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Sabatini R et al.  
Adverse Effects of Hormonal Contraception

Journal für Reproduktionsmedizin und Endokrinologie - Journal of Reproductive Medicine and Endocrinology 2011; 8 (Sonderheft 1): 130-156

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Keywords: adverse eventbreakthrough bleedingbreast tendernesscardiovasculardermatological problemheadachehypertensionLibidomigraine-headachemood changemyocardical infarctionnauseaSpottingstrokevenous thromboembolismweight gain

contraception acceptability, compliance and continuation. Despite the safety profile of current COCs, fears of adverse metabolic and vascular effects caused by estrogen component, and possible neoplastic effects of these formulations remain. Misperceptions and concerns about side-effects, especially those affecting the menstrual cycle and increased body weight, are often given as reason for discontinuation. Besides, severe adverse effects exist; perhaps they are very rare, but it might be that other cases were underestimated or ignored. It is important to take into account that COCs, as all medications, have some contraindications, which is mandatory to consider. The „pill“ could be not for everyone. In any case, also mild or moderate adverse effects of COCs may impair the woman’s quality of life. It is well known that even small increases in frequency of adverse effects, in COCs-users, could have a general critical health impact because of their widespread use, which is currently expanding to potential risk groups. To avoid adverse events by COC use the exclusion of patients with known risk factors including patient history and family history is necessary. Furthermore the patient should be informed about possible side effects and side effects during OC use should be carefully monitored. Finally the risk benefit analysis for oral contraceptive pills which are worldwide used since more than 50 years for healthy patients is positive. Most women will benefit from additional noncontraceptive benefits such as improvement of acne vulgaris, dysmenorrhoea, stabilization of menstrual bleeding pattern, less ovarian cysts and finally a lower risk for ovarian and breast cancer, which persists even after withdrawl of COC for several years.
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