Common Birth Control Side Effects
If the Pill makes you woozy, try the ring or the patch.MasterfileHormone-based birth control often comes with side effects that can range from slightly annoying to bad enough to make you switch. You may not know what you can tolerate until you’ve given a couple of them a try. But here are some solutions for the most common problems.
Headache, dizziness, breast tendernessBe patient. “These side effects seem to go away after you’ve been taking the Pill for a while,” says Hilda Hutcherson, MD, an ob-gyn professor at Columbia University. If they don’t, switching brands may help.
NauseaIt will probably go away in a couple of months. If not, and you’re taking oral contraceptives, try taking it with food. If you’re taking the ring or the patch, you might need to switch methods.
Breakthrough bleeding“I think this is the side effect that drives women crazier than any other side effect,” says Dr. Hutcherson, mostly because it’s so unpredictable. Taking the Pill at precisely the same time every day may help. Especially with shots, the mini-Pill, and the implantthe progestin-only methodsthe lining of the uterus is so thin that it sometimes sloughs off a little bit.
I Ditched Acne by Switching Birth Control
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Are There Any Side Effects Of The Birth Control Patch
Yes, there are some minor side effects that may occur with the use of this product. These include
- Mood changes
- Fluid retention
These side effects usually disappear after a few weeks of use. If they do not, you should talk to your healthcare provider about the possible causes and how to treat them.
Most Common Birth Control Pill Side Effects
The oral contraceptive pill, commonly referred to as the pill, is a form of hormonal contraception taken by approximately 12 million women in the US each year to prevent pregnancy.1
The pill is a highly effective method of birth control when taken correctly , with only 0.1% of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy, according to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals around 1 in 100 women taking the pill experience an unintended pregnancy in the first year of pill use.1,2
However, pregnancy rates increase dramatically in women who miss a pill .2
There are two types of contraceptive pills, both of which contain synthetic forms of the hormones estrogen and progesterone .3 Combination pills contain both of these hormones, whereas the mini pill known as the progestin-only pill contains only the hormone progestin.1
The pill may also be taken for non-contraceptive medical purposes to address issues such as:3,4
The pill is a type of hormonal contraception that is taken by around 12 million women per year in the US to prevent pregnancy and for other medical reasons.
- Regulation of menstrual periods
- Decreasing the risk of breast cysts, ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease and pregnancies in the fallopian tubes.
Oral contraceptives are also used as a method to prevent ovarian and endometrial cancers. Birth control pills do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.1,3,4
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If You Get Your Arm Implant Removed
You can also expect changes to your period . The side effects should be pretty similar to the ones you’d get from removing a hormonal IUD, since the arm implant, aka Nexplanon, works by releasing progestin too. Dr. Minkin says the most common side effects of removing it are getting your period back , and a more regular cycle .
Birth Control Side Effects Every Woman Should Know
While birth control may keep you pregnancy-free, it often causes changes to your body. While some can be positive , there are plenty that are more complicated. No method of birth control is perfect, so we asked M.D.s to break down the most common potential birth control side effects. Evaluate the pros and cons with your doctorthen you can make an educated decision about whats best for you.
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What Are Potential Side Effects Of Going Off The Birth Control Patch
Any time theres a change in your hormones like when you go on or off hormonal birth control such as the patch theres a chance of temporary side effects. But they usually go away after a few months.
When you go off the patch, your body will eventually return to the way it was before you went on it. So if the patch made your periods lighter, your periods will probably get heavier once you stop using it. It can also take a few months for your period to go back to the cycle you had before you started using the patch. And if the patch helped clear up your skin, your acne may come back after you go off the patch. But everyones body is different, and our bodies also change over time. For example: youre less likely to have acne after puberty, so if you started using the patch in your teens but stop using it in your 20s, you may have naturally grown out of your acne by then.
Another important thing to note: you can get pregnant right away once you stop using the patch . So if youre going off the patch but you dont want to get pregnant, make sure to use another birth control method.
Theres no way to know exactly how your body will react to going off the patch, but any negative side effects that you may have will go away within a few months as your body gets used to being off the hormones.
Yeast & Other Vaginal Infections
Paige also had way less vaginal irritation and itching. For as long as she could remember she had needed to treat a vaginal infection at least a couple times per year and her underwear had always felt a bit uncomfortable. I had to be militant about my after sex routine or Id end up with a UTI or yeast infection, she shared.
If you’re a woman who experienced chronic vaginal infections while on the pill, coming off of it may mean no more infections and a lot happier vagina.
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What To Do If You Take The Combination Pill
Your pack may have seven pills at the end of it that are a different color from the others. These are hormone-free pills that help you stick to the habit of taking a pill every day. The days you take those are when you have your period. You donât need to do anything if you miss these pills, and your risk of getting pregnant wonât go up.
Hereâs what to do if you miss pills with hormones in them.
If youâre late to take a pill or forgot one dayâs pill, take it as soon as you can. Then take the rest of your pills like normal. You may end up taking two pills in one day to stay on schedule. You should use another type of birth control for the next 7 days if you missed a pill during the first week of a new pack.
If you forgot to take two or more pills in a row, take the pill you most recently missed immediately. You should get rid of the other pills you forgot to take. Then you take the rest of your pills like normal. Again, you might take two pills in one day. You need to use another form of birth control until youâve taken your pill every day for 7 days.
