Asked by gemulu
How Long For Birth Control To Clear The System? Exercising With High Blood Pressure?
Hi everyone! I am 25, female, have been taking birth control for ~8 years and been fighting with my blood pressure almost the entire time. I have not been on blood pressure medication but have been borderline high to high ( from 136/88 to 150/120, depending on the birth control) and the doctors have been trying different kinds of birth control and different hormones for a while. We thought we'd found one that was compatible with my body (microgestin) and the last few times I'd been checked, the blood pressure had been consistant at about 136/88. I have been taking the birth control (in part) to regulate my hormone levels on the recommendation of an endocrinologist.
I have recently switched to a new doctor who I visited today to check on the blood pressure and it was extremely high: 158/114. I have stopped taking the birth control pills on her advice and we are waiting to see what the blood pressure looks like in a month. How long will birth control (microgestin) take to clear my system (days, weeks?)? Can I safely exercise until then? I am otherwise healthy and have been exercising but am quite concerned by the HUGE number! I forgot to ask the doctor and would love any thoughts until I can get in touch with her. Thank you!
Thanks for your question.
I am hopeful that stopping the hormone therapy will result in the normalization of your pressure. Because this has been present for so long, it might take a while to come down. As for the hormone, it will take a good a few weeks to get out of your system, but several more weeks for your system to make the necessary adjustments to function normally without the birth control pills. What effect this will have on your pressure is unknown. I would not be surprised for it to take two to three months for your pressure to come to a new baseline. If it is still elevated at that point, you might require long term therapy. If in the next couple of weeks your pressure is still in the range of your last reading, your doctor might consider starting therapy now. Then in a month or two, if your pressure is low or normal, then cut back on the medication and see if it can be withdrawn completely.
As for the exercise: I agree with holding for now until your pressure comes down to a more acceptable level. When you exercise, especially vigorous exercise, your body's natural response is to increase heart rate and raise blood pressure. Now is not the time to add this to your already high pressure.
Stay in touch with your doctor and have your pressure checked regularly.
Martin Cane, M.D.