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 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.