Publication Date



Nursing (B.S.N.)

Primary Subject Area

Health Sciences, Nursing


contraceptives, hormones, risks, benefits


Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists | Medicine and Health Sciences


Millions of women have chosen to use oral contraceptives for various reasons. However, the question must be raised as to the awareness level of the risks and benefits associated with the use of oral contraceptives. Numerous studies have been performed to establish the effects of oral contraceptives. This thesis examines these studies to consolidate the most current findings.

In order to present these studies effectively, this thesis will begin by briefly summarizing the menstrual cycle and how the use of oral contraceptives affects menstruation. Following this, a review of the risks, benefits, and ethical dilemmas will be presented. Utilizing the above research, a self-conducted, randomized, descriptive study was performed to assess how well women are informed of these findings before beginning to use oral contraceptives. The study consisted of 41 women between the ages of 18-45 at a local health clinic in eastern Virginia. The statistical findings showed that women are not being informed about the health risks and benefits associated with the use of oral contraceptives, indicating the need for an updated knowledge base on recent research studies and a revision of the current teaching methods.