The most commonly prescribed birth controls pills contain a synthetic mixture of estrogen
and another hormone called progesterone
. In addition, there is a form of birth control called the “mini-pill” which only contains progesterone. These hormones are necessary for the contraceptive
action of the birth control pill, but carry some risks.
Progesterone is a hormone that can affect blood pressure. The mechanism by which this occurs is complicated, but involves both hormone cascades and direct effect on small blood vessels. Because of these effects, it is possible that taking birth control pills can cause your blood pressure to rise. This increase in blood pressure can range from very mild to potentially serious, and may sometimes warrant discontinuing the birth control.
While the absolute risk of developing high blood pressure
while taking birth control pills has not been established, there are several other factors that may indicate a woman is more likely to experience this complication. These factors include
A family history of high blood pressure, especially in female relatives
A personal history of high blood pressure during prior pregnancy
Any personal history of heart problems
Any personal history of blood vessel problems .