Pills & Smoke Don't Mix
Birth control pills are a very convenient, non-invasive form of birth control. What many people don't know about the pill, however, is that it doesn't mix at all with smoking. Smoking while on the pill can lead to many serious problems and complications for women. Women need to be made aware of this issue and they need to understand the potential threats that they are creating to their health.
Smoking and the Pill
Cigarettes are hard on the heart. Nicotine causes high blood pressure and an increased heart rate which puts extra stress onto the blood vessels. When a woman is on the pill, there is even more stress on the blood vessels because she also has extra estrogen. Smoking while on the pill can cause heart attacks, blood clots and strokes, particularly for those who are heavy smokers.
Who Is Most At Risk?
No one who is worried about her health should smoke - particularly if she takes birth control pills. There are, however, risk factors that make it even more dangerous to combine these two. If you smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day, you put yourself at more risk if you take birth control pills. The risks also increase if you are over 35 years old. A recent study found that women increased their chance of a heart attack 30 times if they smoked 25 cigarettes a day while using birth control pills! Other risk factors include a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. People with these issues need to be very careful about combining smoking and birth control pills.
What do you look for if you do take birth control pills and smoke? If you have bad pains in your calves, legs, abdomen or chest you may be having a reaction from the combination. Similarly, if you have headaches that feel like migraines and that last a long time, this can be a warning sign of trouble. Combining birth control pills and nicotine can be a deadly mix, and it's very important that women understand this and the risks that they may be taking to their health.