An Analysis of the Risks and Benefits of Combined Oral Contraceptive Use among Adolescents and Young Women


Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work


Biological Sciences


Citation of Original Publication



With every medication there are risks and benefits. Most realize that with every desired benefit a medication provides the individual may also experience side effects. These side effects may have a negative or positive impact on the individual's overall health and wellbeing. I researched and performed a textual analysis of the scientific literature and data regarding the risks and benefits of combined oral contraceptive pill use in adolescent and young women. The combination pill contains both a synthetic estrogen and progesterone, also known as progestogen, with estrogen doses varying from 20-50µg and progesterone varying from first to fourth generation progestogens. The pill works by introducing these hormones into the body and suppressing the body's natural fluctuations of hormones throughout the woman's menstrual cycle. Estrogen has been known to affect ocular health and vascular function, as well as individual's risk for cancer. As a result, combined oral contraceptives have been linked to an increased risk for stroke, cardiovascular issues, asthma symptoms, and breast cancer. That being said, the combination pill has also been proven to provide many benefits. Aside from preventing an unwanted pregnancy, oral contraceptive use has been shown to effectively treat acne, menstrual irregularity, and polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms, as well as decrease an in individual's risk for endometrial and ovarian cancers. All of the risks and benefits may be influenced by numerous factors. Therefore, it is important for medical care providers to take a patient's medical and personal history into account prior to making a decision on whether or not to prescribe the combination pill to an individual.