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Copper IUDs versus long‐acting hormone injections and implants for contraception

Reversible, long‐term contraception is relied on by millions of women to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Two very common methods of pregnancy prevention are the use of a copper‐containing intrauterine device (IUD) or an injection of a progestogen hormone.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Injectable birth control with both progestin and estrogen

Birth control methods that can be injected may contain two hormones, a progestin and an estrogen. These combined injectable contraceptives (CICs) are effective in preventing pregnancy and can be stopped when a woman wants to get pregnant. This review looked at CICs for how well they prevented pregnancy and for the bleeding patterns and other side effects that may occur. We also studied whether women stopped using them early and whether women liked them.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Progestogens or progestogen‐releasing intrauterine systems for uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are common premenopausal benign uterine tumours. Treatment of uterine fibroids includes surgery, medical treatment, or both. Progestogens can be administered by various routes such as orally and by injection. Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA is a synthetic progesterone hormone given by intramuscular injection that may inhibit uterine fibroid growth. The progestogen‐releasing (levonorgestrel) intrauterine system (LNG‐IUS) is a device placed inside the uterus that releases the hormone progesterone and can cause endometrial suppression. In this review, three randomised controlled studies were included. Two randomised controlled studies included 131 women and evaluated the beneficial and harmful effects of the LNG‐IUS compared with hysterectomy or a low dose combined oral contraceptive (COC). However, the results were from only one study that compared 29 women with an LNG‐IUS versus 29 women with COC for treating uterine fibroids. The LNG‐IUS appeared to reduce menstrual blood loss and increase haemoglobin levels in premenopausal women with uterine fibroids. Reduction of fibroid size was not significant. In one study that included 56 women treated with preoperative oral progestogens (lynestrenol) compared with gonadotropin‐releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist, the uterine fibroid size was not different. There was no randomised controlled study of DMPA to treat uterine fibroids. The included studies were of poor quality and had small numbers of participants. Indeed, the authors did not recommend the use of progestogens or progestogen‐releasing intrauterine systems in treating premenopausal women with uterine fibroids. More high quality randomized controlled studies evaluating progestogens or progestogen‐releasing intrauterine systems for treating uterine fibroids that have an adequate sample size are needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Hormone contraceptives for women with sickle cell anemia

Whether women with sickle cell anemia should use hormonal birth control is unknown. Sickle cell anemia is a blood disease. This type of anemia also causes bone pain known as sickle pain crises. A concern is that women with this disease using hormonal birth control may have blood vessels blocked by blood clots or have more bone pain. Clinicians often do not prescribe these types of birth control due to these concerns. However, many women with sickle cell anemia are sexually active, are able to get pregnant and are interested in contraception.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Ways to improve use of hormonal birth control

Hormonal types of birth control are used by many women worldwide. The most common hormonal methods are birth control pills and injections. These methods often do not work as well as they could. Women may have problems using the birth control as planned. They may miss taking some pills. Other women may stop using a method due to bleeding changes. This review looked at whether more counseling or reminders helped women use these types of birth control.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Hormone contraceptives and how the body uses carbohydrates in women without diabetes

Hormone contraceptives may change how the body handles carbohydrates (starches and sugars). Changes may include lower ability to use sugar from food and more problems with the body's insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use sugar. Problems with blood sugar can increase risk for diabetes and heart disease. These issues have been raised mainly with birth control methods that contain the hormone estrogen.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Aromatase inhibitors for treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women

Advanced (or metastatic) breast cancer is cancer that has spread beyond the breast and regional lymph node areas. Breast cancer can progress to metastatic disease despite the person undergoing a range of therapies given after initial treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Metastatic breast cancer is treatable but it is not curable. Most breast cancer is sensitive to the female hormone oestrogen. Sensitive cancer cells need oestrogen to stay alive and removal of oestrogen from the body, or stopping any circulating oestrogen getting to the cancer cells, is very effective treatment for hormone‐sensitive breast cancers. Endocrine (hormonal) therapy removes the influence of oestrogen on breast cancer cells. Hormonal treatments for advanced breast cancer include tamoxifen, the progestins megestrol acetate and medroxyprogesterone acetate, and aromatase inhibitors (AIs). AIs reduce the body's ability to make (synthesise) oestrogen and have tumour‐regressing effects. The AIs in current clinical use include anastrozole, exemestane, and letrozole.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

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