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Teens and Oral Contraceptives
In pediatrics, we are seeing more and more teen girls who are on oral contraceptive pills (OPCs). OCPs are more than a birth control pill. Adolescent girls and young women are frequently prescribed the oral contraceptive pill just for its medical benefits. It is a very safe and effective treatment for many types of medical problems, including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) , irregular menstrual periods, menstrual cramps, acne, PMS, and endometriosis. Most young women who take the oral contraceptive pill have few or no problems, but there are some risks, such as an increased incidence of developing cardiovascular disease in girls who smoke and increased risk of developing blood clots in the legs.
If your daughter is taking OCPs and notices any of the following problems, call your health care provider right away.
Abdominal or stomach pain (severe)
Chest pain (severe), cough, shortness of breath
Headache (severe), dizziness, weakness, or numbness
Eye problems (vision loss or blurring), speech problems
Severe leg pain (calf or thigh)