After cautiously clearing Yaz for continued use Thursday, an FDA Advisory Panel Friday addressed post-marketing data showing similarly increased blood clot risks among users of the contraceptive patch. The committee, after having been clearly quite extensively briefed, heard testimony from Ortho Evra’s manufacturer and experts in epidemiology, gynecology and hematology. They also heard moving testimony about a young woman who died from a massive pulmonary embolism while using the Nuvaring, whose parents argued that not only the Patch, but most of the newer methods carry an increased clot risk that no woman should be allowed to take without being adequately informed.
The committee ruled that despite limitations of the data, the patch most likely carried a 1.5 times relative risk of blood clots compared to 2nd generation levonogestrel pills, but not necessarily higher than that of newer pills containing 3rd and 4th generation progestins and drosperinone. With a few dissenters, the committee voted to allow the Patch to stay on the market, but asked for Read more »
It depends on the method and whether the mother plans to breast feed. Ideally, it is recommended that women abstain from sexual relations for at least 4 to 6 weeks after having a baby to reduce the risk of developing vaginal infections and of course, becoming pregnant.
Pregnant women have an increased risk of developing blood clots because of hormonal changes. This is commonly referred to as a hypercoagulable state. Birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progestin (aka combination pills) are not recommended for the first 42 days after the delivery because they increase the risk of blood clots in the legs (Deep Venous Thrombosis, aka DVT) and also decrease breast milk production. The vaginal ring and patch are also not recommended. However, birth control pills that only contain progestin are safe to take immediately after delivery because they don’t increase the risk of developing blood clots nor do they reduce the amount of breast milk production. The Depo- Provera injection may also be given as well because it is a progestin-only product. What women are at increased risk for developing a DVT? Read more »
The idea that heart disease mortality rises dramatically at menopause has been one of the truisms of medicine that spawned a generation of hormone use by women and led to the rise and subsequent fall of Prempro in the Women’s Health Initiative, the end-all-be-all study that failed to prove the truism. The truism is still so strongly believed that research to prove it right continues, using different hormone formulations and different cohorts of women, in the hopes that the hormonal fountain of youth was just misbranded and given to the wrong aged cohort.
Now comes a landmark study that suggests that what we’ve thought all along about heart disease and menopause may actually be wrong.
Dhananjay Vaidya and colleagues at Johns Hopkins and the University of Alabama have re-analyzed mortality data on men and women in the UK and US and concluded that, contrary to popular belief, heart disease rates and mortality do not increase dramatically with menopause, but rather rise more gradually as a function of age in both men and women.
What role has the birth control pill played in human sexuality? Dr. Jon LaPook looks at the evolution of sex as the pill turns 50 and discusses the effect of the pill on female sexuality with sex therapist and educator Miriam Baker.
The pill that ushered in the sexual revolution may have also thrown cold water on women’s libido. Fifty years ago, on May 9th, 1960, the FDA announced the approval of oral contraception.
The birth control pill has allowed women to control their reproductive cycle, delay childbearing, and develop careers. But it also may have the potential to disrupt sexuality by blocking normal hormonal surges that occur in a woman’s cycle. Here’s how. Read more »
It’s only Wednesday, and so far three patients have come to their office visits carrying Cynthia Gorney’s article from Sunday’s New York Times entitled “The Estrogen Dilemma.”
The article explores the stories of three women who found relief from perimenopausal symptoms by using hormone replacement, framing the discussion in the larger context of what is being called the “window hypothesis” — the idea that starting estrogen replacement in the perimenopause and continuing it into later life may be neuroprotective and even cardioprotective, in contrast to beginning its use 10 or more years after menopause, where it can trigger heart disease, stroke and dementia. Read more »
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