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Womens Health (Lond). 2015 Nov;11(6):743-8. doi: 10.2217/whe.15.82. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Oral steroid contraception.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.


Oral steroid contraception is a popular method of family planning worldwide. Over the past several decades, this method of contraception has changed significantly by decreasing the estrogen dose, changing the progestin component, and reducing the hormone free interval. Despite the popularity of oral steroid contraception, there has been much criticism regarding the associated risks of venous thromboembolism and stroke. Despite these established, yet uncommon risks, oral steroid contraception has many important health benefits. This review highlights the available formulations of oral contraceptives along with their evidence-based associated risks and benefits. Highlights regarding future directions for development of novel oral contraceptives are also addressed.


birth control; cancer risk; novel contraception; progestins; steroid contraception; venous thromboembolism

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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