Smoking and contraception: Precautions and Contraindications
The evolution of smoking in women is different from that of men. Women smoking started in developed countries just before the Second World War. However, significant sociological changes, as they were joining the workforce and the movement for emancipation and equality, which occurred mainly during the 50’s and 60’s led to the introduction of women into the habit of smoking snuff.
According to Medicine specialists, the consequences of smoking among women are becoming very worrying. Smoking kills about half a million women each year and is the most important preventable cause of premature death for women in the majority of developed countries.
The real trigger for cardiovascular problems is tobacco. In fact, a healthy woman, non-smoker, can use the pill until menopause, without increased cardiovascular risk. Especially the use of oral contraceptives with low dose possible estrogenic recommends for women under the age of 35 years who smoke. Approximately 20% of the total Western countries women’s deaths due to cardiovascular disease associated with tobacco.
Risk factors to be taken into account when assessing the suitability or not taking the pill in each case, are: tobacco, high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and migraines. Among these factors, the most important and preventable is smoking. Smoking causes an increased risk of myocardial infarction in patients not users of the pill and this risk increases with age and more patients taking any type of hormonal contraceptive.
The boundary of cigarettes per day for contraception in women over 35 years is not well defined. It is known is that the big smokers (more than 15 cigarettes a day) should leave any hormonal method and change of method of contraception. The data regarding the occasional smokers and even moderate smokers are scarce and attitudes vary between those who think that they should stop the pill or any other hormonal methods and those that are more tolerant and if they do not find other cardiovascular risk factors allowed the patient to continue with the pill, although they insist to decrease the number of maximum cigarettes per day.
This last approach is probably the most common and is supported by the scarce side effects of the new low-dose contraceptive risks associated with the most modern attacks are so low that many patients and many physicians assume them to continue using and prescribing a method as reliable and effective as the pill.