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Mature Women's Centre Victoria General Hospital

Hysterectomy Alternatives Program (HAlt)

Medical Interventions

Oral Contraceptives

Many physicians will recommend oral contraceptives or combined hormonal contraceptives such as the patch or vaginal ring to minimize and regulate menstrual bleeding. “The pill” (or patch or ring) works by preventing ovulation and by keeping the endometrium thin. It may significantly reduce the amount of blood loss. It is relatively safe to take oral contraceptives right up to the age of menopause if monitored by a physician. While taking the pill, women must have their blood pressure monitored regularly (every three months). Women should not take the pill if they have had a blood clot in their legs or their lungs. Smokers over the age of 35 or anybody with cardiovascular disease must not take the pill. It is not recommended in women who are having major surgery or who will require prolonged bedrest. It is unwise for women with a history of breast cancer or liver disease to take oral contraceptives.

Side effects include headaches, weight gain, elevated blood pressure, and breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods).

Added benefit to taking the pill is reduced acne and reduced risk of ovarian cancer.