SMOKING AND HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVE USE
One quarter of all women who smoke cigarettes also take hormonal contraceptives (HC’s) and over half of those smoke heavily. The risk of cardiovascular disease, including blood clot, stroke and heart attack is increased among HC users who smoke, and is further increased with heavy smoking (15 cigarettes or more per day). HC users who smoke and are over 35 years old are at significant increased risk.
HC’s alone can cause deficiencies of beta-Carotene, vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid and vitamins C and E. HC use combined with smoking can lead to even greater deficiencies due to free radical formation. Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of approximately 5,000 chemical compounds, and is major source of free radicals. Free radicals act as “cellular terrorists”, destroying cell membranes. The free radicals in cigarette smoke cause changes in the walls of blood vessels that allow fatty deposits to develop. These changes can lead to decreased blood flow and blood clots. In addition to vascular problems, free radical damage from smoking has also been linked to abnormal cervical cells, heart disease and cancer.
Women who smoke concentrate the chemicals nicotine and cotinine into their cervix which can cause cervical dysplasia, a term referring to the development of abnormal, precancerous cells in the uterus. In addition, HC’s cause decreased levels of folic acid which leads to a greater risk of cervical dysplasia among HC users who smoke. High levels of certain vitamins and minerals have been associated with a reduced risk of cervical abnormalities among smokers.
The damaging effects of free radicals can be reduced by antioxidants, substances that help reduce the number of active free radicals. There is strong evidence that supplementing with antioxidants provides a beneficial role in the prevention of smoking-related free radical damage.
Doctors recommend that you try to avoid smoking cigarettes while taking HC’s. Those who do smoke, however, may benefit from taking FEMTABS™. The unique FEMTABS formula provides a combination of antioxidants, along with B complex vitamins and important minerals that may help decrease your risk for smoking related side effects while taking HC’s.
Note: All information on this website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for a specific medical condition. Please consult your physician if you have questions or concerns regarding your health.