Almost 45.5% of Canadian women are on birth pills. It is the most favored form of contraception among women of childbearing age.

While contraceptive pills are effective and easy to use, as with most medications, they have certain side-effects. Nutritional deficiency including B6, B12, zinc, and magnesium is one of the commonest side-effects of consuming birth pills.

Research has also shown that magnesium is deficient in women on contraceptive pills. And on top of that magnesium deficiency is prevalent in women of childbearing age. Magnesium requirement further increases during pregnancy and in the majority of women, this requirement is not met.

Concurrently, women on birth pills may decide to stop them for planning a pregnancy. Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy poses a risk for the newborn and mother.

The good news is that magnesium-rich diet and supplements aid in managing low magnesium levels and prevent side-effects of its deficiency. 

Here is the effect of birth control pills on magnesium levels and how you may manage them. If you feel you may be deficient in magnesium, talk to your doctor during the next visit.

Birth Control and Magnesium Levels

Magnesium is essential for your health and supports more than 300 chemical reactions of the body. It also plays a vital role in supporting the health of the heart, nerves, immune system, and muscles.

The problem is certain factors, such as poor sleep, high-intensity exercise, chronic stress, and high caffeine intake, drain the body’s magnesium store.

At the same time external estrogen hormone, such as in the birth pills, depletes magnesium stores and may result in its deficiency. 

This especially holds for women with low intake of dietary magnesium. If you have a look at the recent statistics, almost one-third of Canadians are not taking adequate magnesium in their diet.

As women on birth pills might lack magnesium in the diet and may have an unhealthy lifestyle, they should be screened for magnesium deficiency.

Birth Control and Magnesium Deficiency Risk

Experts believe that magnesium deficiency may be responsible for clotting disorders associated with consumption of birth pills. 

Various research has also confirmed the link between contraceptive pills and low magnesium levels. In a study, it was seen that 43% of women on pills were deficient in magnesium.

The study also proved magnesium deficiency as the reason for clotting disorders in women on birth pills.

Birth Control and Magnesium Deficiency Effect

Unquestionably magnesium is essential for normal body functions. Its normal levels are vital for:

  • Nerve and muscle functions
  • Normal blood sugar level
  • Energy production
  • Normal calcium levels
  • Protein synthesis

Further, magnesium deficiency also affects calcium: magnesium ratio that may alter coagulation, which increases the risk of clot formation related to estrogen hormone in birth pills.

Some other disorders associated with magnesium deficiency are:

  • Muscle cramps and twitches
  • Osteoporosis
  • Mental disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Hypertension
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Asthma

Women on birth pills may decide to stop them for planning a pregnancy. Magnesium deficiency caused by their consumption poses a risk for the newborn and mother, such as premature labor and congenital abnormalities.

Birth Control Pills and Magnesium Supplements Diet

Magnesium is widely present in various animal and plant foods. Many food items such as breakfast cereals are fortified with magnesium. On the other hand, processed foods such as refined grains have low magnesium levels.

To summarize, what you eat influences the magnesium levels. To improve your magnesium intake, you can include the following food items in your diet:

  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Banana
  • Black and kidney beans
  • Yogurt
  • Cashew nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Raisins

Considering this, your physician may advise magnesium-rich foods if you are on birth pills.

Magnesium Supplements for Birth Control

Consuming magnesium-rich diet aids in improving its level in most of the cases. However, if you are unable to take adequate amount of this nutrient or planning for a pregnancy, your doctor might advise magnesium supplements to prevent complications associated with its low level.

On the contrary, high magnesium levels are also not healthy and may cause disorders such as low blood pressure and breathing difficulty. So, if you plan to start with magnesium supplements, it is always recommended to consult your physician before doing so.

Final Thoughts

Normal magnesium levels are essential for various body functions, including immunity. In addition to dietary and lifestyle factors, birth pills may also cause magnesium deficiency.

Various studies have shown that contraceptive pills deplete magnesium levels and cause side-effects, such as clotting disorders.

Including magnesium-rich foods in your diet helps in maintaining its level. Your doctor may also advise magnesium supplements if you are unable to take adequate amounts through your diet.

If you are on birth pills and feel you may be at risk of magnesium deficiency, talk to your doctor and get your magnesium levels checked.

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