When it comes to topics like oral contraceptive (OC) pills, not many women are willing to discuss about it because it’s like a taboo subject as it is closely related to sex. To me, I don’t really care about taboo stuff cos the most important thing to me is knowledge transfer! Due to taboo, people has became ignorant and thus unable to know the real facts and benefit about oral contraceptive pills.
|Dr. KK Iswaran, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist of Prince Court Medical Centre|
|Feeling like a student|
When I mentioned on Twitter that taking oral contraceptive pills can prevent acne and mood swings, a friend couldn’t believe and said that information on Google stated otherwise. She didn’t know that those facts are only applicable to the traditional estrogen OC pills. Exeltis of Insud Pharma in Spain has came out with generic Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC) pills that contain a synthetic version of 2 female hormones – progesterone and estrogen. Due to lower content of estrogen, side effects like breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting, bloating and headache is less likely to occur.
So what exactly are the added benefits of COC pills?
- Treats acne
Taking COC pills lowers the amount of androgens (a group of hormones) that stimulate the production of oil in the skin and thus resulting in less oily skin and less severe acne
- Prevents cancers
Results from recent studies have shown that consumption of COC pills for a year or more helps to protect against uterine cancer. A greater duration of use is also associated with greater risk reduction for ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.
- Improves premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Remember the 1-2 weeks before your period and you get extremely annoyed at nothing? That’s PMS and it often includes both physical and emotional symptoms such as mood swings, acne, upset stomach, swollen breasts, bloating, etc. COC helps to control acne and menstrual-related disorders by stopping ovulation and stabilizing hormone levels.
- Regulate menstrual cycle
COC pills are able to regulate menstrual cycles by balancing the hormonal levels in the body. It also relieves dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual pain) in up to 80% of women and menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) in 50% of women who use cyclic OC pills.
|A Q&A session with Dr. KK Iswaran accompanied by Mr. Andy Siow|
Now that you knew the benefits, you might wonder whether there’s any side effect when taking the pill. Most women do not develop any side effects but a small number might develop nausea, headaches or sore breasts when they just started the course. These are only short term symptoms and will usually go away within days or weeks after going on the pill. According to Dr. KK Iswaran, consuming COC pills will not cause infertility. Instead, it helps to preserve fertility because your ovaries are taking a holiday as they don’t need to ovulate!
|Mr. Andy Siow, Managing Director of Exeltis Pharma Sdn. Bhd.|
According to Mr. Andy Siow, Managing Director of Exeltis Pharma Sdn. Bhd., there is an increase of 12% in the proportion of women that requires hormonal treatment in Malaysia compared to previous years based on their first regional market survey.
COC pills are the most preferred choice among various hormonal therapies available due to the minimal side effects, provides added health benefits, affordable and more accessible as it is available from pharmacies.
|Won a power bank during quiz session!|
Thanks to Cindy Tong for the photo!
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