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Old 11-24-2004, 02:02 PM   #1
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High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

I took the Combined Pill (Cilest) for about 9 months, before I went back to the doctor. It wasn't emphasised to me how important it was to have a blood pressure check. When it was checked then, it was really high (I think it was about 173/110), and my doctor told me to come off the pill immediately. I kept going for BP checks, and he put me on medication. After I'd been on medication for about 6 weeks, my BP was down to normal and I thought I could come off it. However, he said I'd have to take it for the rest of my life.

I really don't understand why I have to take medication for the rest of my life, when I've stopped taking the pill (as that was what made my BP go up). Can anyone explain this to me? Has this happened to anyone else?

I've found this really hard to come to terms with, as I'm only 23, and I really don't want to have to take medication forever. I thought I was helping myself by going on the pill, but I seem to have damaged my health permanently. And I'm worried about it being dangerous when I do want to get pregnant.

 
Old 11-24-2004, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

Archie9
I agree with you that it doesn't make sense that your doctor would presume that a healthy 23-yr-old has permanent hypertension from just 9 months of taking Cilest. When you say "combined pill" I think it's the U.K.version of Ortho Cyclen (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol) here in the U.S.

QUESTIONS:
1) After you went off the Pill, over what period of time and exactly how many doc's visits did you have where your BP was monitored before the doctor put you on blood pressure meds?

2) What #s was he getting in his office? (AFTER you went off the Pill)

3) What BP meds did he prescribe?

4) What are your #s now on the BP med?

It's true that if significant elevation of blood pressure occurs, oral contraceptives should be discontinued. Which you rightly did.

However, for most women, elevated blood pressure WILL RETURN TO NORMAL after stopping the contraceptive and there has been virtually no evidence for healthy women in the long run, that there is ANY difference in the occurrence of hypertension between former-users (you) and people who have never been on the Pill at all.

Seems to me that your doctor at this point has NO IDEA if you have sustained hypertension or not, given that he won't even entertain the idea of you gettting off the BP meds. That's the only way you'll both know for sure.

zuzu xxx

Last edited by zuzu8; 11-24-2004 at 03:42 PM.

 
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:45 AM   #3
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

Hi, I'm a 23 year old male with high blood pressure, so it is possible for someone this young to have it. However, after reading what you had to say, I'd definitely get a second opinion before they put you on medication for the rest of your life. That just seems fishy to me.

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Last edited by moderator2; 11-27-2004 at 07:04 AM. Reason: please carefully review the posting rules - no emails

 
Old 11-28-2004, 04:36 AM   #4
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

How's you diet and exercise? My brother got his blood pressure down with diet and exercise.

 
Old 11-29-2004, 09:56 AM   #5
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

There are some forms of the Pill that just use progesterone. In the US one is called Micronor. These do not tend to raise blood pressure. You may want to check into these for contraception.

I also find it hard to believe that 9 months of using a combined contraceptive pill gave you permanent hypertension. Presumably you had your blood pressure checked before you were given Cilest and it was fine? What hypertension medication were you given? Some like beta blockers you can't just stop taking, but others are safe to do so. I'd say either find another doctor, or if you can safely stop the hypertension medication, try it and monitor your blood pressure for several weeks and see what happens.

 
Old 12-07-2004, 02:43 PM   #6
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgraylorn
There are some forms of the Pill that just use progesterone. In the US one is called Micronor. These do not tend to raise blood pressure. You may want to check into these for contraception.

I also find it hard to believe that 9 months of using a combined contraceptive pill gave you permanent hypertension. Presumably you had your blood pressure checked before you were given Cilest and it was fine? What hypertension medication were you given? Some like beta blockers you can't just stop taking, but others are safe to do so. I'd say either find another doctor, or if you can safely stop the hypertension medication, try it and monitor your blood pressure for several weeks and see what happens.
I do take Micronor now, and it seems okay.

Yes, my BP was checked before. I think it was on the high side of normal, but I was very stressed about work at the time.

I was given Lisinopril (an ACE inhibitor) first, in increasing dosages. Then my doctor added bendrofluazide (a diueretic). Now I take Zestoretic, which is a combination of Lisinopril and hydrochlorathiazide (another diuretic).

 
Old 12-07-2004, 02:53 PM   #7
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzu8
Archie9
I agree with you that it doesn't make sense that your doctor would presume that a healthy 23-yr-old has permanent hypertension from just 9 months of taking Cilest. When you say "combined pill" I think it's the U.K.version of Ortho Cyclen (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol) here in the U.S.

