The Vein Institute. The Premier Varicose Vein Treatment Center on the Upper East Side. Click here for vein screening

How Hormonal Birth Control Impacts Your Heart Health

For anyone who menstruates and wants to prevent pregnancy, hormonal birth control can be a saving grace. And while options such as “the pill” are highly effective and generally quite safe, like all medications they bring a risk of side effects that can impact the health of your heart. 

At Upper East Cardiology in the Upper East Side of New York City, Dr. Satjit Bhusri offers comprehensive cardiovascular care for women, with a focus on preventive heart care and treatment for existing conditions. 

Read on to learn about the impact hormonal birth control methods may have on your heart health and ways you can minimize related risks.

How hormonal birth control method works

Hormonal birth control methods use the hormones estrogen and/or progestins to prevent pregnancy by keeping mucus in your cervix thick so that sperm can’t pass into your uterus or keeping your ovaries from releasing eggs. As a result, an egg can’t be fertilized to create a pregnancy. They come in a variety of forms, including pill, patch, under-the-skin implant, injection, and vaginal ring.

How the added hormones impact your heart

Increasing your estrogen or progestin levels can impact your heart health in several ways, including raising your blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and lower your HDL, or “good” cholesterol. If these issues go unmanaged, you run the risk of more serious heart-related issues, such as blocked arteries, angina (a type of chest pain), heart attack, and stroke.

Your risk for cardiovascular problems related to hormonal birth control is highest if you:

What to do about heart health risk and birth control

As with all medications, it’s important to choose one for which the benefits outweigh the risks. And those risks vary from person to person. For these reasons, Dr. Bhusri and your gynecologist can help you consider the pros and cons and make the wisest, most informed decision.

If you're healthy overall and don't smoke, you can probably safely use hormonal birth control. If you have particular risk factors for heart disease, you may benefit from options such as:

To learn more about hormonal birth control and heart health or get a sense of your own risk factors for heart disease, call Upper East Side Cardiology or request an appointment with Dr. Bhusrithrough our website. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Risk Factors for Heart Attacks

If you want to avoid a heart attack, understanding your risk factors can go far. From your lifestyle habits to your blood pressure levels, there are many aspects of your life that can determine the likelihood of this life-threatening event. Let's find out.

Are Palpitations Cause for Concern?

While having your heart skip a beat is a popular metaphor in music, it can be alarming in real life. Heart palpitations are usually harmless, but there are some situations that should prompt you to talk to your doctor.

Is Stress Making Your Hypertension Worse?

Can stress raise your blood pressure? Do relaxation techniques work? Find out how your emotional health plays a role in hypertension, and get answers to your stress-related questions.

Are Your Varicose Veins a Sign of Deeper Trouble?

Varicose veins can be bothersome to look at, but they can also cause bothersome medical symptoms and lead to complications if they’re left untreated. Seeking the care you need before your veins worsen can go a long way.