Female contraception and HRT

Female contraception

Some forms of hormonal contraception are not recommended if you have high blood pressure.

Before you start using any form of hormonal contraception (e.g. the pill, patch, injection, implant, 'coil'/ intra-uterine device or vaginal ring) your doctor / family planning nurse will talk to you about which method is best for you.

Two females talking

Talk to your doctor or family planning nurse to see which method is best for you

  • 'Combined' contraceptives (e.g. the 'pill', patches, vaginal rings) all contain 2 hormones: oestrogen and progestogen. These can all cause a small rise in your blood pressure and your doctor / family planning nurse may not recommend these methods if you have high blood pressure. Combined contraceptives should be avoided if you have high blood pressure and you have a family history of heart disease, you are overweight, you smoke or you have diabetes / migraines.
  • 'Progesterone only' contraceptives (e.g. the 'mini-pill', injections, implants and Mirena® 'coil') are not known to affect blood pressure; however, you will need to have your blood pressure closely monitored.

If your blood pressure rises while you are taking any form of hormonal contraception you may wish to consider another form of contraception.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can reduce the unpleasant effects of the menopause by increasing your hormone levels (progesterone and / or oestrogen).

HRT is not known to have any effect on your blood pressure as the amount of oestrogen in HRT treatments is very low. However, your doctor may advise that your blood pressure needs to be under control before starting HRT.

HRT is not suitable for everyone. If you are considering it, you must talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

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