Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Marla Ahlgrimm | The Pill Does More Than Prevent Pregnancy

Marla AhlgrimmBack in the 1960s when birth control became a mainstream pharmaceutical, women and men alike were hailing it as a miracle pill, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Reproductive freedom became a possibility and everyone was happy. Today, we give very little thought to contraceptives. But we should pay more attention. As it turns out, birth control does more than allow for unprotected sex.

Birth control, asserts Marla Ahlgrimm, is often prescribed to help women clear up acne. According to the retired pharmacist, synthetic estrogen can trigger the body to release SHBG, a protein that diminishes testosterone production. This is important for women with skin issues since testosterone increases sebum output, which in turn clogs pores and leads to a pimply complexion.

Not every side effect of birth control is good, says Marla Ahlgrimm. In 2010, researchers concluded that birth-control-taking women had slightly lower bone density than their non-contraceptive-using counterparts. Ahlgrimm notes this is likely happens because women who take birth control have a steady stream of estrogen. Those who forgo contraceptive medicines experience a slight spike in the hormone through each menstrual cycle, which stimulates bone density growth.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, certain types of birth control formulated with drospirenone are linked to slightly elevated risk of venous thromboembolism. These blood clots of the leg are still extremely rare with only three in 10,000 women experiencing them.

Additionally, birth control pills are suspected to be linked to increase matter in the area of the brain that controls decision-making and memory.

The chemicals found in birth control affect us in many ways, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Women who are interested in taking the pill should discuss concerns with their healthcare provider and consider alternative forms of birth control if any of the potential short-or long-term side effects are undesirable.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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