Birth Control Pills and Their Side Effects

Written by Pliro
Sep 18, 2017 Last updated: Sep 19, 2017

Over population is one of the major problems that Pakistan faces as a nation. Having said that, it is important to educate the general public, including both men and women, about the adverse side effects of oral birth control methods. Even though condoms may be less reliable in some cases, they do not harm one’s body internally. Let us read further to learn more about the side effects of birth control pills.

You Cannot Stop Taking the Pill


This is true unless you consciously plan on getting pregnant. The pill cannot be taken occasionally, it has to be taken everyday. This is because the pill contains several female hormones that help stop ovulation or thicken cervical mucus and thin the uterus wall to prevent sperm from fertilizing any eggs. Furthermore, because the pill prevents ovulation for an extended period of time, not taking it may result in untimely fertility, thereby increasing the chances of becoming pregnant.

Can Cause Nausea and Headaches


Research indicates that the higher the dosage of hormones in the pills, the more likely it is for women to experience headaches and migraines. On the onset of a new headache caused by the pill, it is recommended to seek medical attention. Additionally, the estrogen and progesterone levels can make one feel exceptionally queasy. For this reason it is recommended to take the pill with a meal, to reduce the effects of nausea. However, with continued consumption, the effects begin to diminish on their own.

Bloating and Weight Gain


When hormones are introduced to the body in an unnatural way, it can lead to bloating caused by fluid retention. This is most commonly reported by women in the case of hip and breast areas. Furthermore, estrogen in the pills is likely to affect fat cells in the body. This is because the hormone can cause an increase in the number of cells and even make them larger.

Mood Swings


Of course one of the major side effects of hormonal imbalance is that of mood swings. It may not always be a bad thing, since some women even experience improved psychological health due to pills. However, women with a history of depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses often report an increase in these symptoms. Therefore, it is recommended that you discuss which pills to take with an experienced practitioner.

Sore Breasts and Affected Milk Production


Pills are likely to cause discomfort or pain in the breasts. This may be in the form of tenderness or even breast enlargement. A supportive bra proves helpful at this stage. Furthermore, during breastfeeding it is highly advisable to avoid pills with estrogen. This is because they can result in decreased milk production and tamper with the lactation process. Therefore, it is better to avoid taking any oral medication at this time, other than the necessary prenatal vitamins.

Missed Periods and Spotting


Pills prevent or delay ovulation, and this is most effective with daily intake of the pill. However, because of this, you may experience delayed or missed periods. The periods may even become very light, or last for fewer or more days than normal. Additionally, spotting may occur at random. This is because the uterus lining becomes so thin that it may cause a breakthrough bleeding.

Increased Appetite


Hormonal imbalance often results in an increased appetite, as is the case with periods as well as pregnancy. In the same way, when estrogen or progesterone levels are altered by taking pills, it can make you exceptionally hungry. This may be one of the reasons for weight gain. However, research suggests that weight gain is not linked directly to excessive eating, as it is to do with the pill’s effects on fat cells.
That being said, there are also a few advantages of the pill. These include reliability with birth control, and in some cases fewer cramps and clearer skin, among many more. However, any medication with side effects should be discussed thoroughly with the doctor before being taken.