Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Birth Control Fails due to Differences in DNA

As females, it's already difficult dealing with the annoyances of menstruation. On top of that, the different forms of hormonal contraception available aren't even 100% effective due to DNA differences. In a WIRED article, a study was published which discussed about researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who discovered that 5 % of females have a genetic mutation, which codes an extra hormone-dismantling enzyme. This enzyme deteriorates the ovulation-suppressing effects of hormonal birth control, which decreases its potency. This prompts the idea that each individual's genetics will be considered while designing a drug treatment (precision medicine). In an effort to try it out, 350 women were given a hormonal birth control under the skin and found the CYP3A7*1C gene mutation, which contributes to the ability to break down the active chemical in hormonal birth control. 
As humans, it's truly remarkable how each person is distinct and possess qualities that are unmatched from one another. There are many issues with hormones such as acne, hirsutism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Understanding that hormonal contraception is not only altered by improper use but by genetics is a key factor many have to acknowledge. Precision medicine can steer women in the right direction in enabling appropriate birth control methods. 

1 comment:

  1. I knew that some women were not able to use birth control due to reactions, but this is the first time that I have learned that genetics can play a role in effectiveness of birth control. I think that this information should be more well known since a majority of women rely on birth control for various reasons. Women may be on birth control right now and they probably do not even realize that it is not effective. This could create issues in the future if OB/GYNs do not fully explain how genetics could change the effectiveness of these contraceptives. I believe that many women will be mad and will want to take further action if they feel as if they were not told this information before taking the contraceptives.