Birth control pills are most popular and secure method of contraception. Pills were used by millions of women during several decades and for now many scientific long-term investigations were completed.
Despite the fact that Birth Control Pills are safe for most women, they do carry some health risks. Birth control pills side effects are well known and most women just ignore them. But before you start birth control pills, you need to know everything about risks and side effects.
Birth control pills side effects
In most cases there are no side effects especially since the low doses of estrogens are used for now in modern birth control pills. Most side effects are temporary and they should not be a reason to discontinue the method – in most cases side effects usually disappear after 1-3 months.
The majority of birth control pills’ side effects are temporary and not serious. They include the following:
Nausea occasionally occurs when you first start taking birth control pills and will often go away in a few days. It is recommended to take pills in the evening before going to sleep (minimum chances for side effects).
Weight gain/Weight change (mainly increased weight) noted in women with specific metabolism type. There are no calories in the pill but sometimes they somehow slow the metabolism. Healthy lifestyle and weight control would be the best advice – avoid fast food, and eat 5–7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Drink lots of water and don’t forget to exercise!
Sore or swollen breasts happen very occasionally – breasts may become tender and/or get larger, but usually they will stay the same. Some young women “like” this side effect of pills and feel happy with enlarged breasts.
Small amount of blood, or spotting, between periods can occur during the first 1–3 weeks of starting the birth control pills, or if you miss a pill. If the bleeding becomes heavier or lasts more than a few days or the bleeding happens after you have been on the pill for a few months, you should talk with your health care provider. Some women suffer from brown discharge.
Lighter periods are very typical because of suppression of hormones and normal ovulation (birth control pills prevent ovulation by maintaining more consistent hormone levels).
Birth control pills side effects
Mood changes – feeling up and down emotionally can sometimes happen to anyone and is unlikely to be caused by birth control pills. Exercise and a healthy diet can help. Stress management tools are pretty useful in these cases.
Headaches can occur because of stress at school or home, too little sleep, sinus infections, or migraines. Birth control pills can make headaches better or worse. If you have migraine headaches, better talk to your doctor about whether birth control pills are right for you.
Most women don’t pay attention to above mentioned side effects and continue using birth control pills because they are 97-98% effective.
Some side effects are less common but more serious. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to an emergency room or urgent care center for evaluation.
These symptoms may indicate a serious disorder, such as liver disease, gallbladder disease, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, or heart disease. They include:
Abdominal pain (stomach pain),
Eye problems (blurred vision),
Swelling and/or aching in the legs and thighs.
If you would have any of above mentioned symptoms – immediately contact your doctor.
Modern contraception include three most common types of birth control pills: 1. Combined birth control pills - so called “PILLS” 2. Progestin-Only birth control pills (POP) 3. Emergency Contraceptive Pills…
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.