The contraceptive pill must be 99% effective to prevent pregnancies when this & # 39; perfect & # 39; be taken (ie, at the same time each day). But nevertheless it is not unheard of for women to become pregnant while taking the pill. When they & # 39; imperfect & # 39; taken – so at different times of the day or with the odd missed pill – the effectiveness drops to 91%. It was therefore previously assumed that unwanted pregnancies on the contraceptive pill would be due to the woman's inadequate intake. But new scientific research suggests there may be another cause of unplanned pregnancies despite the pill or other forms of hormonal contraception – and it is one that you cannot control. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has identified a particular gene that can break down the hormones commonly found in birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptive options, thereby reducing their effectiveness. The research, which was published this week in the Obstetrics & Gynecology diary, assessed 350 healthy women with a median age of 22.5 years, the contraceptive of which had been in place somewhere between one and three years. The results showed that 5% of the women in the study had a gene called CYP3A7 * 1C, which tends to exist in fetuses, but is usually & # 39; disabled & # 39; before birth. In a small proportion of women, however, this gene remains with them in adulthood, creating an enzyme called CYP3A7 in the body that is known to break down hormones.
"That enzyme … can give women a higher risk of pregnancy while using contraceptives, especially lower dosing methods," said Aaron Lazorwitz, lead author of the study. Luisorwitz suggested that the discovery a change in the treatment of doctors can cause women with unplanned pregnancies during contraception.
"When a woman says she became pregnant during birth control, the assumption was always that it was somehow her fault. But these findings show that we need to listen to our patients and see if there is anything in their genes that has caused this, "Lazorwitz said.
The gene in question is detectable via genetic screening, which, according to the scientist, means that women who appear to have it may receive specific treatment in the future to prevent further unwanted pregnancies. And that is a fairly important development for us. Follow Cat on twitter.