Before you take “The Pill” as a form of contraception, it is important to know several things:
1. Smoking and The Pill don’t mix. Women who smoke tobacco and use oral contraceptives have a five-times greater risk of dying from a heart attack than oral contraceptive users who don’t smoke. The risk of death linked to circulatory disease is greatly increased in women over the age of 35 who smoke and use oral contraceptives. Avoiding or quitting smoking while using oral contraceptives is recommended.
2. Oral contraceptives can cause folic acid depletion. In women with cervical dysplasia taking oral contraceptives, research showed high doses of folic acid improved cervical health; however women should consult and be supervised by a physician before doing so. Cervical dysplasia has been linked with cancer.
3. The Pill may increase iron levels. Because menstrual blood loss is reduced while using oral contraceptives, iron stores may increase, lessening the need for iron in premenopausal women. Iron levels should be monitored by a physician in women taking oral contraceptives and before taking iron-containing supplements since excess iron has been linked to heart disease.