What are the benefits of very low-dose of estrogen in birth control pills?

Updated November 21, 2016

Birth control pills contain the hormones oestrogen and progestin which avert ovulation, therefore preventing pregnancy.
Oestrogen in "the pill" has been linked to most side effects that women experience while taking these oral contraceptives. Because of this concern, some manufacturers have taken the initiative to produce low-oestrogen pills that are available today.

Treatment of acne

A study published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility shows for the first time that an ultra low-dose oral contraceptive with only 20 micrograms of oestrogen is effective in treating acne. The study showed that even low doses of oestrogen were effective in suppressing androgen production and reducing acne lesions.

Reduction of hot flashes

Hot flashes are often times symptoms that perimenopausal and menopausal women face. Birth control pills with a very low dose of oestrogen have been found to reduce or eliminate hot flashes. These pills typically have 20 micrograms of oestrogen, compared with 30 to 50 micrograms of oestrogen in regular birth control pills, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Safer for women with blood clot risks

Research has recently indicated that oral contraceptives with the hormone levonorgestrel coupled with lower doses of oestrogen are the safest option for women concerned about blood clot risks. According to, the lower the dose of oestrogen in the pill, the lower the risk for women concerned about blood clots.

Decreased nausea

Some women taking standard birth control pills with oestrogen levels of up to 50 micrograms have complained of side effects that included nausea. Physicians have found that when women changed to a low-dose oestrogen pill, the symptoms of nausea decreased or diminished.

Reduced bloating

Women taking the pill often complain of weight gain. While weight gain in birth control pills was similar to that of those taking a placebo, it was discovered that the feeling of weight gain was most likely bloating or fluid retention due to the hormones in the standard oral contraceptives. When the oestrogen dosage was lowered, the bloating decreased as well.

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