Recommended Topic Related To:


"Nov. 26, 2012 -- Pediatricians should routinely talk to their teen patients about emergency birth control and write them prescriptions for “morning-after pills” so they can get them quickly if necessary, according to a new policy statement from t"...




Serious ill effects have not been reported following acute ingestion of large doses of oral contraceptives by young children.180, 181 Overdosage may cause nausea, and withdrawal bleeding may occur in females.

Non-Contraceptive Health Benefits

The following non-contraceptive health benefits related to the use of oral contraceptives are supported by epidemiological studies that largely utilized oral contraceptive formulations containing estrogen doses exceeding 35 mcg of ethinyl estradiol or 50 mcg of mestranol.148, 149

Effects on menses:

  • Increased menstrual cycle regularity
  • Decreased blood loss and decreased risk of iron-deficiency anemia
  • Decreased frequency of dysmenorrheal

Effects related to inhibition of ovulation:

  • Decreased risk of functional ovarian cysts
  • Decreased risk of ectopic pregnancies

Effects from long-term use:


Oral contraceptives should not be used in women who have the following conditions:

  • Thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
  • A past history of deep vein thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
  • Cerebral vascular disease, myocardial infarction, or coronary artery disease, or a past history of these conditions
  • Known or suspected carcinoma of the breast, or a history of this condition
  • Known or suspected carcinoma of the female reproductive organs or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia, or a history of these conditions
  • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
  • History of cholestatic jaundice of pregnancy or jaundice with prior oral contraceptive use
  • Past or present, benign or malignant liver tumors
  • Known or suspected pregnancy


148. Ory HW, Fam Plann Perspect. 1982;14(July-Aug):182.

149. Ory HW, et al. Making Choices: Evaluating the Health Risks and Benefits of Birth Control Methods. New York, NY: The Alan Guttmacher Institute; 1983.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/17/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.