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Matin A. Mahmood
Zubaida SH. Mohammed


Background: Contraceptives are generally the deliberate use of artificial methods to prevent pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse. They can be divided into two types: hormonal contraceptives and non-hormonal contraceptives. A contraceptive pill inhibits ovulation by preventing the ovaries from releasing the ovum. Around 30% of the iron in the body is stored as ferritin or hemosiderin in the spleen, bone marrow, and liver. Menstruating women are known to be at risk of iron insufficiency, and the addition of iron in oral contraceptives have the benefit of increasing iron stores by decreasing menstrual iron loss as a novel strategy to manage iron deficiency. Iron containing oral contraceptives have the potential to be a cost-effective solution for the prevention and/or treatment of iron deficiency. Objectives: This study aims to assess Iron status in women using iron-containing oral contraceptives compared to that of non-iron-containing oral contraceptive users. Methods: the study was conducted on 48 female volunteers regularly visiting gynaecology clinics during the 4-month period. The study involved a questionnaire in addition to a laboratory test (serum ferritin test). Information about the type and duration of oral contraceptives used, demographic data, co-administration of iron supplements, history of major blood loss, tobacco use, and others were collected for each woman through a questionnaire in a face-to-face interview. Results: Comparison of serum ferritin results between iron and non-iron-containing oral contraceptive users, smokers and non-smokers was statistically significant. However, the comparison of serum ferritin results between all the subjects who consume meat, fish, tea and/or coffee shows no statistical significance. Conclusion: There was a significant difference in serum ferritin levels between subjects using iron-containing contraceptive pills and those using non-iron-containing contraceptive pills. The iron-containing contraceptive pills users had higher serum ferritin as an extra benefit to the known oral contraceptives’ general benefit of increasing iron stores by decreasing menstrual iron loss.


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How to Cite
A. Mahmood, M., & SH. Mohammed, Z. (2023). Iron vs non-iron containing oral contraceptive pills effect on iron status. AL-KITAB JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, 1(1), 11–22. Retrieved from