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Vitamin D Levels Reduce After Discontinuing Birth Control Pills in Women

When women stop using pills for birth control or other contraceptive techniques that contain estrogen, they may risk lowering vitamin D levels in the body, as per a new research. The study was published in a journal of the Endocrine Society.

Vitamin D is an extremely important hormone or nutrient that helps in keeping the immune system of the body intact along with managing the blood calcium levels. To maintain good teeth and bone health, it is very important to have adequate calcium level in the body.

Vitamin D

The body is able to produce vitamin D in the body with the help of a chemical reaction at the time when the skin gets exposed to sun rays. A smaller amount of this nutrient, about 10 percent, is supplied to the body through food, including vitamin fortified milk and fatty fish. Vitamin D undergoes chemical changes that are necessary for producing the active form.

At the time of pregnancy, women are known to produce large amounts of vitamin D in active forms for supporting the formation of the baby’s skeleton. This in turn, could result in vitamin D deficiency in the body of expecting mothers, as per the Clinical Practice Guideline for vitamin D deficiency given by Endocrine Society.

The study was able to find that women who take contraceptive medications that contain estrogen have a higher concentration of vitamin D in their bodies as compared to the women who do not take any such contraception, as per Quaker E. Harmon from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park of the National Institutes of Health, also the first author of the study. The researchers were not able to find any behavioural differences with respect to the amount of time spent outdoors to offer a better explanation to the increased level of vitamin D. The findings showed that contraceptive medications that have estrogen have a tendency to boost the body’s vitamin D levels. But, these levels can quickly drop when the individual stops using the medication.

A cross-sectional statistics examination was conducted. Data taken from a study called SELF and was analysed. It included about seventeen hundred African-American ladies participants whose ages ranged from 23 years to 34 years. All the participants were residents of Detroit, MI, or the nearby areas. In the study, the participants were asked to answer questions related to their contraceptive use along with the time duration spend outdoors. They were also asked if they took any vitamin D supplements.

About 1,662 participants gave their blood samples which were analysed for measuring the 25-hydroxy vitamin D. When the seasonal sunlight exposure was adjusted, the researchers were able to find that contraceptive ring, patch, or pills that contained estrogen were responsible for 20 percent increase in the 25-hydroxy vitamin D level.

The study findings are able to show that women might run a higher risk of having vitamin D deficiency at the time when they are planning to be pregnant, according to Harmon. Therefore, women who want to get pregnant must take necessary steps to increase vitamin D levels in their bodies.