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Specific supplementation limits adverse effects of combined oral contraceptives

26 Jul 2019

Supplementation with specific micronutrients results in a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of adverse effects during oral contraception treatment, a study has shown.

In particular, Centella Asiatica (CA) extract helps in moderating water retention, offsetting the consequent bodyweight increase as well as leg swelling and breast tenderness. Moreover, the combination of vitamins and minerals lessens the occurrence of migraine, helps increase energy levels and contributes to a better mood.

This controlled, pilot, prospective study included 52 healthy female volunteers who were prescribed an estroprogestinic contraceptive and were randomized to either the study group (n=26) or the control group (n=26). The former received a dietary supplement containing CA extract, vitamins and minerals, while the latter received only the estroprogestinic pill.

The authors measured baseline values at enrolment and assessed the outcomes after 3 months of intervention. They also measured bodyweight, body mass index (BMI) and extracellular body water using a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) scale. Patients used a dedicated questionnaire to self-report their evaluation of cellulite, breast tenderness, leg swelling, mood, fatigue, migraine, vaginal discharge and hair dryness.

Three months of supplementation led to a visible decrease in cellulite level by 56 percent and in water retention by 4 percent relative to the control group. There were also significant improvements for the other outcomes.

Supplementation negated the adverse effect of estroprogestinic contraceptive by limiting water retention, bodyweight and BMI increase. It also improved the remaining outcomes in comparison to both the control group and baseline values.

“Discontinuation and poor compliance are leading causes of oral contraception failure,” the authors said. “Because of possible adverse effects that impact their quality of life, women skip their daily dose of contraceptive, or opt for different contraception methods.”

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Most Read Articles
10 Feb 2020
Pregnant women with thyroiditis may do well with selenium supplementation, which confers benefits for autoantibody titre during pregnancy and thyroiditis recurrence postpartum, as shown in a study.