrhea
- Effects related to inhibition of ovulation:
- Decreased incidence of functional ovarian cysts
- Decreased incidence of ectopic pregnancies
Effects from long-term use:
Oral contraceptives should not be used in women with any of the following conditions:
Thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
A past history of deep-vein thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
Known or suspected carcinoma of the breast
Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
Cholestatic jaundice of pregnancy or jaundice with prior pill use
Hepatic adenomas or carcinomas
Known or suspected pregnancyThis monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/12/2008
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