Sunday 10 July 2022

Birth Control Allergies

Marla Ahlgrimm

As if women didn’t have enough to worry about, some of us of reproductive age may need to be concerned about birth control-related rashes. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, these are rare, but they do happen. 
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that birth control is used for many reasons, not just to prevent pregnancy. Some women are prescribed estrogen-based birth control to treat endometriosis, irregular menstrual cycles, and severe cramps. 
Hormones And Rash 
Hormones don’t typically cause rashes. This is especially true of birth control as estrogen and progesterone are both naturally occurring in the female human body. But, sometimes, women can experience skin issues including melasma, contact dermatitis, hormonal acne, and more. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that some women may even experience Erythema Nodosum, which is an inflammatory disorder typified by bumps on the knees and shins. Women experiencing this condition, which is fortunately not serious, may also experience mild joint pain and enlarged lymph nodes. 

Marla Ahlgrimm says that autoimmune progesterone dermatitis may also be caused by oral contraceptives. Although rare, autoimmune progesterone dermatitis can become serious, causing open sores, swelling, hives, and even symptoms similar to asthma. 
Contact dermatitis is typically seen when people come into physical contact with certain types of birth control, including latex or the chemicals in spermicides. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that contact dermatitis can cause swelling and itching anywhere contact is made. This is problematic for obvious reasons. 
Melasma is another type of rash that can happen to women that take oral contraceptives. Usually known as the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma is a grayish blue rash that may look much like freckles. This is highly treatable and also harmless. 
A small number of women may also experience hormonal acne or spider veins as a result of taking oral contraceptives. 
Which Birth Controls Might Trigger A Rash? 
Allergies are a funny thing, and Marla Ahlgrimm says there’s no way to know who will or won’t experience a rash and to what. However, the most common types of rash related to birth control are caused by birth control pills or patches, the vaginal ring, an IUD, birth control shots, and condoms. Rarely, some women can experience a delayed sensitivity to nickel related to implanted birth controls, such as Essure or the clips used in tubal ligation. 
Marla Ahlgrimm says that most rashes can be treated with an antihistamine or by simply swapping birth control methods. 
Why Are Some Women More Prone To Birth Control Rashes? 
Hormones are not the only culprit that can trigger the body to think there’s a problem, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Some women are sensitive to chemicals, inert ingredients, and even the dyes used to color code birth control pills. 
Other Potential Side Effects 
Most women will not experience a rash caused by birth control. Nonetheless, Marla Ahlgrimm says that other side effects are possible. These include digestive disturbances, weight gain, increased appetite, excessive hair growth, vomiting, cramps, gingivitis, breast tenderness, and unusual vaginal discharge. 
Marla Ahlgrimm
In addition to taking an over-the-counter antihistamine, Marla Ahlgrimm says that many women find relief of topical allergy symptoms with aloe-based or steroid creams, unscented lotions, or even a cool compress. 
Ultimately, Marla Ahlgrimm says that any type of hormone or medication you put into your body has the potential to cause an adverse reaction. Fortunately, in the case of birth control, these are almost always mild and are easily treatable. She further notes that something as simple as changing your birth control or switching to latex-free condoms can go a long way toward improving your quality of life if birth control is a must.


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