Your Contraception and Metabolism and Cholesterol

Blood cholesterol is important because it relates to the health of your blood flow through your blood vessels. In rough terms this is how we protect ourselves from heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and strokes to just mention a few things cholesterol relates to. So how healthy you are directly relates to how normal is your cholesterol number? First of all you need to know. Cholesterol testing is inexpensive, easy to get and should be done regularly as a heart check. You actually need to know a few things more about your heart's health than just your cholesterol number, or your lipid levels. But it's a big start for you to improve your health if you get those levels in line. And hormones do affect the liver where cholesterol is made. So it's an obvious question to ask how your contraception affects your cholesterol numbers. And it's a big topic that we cannot complete cover in one conversation, so read the other posts and check back often! Women on long term progesterone  (progesterone only pills, the Mirena, the Implanon, DepoProvera shot) should not expect metabolic effects of their contraception. There for you shouldn't see changes in how you metabolize sugar, how your blood chemistry's test. Women on the progesterone injection DepoProvera were studied by the World Health Organization. In that study women were tested relatively soon after they started Depo Provera when we would expect the highest concentrations of the hormone in the blood.  In that first study they showed that the HDL cholesterol was lower and LDL cholesterol was higher than these values were before the women got on their contraception. So for some women on DMPA they should monitor their blood levels of cholesterol at least once a year.Women on typical birth control pills might expect a bit of a good bump in the good cholesterol due to the estrogen in that pill. Oddly enough sometimes that effect wears off after 6-12 months on the pill. So at Women's Health Practice we recommend just measuring that cholesterol once in awhile.

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