Six Side Effects of Taking the Birth Control Pill

The Birth Control Pill (also simply called The Pill) is a medicine that contains hormones, which can help prevent pregnancy by obstructing the process of fertilization. With an effectiveness rate of 95-99%, it is one of the best modes of contraception available today. However, it comes with its own set of negative implications. Here are six common side-effects of taking the birth control pill.

Intermenstrual bleeding : It is common to experience vaginal bleeding in between periods, as you start taking the pill. It might happen as the body takes time to adjust to having different levels of hormones.

However, it doesn't reduce the effectiveness of the pill as long as it's been taken correctly and doses aren't missed.

In case, there's heavy bleeding for three or more days, seek help.

Nausea : Many women experience mild nausea when they start taking the pill, although symptoms normally improve after a while. You can try taking the pill with some food or before sleep to feel better. However, if it goes for more than three weeks, seek medical assistance.

Headaches and migraine : The hormones present in the pill might also lead to headaches and migraine.

Pills with different doses of hormones could trigger various symptoms.

It is advisable to try using a low-dose pill to reduce your risk of headaches/migraine.

Although normally, symptoms tend to improve with time, consult your doctor if your condition does not seem to get better.

Breast tenderness : In some cases, Birth control pills may lead to breast enlargement or tenderness. This usually normalizes a couple of weeks after starting the pill.

To get relief, try using a supportive bra, or reduce your caffeine and salt intake. However, if you go through persistent pain or tenderness, talk to your doctor.

Mood changes : Several studies suggest that oral contraceptives (like the pill) might have unexpected effects on the user's mood, and may also lead to depression or other unwanted emotional changes. If such changes occur to you, see your doctor soon.

Weight gain : Although the results are mixed at best, long-term use of birth control pills may lead to weight gain among users. This mainly happens due to fluid retention.

According to a certain review of studies, participants underwent weight gain of under 2 kilograms with 6-12 months usage of progestin-only pills.

However, this stands true for other birth control methods as well.



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