Hormonal contraception

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By nclexnursing

Hormonal contraception refers to birth control treatments that work by affecting the endocrine system. Almost majority of the treatments use steroid hormones, while one selective estrogen receptor modulator is sold as a contraceptive in India. The combination oral contraceptive pill, the first hormonal treatment, was originally sold as a contraceptive in 1960. Many more delivery routes have been developed in the decades thereafter, but the oral and injectable approaches remain by far the most used. Hormonal contraception is quite effective: when used according to the instructions, users of steroid hormone techniques have a pregnancy rate of less than 1% per year.

Combination methods, which contain both estrogen and progestin, and progestogen-only methods, which contain only progesterone or one of its synthetic equivalents, are the two main forms of hormonal contraception formulations (progestins). While progestogen-only treatments reduce the frequency of ovulation, most of them rely more heavily on changes in cervical mucus in combination procedures. Certain side effects are more common with progestogen-only treatments than with other formulations; for example, breakthrough bleeding is substantially more likely with progestogen-only methods.

Medical Applications

Hormonal contraception is most commonly used to prevent conception, but it’s also used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome, menstrual problems like dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia, and hirsutism.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Hormonal therapies, such as hormonal contraceptives, are often effective in reducing the symptoms of the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Birth control pills are frequently used to reduce ovarian hormone production and reverse the consequences of high androgen levels.


To address cramping and pain associated with primary dysmenorrhea, hormonal birth control techniques such as birth control tablets, the contraceptive patch, vaginal ring, contraceptive implant, and hormonal IUD are used.


In the treatment of menorrhagia, oral contraceptives are used to assist control menstrual cycles and avoid extended menstrual bleeding. Levonorgestrel, a hormone released by the hormonal IUD (Mirena), thins the uterine lining, reducing excessive bleeding and iron loss.


Birth control tablets, which block ovulation and reduce androgen production by the ovaries, are the most widely prescribed hormonal treatment for hirsutism. Furthermore, estrogen in the pills causes the liver to generate more of a protein that binds to androgens, lowering their action.

Side effects

  • Cancers
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Blood clots
  • Depression

Action Mechanisms

Hormonal substances have a complicated effect on the reproductive system. Combination hormonal contraceptives are thought to function by suppressing ovulation and thickening cervical mucus. Progestogen-only contraceptives can also prevent ovulation, but they rely heavily on cervical mucus thickening. Ormeloxifene has no effect on ovulation and the mechanism of action is unknown.

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