hormonal birth control pills

Women experience low vitamin D levels after taking birth control

A new study has found that women may experience lowering levels of vitamin D after they stop taking birth control medications. Vitamin D is essential for immune system functioning and regulating calcium in the blood. Calcium plays a critical role in bone health, and women are at a higher risk for bone loss than men. During pregnancy, women produce higher vitamin D levels to aid in the development of their baby.

Study first author Dr. Quaker Harmon said, “Our findings indicate women may run the risk of developing vitamin D deficiency just when they want to become pregnant. For women who are planning to stop using birth control, it is worth taking steps to ensure that vitamin D levels are adequate while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.”

The study included nearly 1,700 black women. Blood samples revealed that those who used birth control pills had 20 percent higher vitamin D levels.

“We could not find any behavioral differences — such as increased time spent outdoors — to explain the increase,” Harmon explained.

On the other hand, those who stopped using birth control had average vitamin D levels. Harmon added, “Our findings suggest that contraceptives containing estrogen tend to boost vitamin D levels, and those levels are likely to fall when women cease using contraception.”

Vitamin D can be obtained through sunlight and some dietary sources, including fatty fish and fortified milk.


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.

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