Obesity and hormonal contraceptive efficacy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Obesity is a major public health concern affecting an increasing proportion of reproductive-aged women. Avoiding unintended pregnancy is of major importance, given the increased risks associated with pregnancy, but obesity may affect the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives by altering how these drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolized or eliminated. Limited data suggest that long-acting, reversible contraceptives maintain excellent efficacy in obese women. Some studies demonstrating altered pharmacokinetic parameters and increased failure rates with combined oral contraceptives, the contraceptive patch and emergency contraceptive pills suggest decreased efficacy of these methods. It is unclear whether bariatric surgery affects hormonal contraceptive efficacy. Obese women should be offered the full range of contraceptive options, with counseling that balances the risks and benefits of each method, including the risk of unintended pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-466
Number of pages14
JournalWomen's Health
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • birth control
  • hormonal contraception
  • obesity
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Obesity and hormonal contraceptive efficacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this