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Birth Control: What's the Best Method If I Have High Blood Pressure?


By:
Kelly Shanahan

Question :

I have high blood pressure. What would be the best form of contraception in my situation?

--Stephanie

Answer :

Depending on other circumstances (number of sexual partners, history of STDs, need for convenience) your choices range from barrier methods (condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap) to DepoProvera or Norplant (shots and implants, respectively) to an IUD.

If protection from sexually transmitted diseases is an issue, then condoms are the best choice. If you are looking for convenience, DepoProvera or Norplant are good options. The DepoProvera shot is a synthetic progestin, given every three months. It is very effective, as is Norplant, a progestin capsule inserted in the upper arm and effective for five years. Side effects of both are typically irregular bleeding or headaches.

If you are in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, the IUD may be for you. This T-shaped device is placed into the uterus; it is extremely effective in preventing pregnancy. Some women experience increased cramps and increased menstrual bleeding as side effects, particularly with the copper IUD.

Discuss these options with your health care provider. Together, you can decide on the best contraceptive option to meet your needs.

 

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