The "pill's" effects on bone accrual in young women

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What is the best oral contraceptive dose, keeping bone health in mind, for your young adult and adolescent patients?


To ensure breast health and reduce the risk of venous thromboembolic events, drug makers have developed oral contraceptives (OCs) with lower and lower doses of ethinyl estradiol. In the process, however, the beneficial effects of endogenous estradiol on bone acquisition have been suppressed. Therefore, the lowest-dose OC may not necessarily be the most appropriate clinical choice for adolescents and young women seeking contraception.

In this audiocast, Dr. Goldstein discusses:

  • How low-dose OCs may affect a young woman’s bone mass accrual
  • How to assure that young women reach the goal of peak bone mass while taking OCs
  • Why more clinicians aren't aware of this issue
  • The contraceptive methods he recommends for a young woman who is still building bone mass
  • For which populations does he recommend low-dose OCs?

Dr. Goldstein is the author of Update on Osteoporosis (December 2013).

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