The study team examined health data from 23 women between the ages of 20 to 34 with regular periods cycling between 25 to 35 days (per Medical News Today). Researchers utilized a pituitary model and ovarian model to see how birth control pills with varying levels of estrogen and progesterone affected factors such as timing of hormone release, ovary response to hormone release, and menstruation.
The findings revealed that hormone levels in estrogen-based birth control pills could be reduced by as much as 92% and still be effective in preventing ovulation. Furthermore, hormone levels in progesterone-based pills were found to still be effective when reduced by 43%. “It was surprising that theoretically, our mathematical model — with the simplifying assumptions — showed that as low as 10% of the total exogenous estrogen dose in constant administration could achieve contraception as long as this dosage is perfectly timed,” study author Brenda Gavina told Medical News Today.
Because the study was not conducted on humans, however, more research is still needed on the subject. Additionally, some experts point out that hormone dosages will likely need to be tailored to a patient’s particular needs based on factors such as an individual’s body mass index (BMI). Age, history of health conditions, and personal goals will also need to be factored in, notes Healthline.