May 22 2022

Classification of the active ingredient oral contraceptives


Risk level in pregnancy: This medicine is classified as Category X.

There is no clinical reason to administer contraceptives during pregnancy. However, it is possible for a woman to take these substances if she ignore her pregnant state.

Moreover, use of estrogen is contraindicated in pregnancy. The patient should stop taking any of these medications once knows she is pregnant.

Oral contraceptives consist of two substances, a synthetic estrogen and progesterone derivative, so it is difficult to attribute to either of both a possible fetal damage.

The investigations carried out on these two types of drugs combined have given controversial results. Have been attributed to these drugs congenital heart diseases, nervous system injuries, malformations of extremities, genitals, and other. There appears not to exist a single criterion regarding the relationship of this large group of teratogenic effects with contraceptive use during pregnancy.

Many researchers believe that the risk of malformation is low for anomalies not affecting the genital tract, less than 1 in 1000 cases. Regarding the latter, have been described the masculinization of the female genitalia, that could affect 1 in every 300 cases, and, very rarely, male pseudohermaphroditism.

There have been reports of hyperbilirubinemia in infants of mothers who took contraceptives before or after conception. For this reason, in theory, could increase the risk of kernicterus.

Update 18.07.2009

Meaning of category X

Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.