Is OPill® safe? | Waterleaf Women's Center | Aurora, IL

Is OPill® safe?

Is OPill® safe?

28 Jun 2024 | Uncategorized

You may have heard about the over-the-counter birth control pill known as Opill®, the “mini-pill,” or POP (progestin-only-pill). If you’re considering taking Opill, it’s important to know the affect the drug will have on your body. Following is a review of how the pill works and the reported risks.

How does the OPill work?

The FDA describes Opill as a progestin-only contraceptive intended to “prevent conception.” It contains a synthetic hormone. Opill can work in four different ways:

  • Preventing ovulation
  • Thickening cervical mucus to inhibit sperm penetration
  • Slowing the movement of the egg
  • Altering the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation (related: Can Plan B cause an abortion?)

What are OPill side effects?

The FDA lists several side effects to using Opill, including:

  • Changes in menstrual bleeding
  • Cysts on the ovary
  • Allergic reactions, including asthma
  • Other common side effects such as headache, dizziness, nausea, increased appetite, abdominal pain, cramps and bloating, fatigue, vaginal discharge, dysmenorrhea, nervousness, backache, breast discomfort, acne

The FDA also says these “are not all the possible side effects of Opill.” Medscape lists several more severe potential side effects:

  • Risk of serious cardiovascular disease on women who smoke
  • Tumors of the liver
  • Changes in metabolism of carbohydrates or lipids

Does the hormone in Opill have a cancer risk?

Numerous studies concluded that the synthetic hormone in Opill (norgestrel) is associated with increased cancer risk by altering cells.

An analysis of data by researchers at Oxford Population Health’s Cancer Epidemiology Unit concluded that ingestion of Opill could result in up to a 29% increase in breast cancer risk.

A study published in the American Association for Cancer Research observed breast cells exposed to POP contraceptives underwent an increase in a protein involved in cancer. Their research also suggested that the hormone ingredient “may impair tumor immunity,” making breast cells more vulnerable to developing cancer.

Next steps

The medical professionals at Waterleaf are available to answer your questions and address your concerns about birth control. If you’ve experienced an unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to obtain a pregnancy confirmation and ultrasound for your health and safety.  Call or text Waterleaf confidentially and judgement-free today at 630-360-2256.

Waterleaf Women’s Center Does Not Perform Nor Refer For Abortions, Nor Administers The Abortion Pill.

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