The impact of estrogen dose when selecting an oral contraceptive
Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, San Francisco General
Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, USA
Oral contraceptives are widely used and thoroughly studied. Forty years of
clinical experience and scientific inquiry have demonstrated that they are safe
and effective. During that time OCs have improved so that serious effects are
increasingly rare and bothersome ones are minimized. OC side effects are a
consequence of estrogen-progestin interactions and are dose-related.
Weight change related to fluid retention, headache, nausea, and effects on
skin and hair are more commonly estrogen-dose related. Reducing the estrogen
dose may reduce risk of serious and minor OC side effects.