Some Side Effects
Combination estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives
Ethinyl estradiol plus a progestin
Abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, increased appetite, ankle swelling, nausea, bleeding between periods (breakthrough bleeding), mood swings, and blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis)
Rarely an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease
Oral contraceptives Oral Contraceptives Contraceptive hormones can be Taken by mouth (oral contraceptives) Inserted into the vagina (vaginal rings) Applied to the skin (patch) Implanted under the skin read more may be useful for women who wish to delay childbearing. They may be taken 3 weeks a month (cyclically) or every day (continuously), usually for 3–4 months. Then, they are stopped for 4 days and started again.
An intrauterine device Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are small, flexible, T-shaped plastic devices that are inserted into the uterus. An IUD is left in place for 3, 5, 7, or 10 years, depending on the type, or until... read more (IUD) that releases the progestin levonorgestrel
Irregular menstrual bleeding and stopping of periods (after the IUD has been in place for a while)
These IUDs release levonorgestrel for 3 or more years. They must be inserted and removed by a doctor. They are appropriate for women who do not wish to become pregnant or who wish to delay pregnancy.
Bleeding between periods, mood swings, depression, weight gain, and vaginal dryness
Progestins are drugs that resemble the hormone progesterone. They can be given by mouth or by injection into a muscle.
Irregular menstrual bleeding, mood swings, depression, and constipation
This drug is taken by mouth at bedtime. It is commonly used in birth control pills.
Hot flashes, changes in vulvar, vaginal, and urinary tract tissue similar to those in menopause, a decrease in bone density, mood swings, headache, muscle aches and stiff joints, acne, and a reduced sex drive
Goserelin is injected under the skin every 28 days. Six doses are given.
Leuprolide may be injected under the skin once a day or injected into a muscle once a month or once every 3 months. Nafarelin is used as a nasal spray.
Triptorelin is injected into a muscle every 28 days for 6 doses, or a higher dose is injected into a muscle every 3 months. The injection site may be painful or irritated.
Hot flashes, changes in vulvar, vaginal, and urinary tract tissue similar to those in menopause, a decrease in bone density, mood swings, headaches, stiff joints, muscle aches, and a reduced sex drive
If elagolix is taken for more than 6 months, doctors may give women small doses of a progestin to minimize the decrease in bone density.
Relugolix combined with estradiol and norethindrone
Same side effects as elagolix but less severe
If relugolix is taken for more than 24 months, bone loss may continue and may be irreversible.
Weight gain, acne, lowering of the voice, increased body hair, hot flashes, changes in vulvar, vaginal, and urinary tract tissue similar to those in menopause, ankle swelling, muscle cramps, bleeding between periods, decreased breast size, mood swings, liver malfunction, carpal tunnel syndrome, and adverse effects on cholesterol levels in the blood
Danazol, a synthetic hormone related to testosterone, inhibits the activity of estrogen and progesterone. It is taken by mouth. The usefulness of danazol may be limited by its side effects.
* GnRH agonists are often given with a bisphosphonate (used to treat osteoporosis Drugs Osteoporosis is a condition in which a decrease in the density of bones weakens the bones, making breaks (fractures) likely. Aging, estrogen deficiency, low vitamin D or calcium intake, and... read more ) or with a progestin (sometimes combined with estrogen) to reduce the effects of decreased estrogen levels, such as decreased bone density. This use of estrogen plus a progestin or of a progestin alone is called add-back therapy.
GnRH = gonadotropin-releasing hormone.