Most birth control medications are made up of estrogen and progestin, which together, block the development of a woman’s egg in order to prevent pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Each of these hormones has its own responsibilities. Progesterone is what stops ovulation and estrogen controls bleeding during one’s period (per StatPearls). While some birth control pills only contain progesterone, the combination pills are more frequently prescribed.
Experts at WebMD state that some birth control pills may produce decreases in good cholesterol and increases in bad cholesterol and triglycerides. A 2012 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences found this to be partially true, in which oral contraceptive use was linked with boosts in HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. However, research published as early as 1996 in Contraception Report points out that although oral contraceptives alter the lipid profile, these changes are minor and do not place a patient at increased risk for high cholesterol-related heart disease.