The blog, Which Birth Control is Safest for High Blood Pressure? published on Romper covers birth control selections for those with high blood pressure. As a contributor to this piece, I’m happy to share that hypertension does not prevent you from using birth control.
High blood pressure and birth control – can they coexist? They certainly can! Don’t let elevated blood pressure get in the way of a fulfilling sex life and your personal family plans. I work with my patients experiencing hypertension to select from a variety of birth control options and your doctor can help you do the same.
Your birth control options
There are several types of birth control for people with hypertension. These options include; Condoms, the IUD, the shot, the implant, and the mini pill. Condoms and Copper IUDs are free from hormones while the Progesterone IUD, the shot, the implant and the mini pill contain only progesterone. This is especially important, since people with high blood pressure should avoid birth control that contains estrogen. Estrogen can raise blood pressure and may contribute to an increased risk of blood clots and is present in combination with progesterone in many birth control options.
Given the variety of options available to you, consider what best supports your lifestyle and habits. With the mini pill you need to take it at the same time of day to make it most effective. With the Depo Shot, you need to return to your healthcare provider’s office every three months for an injection. The IUDs and the implant require an insertion visit however, once inserted, they can provide contraception for multiple years depending on the device selected. And, the condom is the only of the listed options that helps protect against STIs and STDs.
As I mentioned before, combined hormonal contraception – such as the birth control pill that includes both estrogen or progesterone – is not a suitable choice of contraception for people with high blood pressure. And remember, if you have hypertension, it’s always important to engage in healthy habits such as regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a balanced diet. It’s also important to rely on your doctor for regular blood pressure checks and to continue taking any prescribed medications.
High blood pressure and birth control
Birth control for those with high blood pressure isn’t a one-size fits all situation. Your doctor can work with you to help select the best form of birth control. As always, the best form of birth control is the one that will work with your lifestyle and the one that you will use regularly and routinely.
Meet Dr. Savita Ginde
Dr. Savita Ginde is an advocate and thought leader for reproductive health and served as Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains for over 13 years. And, until very recently, she served as the Chief Healthcare Officer for STRIDE Community Health Center where she oversaw all of STRIDE’s healthcare services and led their COVID-19 vaccination efforts.