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Can Birth Control Pills Affect Your Cholesterol?

If you're like me, you don't give your cholesterol much thought. I always thought your cholesterol levels were based on whether or not you ate a lot of high-fat foods like cheese, meat, and ice cream, but you can also inherit high or low cholesterol from your parents. And I also just learned that taking birth control pills can affect your levels too.

To found out how,


According to the Mayo Clinic, the estrogen found in birth control pills can cause an increase in HDL ("good" cholesterol), a decrease in LDL ("bad" cholesterol), and an increase in your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The other hormone found in combination birth control pills, progestin, has the opposite effect. The changes aren't drastically significant, but if you do have high cholesterol, taking birth control pills that have a higher concentration of estrogen probably isn't the best form of contraception for you. And remember, a diet that's high in fiber and low in cholesterol and saturated fat, combined with regular exercise, is the best way to combat high cholesterol.


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aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Good to know.
miss-malone miss-malone 7 years
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 7 years
This isn't that surprising, I guess, since my doctor told me pregnancy can increase cholesterol levels (he didn't want me to flip out when I got the results for my yearly test right after having a baby). And BC pills work by fooling your body into thinking it's pregnant to a degree. Good to know.
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