Many autoimmune diseases are more prevalent by women. Effective contraception, either hormonal or non-hormonal is essential in young patients with autoimmune disease. Despite this need, there is a lack of literature on the safety of contraceptives in autoimmune diseases.
Some evidence suggests that oral contraceptives can induce antibodies and increase the thrombotic risk. Other studies advocate a positive effect of oral contraceptives. For example positive effect by patients with rheumatoid arthritis is likely due to the fact that symptoms improve during pregnancy and the risk of disease flares increases post-partum.
The evidence for any beneficial or harmful role for estrogens and other sex hormones is very limited and sometimes contradictory for autoimmune diseases.