Studies have linked certain types of birth control pills and implants with dozens of cases of pseudotumor cerebri (PTC). This disease typically causes severe headaches, migraines, and progressive vision loss that can lead to permanent blindness.
Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC) and Nexplanon
Nexplanon is a hormone-releasing birth control implant that prevents pregnancy for up to three years. The matchstick-sized plastic implant contains a hormone called etonogestrel. It is implanted under the skin on the inner side of the upper arm.
Unfortunately, certain types of birth control have been linked to pseudotumor cerebri (PTC). No one knows what causes PTC and it is unknown if Nexplanon increases the risk.
However, other birth control implants containing hormones like levonorgestrel have been associated with over 50 cases of pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) in numerous studies. The National Institute of Health (NIH) also warns that birth control is a risk-factor, which may help explain why PTC is more common in women than men.
Nexplanon and Headaches
Headaches are the most common side effect of Nexplanon, reported in 25% of women in clinical trials. Side effects also include migraine headaches, which cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, light-sensitivity, throbbing pain, and visual disturbances.
Unfortunately, these are also symptoms of PTC. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, symptoms of headaches from PTC may include:
- Dull, throbbing pain
- Pain located at the back of the head
- Pain that is worst in the early morning or at night
- Headaches become more common until they are constant
Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC) Information
Pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) is a severe neurological condition occurs when there is too much cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull. This puts pressure on the brain and optic nerve, producing symptoms that are similar to a growing tumor.
Treatment for severe cases typically involves brain surgery to drain excess fluid from the skull. Over time, untreated cases of PTC can lead to chronic headaches, progressive vision loss, hearing problems, and permanent blindness.
Symptoms of PTC may include:
- Blurry vision
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Nausea, vomiting
- Light sensitivity
- Problems balancing
- And more