Much research has focused on the possible changes in general health and nutritional needs of women taking birth control pills. Research includes work on vitamin B-6, folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, zinc and copper. There is no conclusive evidence to show that users of oral contraceptives need different amounts of vitamins and minerals. Plan a well-balanced diet with emphasis on good food sources of vitamins and minerals.
Oral contraceptives are prescription birth control pills taken by women to prevent pregnancy. They are often referred to as "the pill." When taken as directed, they prevent ovulation, the release of an egg by the ovary. If no egg is released, pregnancy can't occur. The female hormones estrogen and progestin are the agents in oral contraceptives that prevent ovulation. A progestin-only pill (mini-pill) is also available.
Our bodies naturally produce hormones to regulate many metabolic functions. Hormones are powerful chemicals that can affect many parts of the body. Much research has been conducted to investigate other changes that occur in women who take birth control pills and who, therefore, have increased amounts of female hormones. These can include changes in general health as well as in nutritional needs.
In general, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises any woman who takes birth control pills to request from her doctor, pharmacist, or health department, a government pamphlet that explains in greater detail the uses, benefits and risks of birth control pills.
In terms of nutrition, there are questions about whether women on birth control pills need different amounts of some vitamins and minerals. The vitamins in question include vitamin B-6, folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin C and vitamin A. Minerals include iron, zinc and copper.
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