Pharmacokinetic Alterations and Effectiveness of Hormonal Contraception in Obese Women

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Apiradee Jirattigalachote


The obese women have higher obstetric complication risk in pregnancies compared to women
with normal body mass index. The effectiveness of contraception for such women becomes an important
reproductive issue. Because the pharmacokinetic changes of hormonal contraceptive used in obese
women may lead to the lower serum hormone levels compared with normal weight women, resulting in
contraception effectiveness. But, most of the existing studies on contraception methods do not cover the
women weighed greater than 130% of ideal body weight. Physicians are not confident about the potential
of hormonal contraception effectiveness in this population. This article aimed to present the study results
on pharmacokinetic alternations as well as contraceptive effectiveness of hormonal contraception in obese
women, including combined oral contraceptives, contraceptive patch, contraceptive vaginal ring, injectable
contraceptives, contraceptive implant, intrauterine contraceptive device and emergency pills, with the aim
to provide physician information to select the appropriate contraception methods.


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Review Article