When you visit your women’s health professional to discuss birth control, one of the things that he or she will consider is your lifestyle and what risks certain contraceptives could pose based on these factors. If you smoke, your OBGYN in Arlington Heights may steer you away from oral contraceptives to protect you from potentially dangerous side effects. Here is what you need to know.
Smoking and oral contraceptives are a dangerous combination. The estrogen in birth control pills increases the pressure in blood vessels, increasing the risk of blood clots. When you smoke, that pressure is increased even further. When smoking and oral contraceptives are combined, your risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart attack increases, especially if you are over 35.
If you smoke, talk to your OBGYN about non-hormonal birth control methods that won’t further impact your cardiovascular health. You can also ask your doctor for advice to help you quit smoking. Doing so not only increases your options for birth control but can also dramatically improve your overall health.