A higher BMI may be a Risk Factors How effective the morning-after pill is at preventing pregnancy, new research from Oregon Health & Science University found that doubling the standard dose did not improve outcomes.
In study, recently published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology , a double-dose, over-the-counter emergency contraceptive pill—often called a plan B or morning-after pill—was no more effective for participants with: Effective body mass index (BMI) above 30.
“Emergency contraception is a key therapy for our patients. We need to make sure it works for everyone, regardless of their BMI or What about your weight,” said lead author Alison Edelman, MD, MPH, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the OHSU School of Medicine. “The morning-after pill was originally developed at a time when populations looked very different, and our research shows that this outdated, one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective.”
Taking emergency contraception as soon as possible after sex is an important line of defense against pregnancy. All available emergency contraception methods are safe and effective, but pills like Plan B that contain levonorgestrel (LNG) medications are more readily available because they can be purchased over the counter without a prescription.
Early research finds that BMI—a measure of height-to-weight ratio—may influence birth control and emergency contraception Its effectiveness depends on LNG: People with a BMI of 30 took the morning-after pill four times as often as those with a BMI of less than 25.
Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy by delaying or inhibiting ovulation or the release of an egg: Before the body sends the signal to cause ovulation, LNG is The tipping point quickly reaches peak levels. Edelman’s previous research has shown that individuals with a BMI of 30 have a 50 percent reduction in LNG blood levels after taking standard doses of the morning-after pill, so it never peaks and does not prevent ovulation.
The researchers hypothesized that a simple strategy of doubling the dose of LNG emergency contraceptive pills could lead to a critical peak at the right time drug levels, despite greater BMI.
The study included a randomized controlled trial that enrolled 70 menstrual cycle Regular healthy individual of reproductive age with a high BMI over the age of 30 and weighing at least 176 pounds. The researchers measured the number of participants who experienced delayed or suppressed ovulation while taking regular-dose versus double-dose emergency contraception.
) Their results showed no difference in effectiveness between groups taking single or double doses of LNG. Edelman emphasizes that while the simplest tweaks won’t work, their research will help guide research to find the most effective strategies.
” While this solution did not work as well as we had hoped, it helped us identify new pathway,” Edelman said. “The more we understand why it’s not working and how to fix it, the better care we can provide for our patients.”
More information: Alison B. Edelman et al, Double-dose levonorgestrel emergency contraception in obese individuals, Obstetrics and Gynecology (2022). DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004717
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