QUESTIONS:
1) After you went off the Pill, over what period of time and exactly how many doc's visits did you have where your BP was monitored before the doctor put you on blood pressure meds?

2) What #s was he getting in his office? (AFTER you went off the Pill)

3) What BP meds did he prescribe?

4) What are your #s now on the BP med?

It's true that if significant elevation of blood pressure occurs, oral contraceptives should be discontinued. Which you rightly did.

However, for most women, elevated blood pressure WILL RETURN TO NORMAL after stopping the contraceptive and there has been virtually no evidence for healthy women in the long run, that there is ANY difference in the occurrence of hypertension between former-users (you) and people who have never been on the Pill at all.

Seems to me that your doctor at this point has NO IDEA if you have sustained hypertension or not, given that he won't even entertain the idea of you gettting off the BP meds. That's the only way you'll both know for sure.

zuzu xxx
1. I think I went on meds after one or two weeks. Then my BP was taken every week for about six weeks, while on medication.

2. The highest reading (the first time, when I was still on the pill) was about 173/110. Then it slowly went down. I don't remember the readings, but I think it was in the 150s on the top, and between 100 and 110 on the bottom for at least a few weeks.

3. See my post above.

4. I can't remember! The last time the doctor took it (about 4 months ago) it was quite low - something like about 117/70? Then the nurse took it about two weeks ago, when I was there for something else. She didn't know I took meds, and commented that it was a bit high! I said it shouldn't be high because I take meds, although I am really really stressed at the moment (my boss is annoying me, I'm overworked and I want to change my job). Not sure how high it was because I didn't see the dial properly, and I didn't think to ask because I was a bit suprised that it was high(ish) and I was about to have something very painful done to my foot!

 
Old 12-07-2004, 06:09 PM   #8
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

Quote:
Originally Posted by archie9uk
1. I think I went on meds after one or two weeks. Then my BP was taken every week for about six weeks, while on medication.
Archie,
Your doc seems to have done this backwards. He should have monitored your blood pressure for 6 weeks BEFORE putting you on BP drugs not AFTER.

Please discuss with your doctor why he feels your elevated BP is permanent.

I cannot tell you how unlikely this is.


Better yet, PLEASE get a completely objective second opinion with a new doctor.

The fact that he pushed you into BP meds after your post-Pill blood pressure was only monitored one or two weeks is INSANE, especially given your age!!
I mean it.
zuzu xx

 
Old 12-09-2004, 12:22 PM   #9
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzu8
Archie,
Your doc seems to have done this backwards. He should have monitored your blood pressure for 6 weeks BEFORE putting you on BP drugs not AFTER.

Please discuss with your doctor why he feels your elevated BP is permanent.

I cannot tell you how unlikely this is.


Better yet, PLEASE get a completely objective second opinion with a new doctor.

The fact that he pushed you into BP meds after your post-Pill blood pressure was only monitored one or two weeks is INSANE, especially given your age!!
I mean it.
zuzu xx
Thanks very much. My Dad, who is 60, found out that he has high bp just after I did (he has a different doctor, 200 miles away). His doctor waited for ages before putting him on medication. It didn't bother me that mine put me on meds so soon, at the time. But I didn't know he'd say I had to stay on them.

I feel like I can't talk to my doctor about it, so I'm going to have to change to another doctor.

 
Old 12-09-2004, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

Quote:
Originally Posted by archie9uk
I feel like I can't talk to my doctor about it, so I'm going to have to change to another doctor.
Absolutely, do it...find a doctor you have confidence in!!

Be proactive about this. Don't ignore it because as I said, it is HIGHLY unlikely that your elevated pressure is permanent from taking Cilest.

To tell a 23-yr-old otherwise, sounds like major medical incompetence to me.

zuzu xx

 
Old 12-09-2004, 02:16 PM   #11
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Re: High Blood Pressure and the Combined Pill

Changing doctors is a good idea, but good luck finding one that you like & trust. I've been to 3 doctors & 1 specialist in 22 months at 34. They all seem to change their mind every time & pay a lot of attention in the beginning & then you are just patient #430.

The most ignorant question that a doctor ever asked me.... You have really low readings outside of my office & 156/86 in my office. I would say that it was White-coat, but your EKG said that your heart rate was 69. People with white-coat have a higher heart rate.....Me "Doc, I'm on 100 MGS of Atenolol that you keep me on" The Doc, "Oh, yeah that explains your heart rate".

 
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