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Can contraceptives increase blood pressure?

Do you know that some types of contraceptives that can increase blood pressure? Some researches says that contraceptives may cause a significant increase in diastolic pressure. This could also likely continue in older women, who have been off the pill for years(Kharbanda EO et al, 2014). A research study has shown that birth controls containing oestrogen can likely elevate blood pressure. Hence, hypertensive women should avoid using such birth controls.

Contraceptive methods- types

Birth control or contraceptive is any medicine, device or method that can be used to prevent pregnancy. Moreover, The choice of birth control methods is dependent on several factors such as; your health status, desire to have children in the future or not, the need to prevent sexually transmitted infections, how comfortable you are with using the method.

Below are the different types of contraceptives:

Condoms are barrier devices used to prevent pregnancy. The spread of sexually transmitted infections is also prevented with the use of condoms.
There are male and female condoms.

2. Diaphragm– A rubber shaped device.  It is placed into the vagina to prevent contraception.

3.Cervical cap– It is a thimble shaped rubber device. It is placed over the cervix to prevent pregnancy

4. Contraceptive Injection– It is a temporary, effective and progestin only contraceptive injection. This injection is also known as depo- provera. It prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation in the woman. Additionally, ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary.

5. The intrauterine device (IUD)– It is a T shaped small pliable device.It is placed in the uterus by a doctor or physician.
There are 2 types;
Copper IUD- It gradually releases copper which also acts as a spermicide. Spermicide is any substance that destroys sperm cells.

Hormonal IUD- It contains a hormone called progestin. It also prevents sperm from getting to the egg/ovum by thickening the cervical mucus.

6. Contraceptive pills-It contains two hormones, oestrogen and progestin. The hormones stop ovulation from taking place.

7. Contraceptive patch- It is a transdermal patch that is placed on the skin to prevent pregnancy. It releases oestrogen and progestin hormones.

8. Vaginal ring– It is a bendable plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy. It also releases progestin and oestrogen hormones which prevents ovulation.

9. Sterilization– This is a permanent birth control method, suitable for those that no longer want to have children.
Such methods includes:
Tubal ligation– A form of female sterilization where the surgeon cuts or blocks the fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization of an egg in the future.

Vasectomy– A form of male sterilization where the tube which acts as a passage for the sperm to make its way to the ejaculate is cut or blocked.


The risk of high blood pressure increases with age. However, high blood pressure could be hereditary and can occur in your adults as well. Some other factors that can also trigger hypertension includes high salt intake, high cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes, excess alcohol, hormonal problems etc. The risk of high blood pressure increases with age.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is when the force of the blood against the blood vessel walls is too high. Blood pressure measurement values is usually indicated with two numbers. Moreover, the first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the blood vessels, when the heart is at rest.

Blood pressure ranges

​Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
Stage 1 High Blood Pressure: 140-159 Over 90-99
High blood Pressure in People Over Age 60: 150 and above over 90 and above


Some research studies has revealed that birth controls that contain oestrogen and progesterone can likely increase blood pressure.
It is believed that the estrogen may trigger the release of other hormones, that could cause elevate your blood pressure. Additionally, Progestin has also been found to affect blood pressure. However, it does not increase blood pressure to the same degree that estrogen does (Glisic M et al, 2018).  Moreover, hypertensive women  who use birth control containing oestrogen, increase their risk of stroke and heart attack compared to women who are not hypertensive. Furthermore, it is crucial that women with high blood pressure should avoid contraceptives with oestrogen.

Which contraceptive method  is safe for women with high blood pressure?

The best choice for birth control for women with high blood pressure, are contraceptives that does not contain oestrogen such as ;

-Copper IUD.
-Condoms and spermicides.
-Sterilization for men and women.
-Cervical cap and diaphragm.
-Progestin only hormonal methods: Mini pill, birth control implant.


Finally, If you have high blood pressure, it’s necessary to discuss with your doctor about the best form of birth control method that you can use. It is also essential that the doctor undergoes a thorough medical history and check your blood pressure from time to time. This should be done prior to making a decision on the birth control method that is suitable for you.
However, women of any age who have multiple risk factors for heart disease or who have uncontrolled high blood pressure, should not use birth control containing estrogen.


Kharbanda EO, Parker ED, Sinaiko AR, et al. Initiation of oral contraceptives and changes in blood pressure and body mass index in healthy adolescents. J Pediatr. 2014;165(5):1029-33. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.07.048

Glisic M, Shahzad S, Tsoli S, et al. Association between progestin-only contraceptive use and cardiometabolic outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2018;25(10):1042-1052. doi:10.1177/2047487318774847


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The author Oluwapelumi

Oluwapelumi is health and wellness expert with years of experience in this field. She likes reaching out to people as to how they can live a healthy lifestyle.

tag lifestyle exercise
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