Do birth control pills negatively impact liver health? Here’s what the doctors say | Health

The most important function of the liver is the processing of everything we consume, be it food, alcohol, drugs or poisons and the liver is damaged by all the toxins we consume. Blood infections also reach the liver and inflict damage while inflammations and many other diseases including cancer in other organs also target the liver.

Herbal remedies like green tea extracts, Aloe Vera, etc. should be taken with caution as some of them could cause severe liver damage, while health experts warn that painkillers also pose a threat as a major cause of acute liver injury is drug-induced liver . (DILI) and paracetamol, often called acetaminophen, has become one of the leading causes of acute liver failure.

This leads to the question of whether medications such as birth control pills or birth control pills also negatively impact liver health. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are hormone-containing drugs that are taken by mouth to prevent pregnancy. They prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and also by preventing sperm from entering through the cervix.

Speaking about the emerging trend of birth control pills and their impact on the liver, in an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Uday Sanglodkar, Senior Consultant – Hepatology and Liver Transplantation at Global Hospital Mumbai, revealed, “Our body is a system and certainly, the function of an organ of the body affects the functions of other parts of the body. Whatever medication you take, it must pass through the liver to be metabolized. It is well known that birth control pills are the most popular method to avoid pregnancy after unprotected sex in India, but unfortunately girls have no idea how much they risk their lives doing it.”

He added: “Contraceptive pills have a direct impact on the liver. Both estrogens and oral contraceptives are associated with liver-related complications such as intrahepatic cholestasis, sinusoidal dilatation, peliosis hepatis, hepatic adenomas, hepatocellular carcinomas, hepatic vein thrombosis, and gallstones. Long-term use of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) may lead to an increased risk of liver cancers such as adenomas and hemangiomas. Adenomas are round-shaped tumors made up of blood vessels. Hemangioma tumors are made up of blood vessels. These tumors are normally benign (non-cancerous) but they can become cancerous on rare occasions.

Elaborating on the same, Dr. Chetan Ramesh Kalal, Senior Hepatology Consultant and Liver Transplant Physician at Masina Hospital, Mumbai advised, “Patients who are prone to liver diseases (intrahepatic cholestasis, prothrombotic state ) and those with liver disease should be wary of oral intake. contraception. Studies have shown that it can make their condition worse, leading to chronic liver damage and jaundice. Impaired hepatic excretory function or effect on hepatic proteins due to estrogen or pro-estrogen at low or prolonged doses may be the cause.

He shared, “Liver injury during OCP therapy is rare and fatal cases have not been documented. However, one should be careful with OCPs and their possible toxic effects on the liver and consult an expert before taking them.

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