What are disadvantages of combination oral contraceptives?

Updated: Oct 06, 2020
  • Author: Frances E Casey, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Adverse effects include nausea, breast tenderness, breakthrough bleeding, amenorrhea, and headaches. Oral contraceptives do not provide protection from STDs. Daily administration is necessary, and inconsistent use may increase the failure rate. A few months of delay of normal ovulatory cycles may occur after discontinuation of oral contraceptives. Women who continue to have amenorrhea after a discontinuation period of 6 months require a full evaluation.  Women with certain conditions such as seizure disorder may be taking cytochrome-p450 inducers that could decrease the effectiveness of a combined oral contraceptive method.

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