Hormonal Contraception, Glaucoma Risk, Hormonal Contraceptives, Getty Images, Glaucoma, Glaucoma, Contraception, Contraception, Progesterone

Hormonal Contraception, Glaucoma Risk

EMB Hormonal contraception more than doubles woman's glaucoma risk, study suggests

The overall risk remains 'low'.

25/6/2021 4:00:00 PM

Scientists revealed that any form of hormonal contraception – including the implant, patch or injection – may more than double a woman's risk of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

The overall risk remains 'low'.

Read full article23 June 2021, 6:01 am·4-min readHormonal contraception, like the pill, may more than double a woman's risk of developing glaucoma. (Stock, Getty Images)Hormonal contraception may more than double a woman's risk of developing the eye condition glaucoma, research suggests.

Olympics-Athletics-'Can we have two golds?' - Barshim, Tamberi share high jump win Panda loaned to France gives birth to twins: Zoo Olympics: Singapore beat France in women’s table tennis team event, to face favourites China in quarter-finals

The pill, which contains artificial versions of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, is said to be the most popular form of prescribed contraception. When taken correctly, the pill is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancies. Although generally considered to be safe, the contraceptive has been linked to breast cancer and blood clots.

Scientists from the University of British Columbia have now revealed that any form of hormonal contraception – including the implant, patch or injection – may more than double a woman's risk of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.Read more:The drugs that disrupt your contraception headtopics.com

Nevertheless, the overall risk remains "low" and women should not be put off using hormonal contraception if that is their preference, added the team.Other experts agreed, stressing the data are "limited", with any risk having to be "weighed against the very significant benefit of achieving effective contraception".

Specialist eye drops can prevent glaucoma from becoming serious. (Stock, Getty Images)"The risk of glaucoma with hormonal contraceptives is low and should not dissuade women from taking these medications," said study author Dr Mahyar Etminan. 

Nevertheless, "women on hormonal contraceptives who experience visual changes should have these symptoms examined by an ophthalmologist", he added.Glaucoma is a common condition that occurs when the optic nerve – which connects the eye to the brain – becomes damaged, usually due to a build-up of fluid that increases pressure.

Read more:NHS's contraception shortage affecting 'wellbeing of women'Symptoms tend to develop slowly over many years. Glaucoma is therefore usually picked up during a routine eye examination. If symptoms do appear, peripheral vision tends to be affected first. Some may also have blurred vision or see rainbow-coloured circles around bright lights. headtopics.com

113 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore; 10 new clusters including at Yishun Community Hospital Olympics: Singapore beat France in women’s table tennis team event, to face favourites China in quarter-finals Olympics-Transgender weightlifter becomes focus of inclusion vs fairness debate

Story continues250,000 people are thought to have the condition,of whom only half have been diagnosed.Old age is known to be a glaucoma risk factor, but other causes "are less well established".Previous research has linked hormonal contraception to the condition's onset, but the results were somewhat muddled.

To learn more, the British Columbia scientists analysed the electronic health records of more than 11,000 women, aged 15 to 45. More than 2,300 of the women developed glaucoma over the next 10 years.The "current" hormonal contraception users were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma over that decade compared with the non-users, the results reveal.

"Regular" users were 57% more at risk, defined as having at least two hormonal contraception prescriptions in the year before and after the start of the study.Read more:Once-a-month contraceptive pill in developmentUsing the contraception in the past, but not the present day, was not found to raise the risk.

"This is probably because a potential causal link between HCs [hormonal contraceptives] and glaucoma requires current exposure to these drugs," the scientists wrote in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.The results also show the women who had been prescribed more than four hormonal contraceptives in the past two years were more likely to develop glaucoma than those on one or two prescriptions. headtopics.com

The vaginal ring was found to have the strongest link to glaucoma, but no form of hormonal contraception could be ruled out.Watch: Glaucoma may be more than eye pressureIt is unclear whether exposure to artificial oestrogen or progesterone, or both, may play a role in glaucoma's onset.

Progesterone suppresses natural oestrogen, with the hormone "hypothesised to exert a protective effect against glaucoma".Hormonal contraception wards off pregnancy by preventing ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovaries, which further limits oestrogen's production.

Thousands protest against Covid-19 health pass in France Pfizer and Moderna raise prices for Covid-19 vaccines in EU: Report US will not lock down despite surge driven by Delta variant, Fauci says

Oestrogen may reduce pressure and increase blood flow within the eye.The vaginal ring may pose the greatest risk due to it steadily releasing progesterone, unlike the pill. Women also have to remember to take the pill, which means compliance is potentially an issue.

The scientists matched the hormonal contraception of users and non-users according to their age and weight. Whether or not they smoked – a glaucoma risk factor – was not known, however."A study like this can't establish that using hormonal contraceptives causes glaucoma or even that they contribute to causing a higher glaucoma risk," said Professor Kevin McConway, from the Open University.

"That certainly is one possible explanation, but there are others."Dr Sarah Hardman – from the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare – agreed, adding: "The data are too limited for us to draw definite conclusions as to the relative effects that different hormonal contraceptives might have on risk of glaucoma.

"Any small increase in glaucoma risk would have to be weighed against the very significant benefit of achieving effective contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancy and non-contraceptive benefits such as management of heavy menstrual bleeding."

Watch: Blind man climbs Mount EverestTRENDING Read more: Yahoo Singapore »

NDP to proceed but Mindef to review scale and safe management measures: Lawrence Wong

SINGAPORE — Even as Singapore moves back to Phase 2 (heightened alert) to curb a rise in community Covid-19 cases, the National Day Parade (NDP) will continue as planned with authorities reviewing how it will be conducted with safe management practices in place.

Low risk of severe transboundary haze in region this year, thanks partly to Covid-19: StudySINGAPORE — The risk of severe and prolonged haze across the region this year is low with the Indonesian authorities remaining committed to preventing a repeat of 2019’s unhealthy levels of poor air quality, a Singapore think-tank has concluded.

Fish oil supplements could combat antibiotic resistanceResearch suggests that fish oil supplements may break down 'superbugs' that have become resistant to antibiotics.

Tennis-Djokovic on a double mission as glory loomsNovak Djokovic will head to Wimbledon buoyed by a spectacular French Open triumph and aiming to stay on course for completing a calendar-year ...

AstraZeneca, Pfizer vaccines effective against Delta Covid-19 variants, study findsLONDON — Covid-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca and the Pfizer-BioNTech alliance remain broadly effective against Delta and Kappa variants of the Covid-19 causing virus, which were first identified in India, according to a scientific study, underpinning a continued push to deliver the shots. What about Indian Variants Plus?

Rugby-Vermeulen to help Boks beat Lions, on or off the pitchSouth African remain hopeful over the fitness of Duane Vermeulen for the British & Irish Lions series, with assistant coach Deon Davids suggesting ...

Football: Sweden win group, send Poland home in last-ditch 3-2 winSweden winger Emil Forsberg scored a double including the second fastest strike in European Championship history before Viktor Claesson's ...