If you still have questions about when to take your pill, ask your doctor.
Terrifying Side Effects Of Birth Control
There comes a time in every girls life when she is faced with the question: to take or not to take the BCP? Its not a decision to make lightly. Of course, it all depends on the individual girl and w
There comes a time in every girls life when she is faced with the question: to take or not to take the BCP? Its not a decision to make lightly. Of course, it all depends on the individual girl and what her situation is like. Unwanted pregnancy is just about the most difficult situation to handle, so it’s important that girls are given all the information about the good and bad effects of popping that small, daily pill. In the past, doctors were not known to always disclose the awful side effects, partly because they didn’t know or weren’t convinced that the pill was the cause. But today, partly through the sharing of stories by brave women around the world, we know that the birth control is not always safe for everybody and it can cause debilitating reactions in certain people. Just like some people have nut allergies, some women’s bodies are just not accepting of synthetic forms of hormones. If you are on the pill and have any of these side effects, visit your doctor immediately to discuss your options.
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When To Call The Doctor About Side Effects Of Stopping Birth Control
Its normal to feel not quite like yourself in the first few weeks after stopping the pill or other hormonal birth control. But you should let your doctor know if you havent gotten a period after three months, since that could be a sign that your body isnt ovulating the way it should be.
You should also talk to your doctor if your post-pill period is getting in the way of everyday life. Let your OB/GYN know if you experience:
- Very heavy bleeding, where you soak through one or more pads or tampons for several hours in a row or you need to double up on pads
- Bleeding with clots that are bigger than a quarter
- Bleeding that lasts for more than seven days
- Severe or constant abdominal cramping
- Fatigue or shortness of breath
- Extremely irregular cycle
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
You Might Lose A Bit Of Hair
Switching birth control pills or going off it completely could trigger telogen effluvium, a temporary condition that causes your hair to shed. Telogen effluvium usually subsides within six months, after your body has adjusted to not being on birth control. Some women who had hormonal-related hair loss before they went on birth control might notice that it returns when they go off of the pill. All that said, hair loss is complicated, explains Dr. Dweck, and is often related to other factors, such as stress.
The bottom line? “Most women won’t see a significant net effect on their hair after stopping birth control pills,” says Josh Klein, MD, chief medical officer at Extend Fertility in New York City.
On the flip side, some women may grow more hair, but not necessarily on their heads. Dark, coarse hairs can pop up in unwanted spots like the face, back, and chest if the body produces too much androgen. PCOS is the most common culprit.
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Getting Contraception During Coronavirus
If you need contraception, call your GP surgery or a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. Only go in person if you’re told to.
It can take longer to get contraception at the moment and some types are not widely available.
You may only be able to get the combined pill if you’ve had your blood pressure and weight checked in the last 12 months.
If you cannot get the combined pill, you may be advised to use the progestogen-only pill or condoms for now.
My Back Pain Was A Sign Of Blood Clots: Kassidy Ferrantis Story
Five years ago, at the age of 23, I developed dozens of blood clots in both of my legs, my pelvis, and my stomach. The development literally happened overnight. Two weeks earlier, I was experiencing daily back pain on my lower right side. My OB-GYN chalked the pain up to ovarian cysts, which had never been a problem before. I visited the emergency room twice in the days before the blood clots appeared, and finally on the second visit to the hospital, I was admitted. After several tests with no apparent results, they decided they would take out my appendix the next day.
That night, at around 3:00 in the morning, I woke up in horrible pain. When I tried to move, I couldnt move my legs because they were hard, heavy, and swollen. After several minutes of several doctors and nurses looking at me, an OB-GYN happened to walk by and asked if anyone checked me for blood clots. Thankfully, she walked by and asked that question, and thankfully I still have my appendix!
In the days to follow, I had every test in the book preformed on me. They found dozens of blood clots so many that they couldnt give me a number as to how many were in my body. I spent days in the ICU having both legs injected with clot busting medications. After a week in the hospital, I was ready to go home.
Have a comment? Join our online discussion community and connect with other people who have experienced a blood clot.
To learn more about birth control and blood clot risks, please .
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Visual Changes With Contact Lenses
Hormonal changes caused by the birth control pill can lead to fluid retention which, in turn, can cause the corneas to swell or change shape. When this swelling occurs, contact lenses may no longer fit comfortably.10
Contact lens wearers should consult their ophthalmologist if they experience any changes in vision or lens tolerance during pill use.
It is important that anyone who experiences any of the following side effects while taking the pill contacts their medical provider or visits an emergency room immediately, as they may signify a serious condition.4,11
Birth control pill side effects that should be investigated are:
- A: Abdominal/stomach pain
- C: Chest pain
- H: Headaches that are severe
- E: Eye problems such as blurred vision or loss of vision
- S: Swelling or aching in the legs and thighs .
These symptoms can be remembered using the acronym ACHES.
Birth control pills have also been associated with an increase in blood pressure, benign liver tumors and a slight increase in the risk of developing cervical cancer.4
Behold: All The Possible Side Effects Of Ditching Birth Control
None of them are super serious, JSYK.
Whether you’ve been on your current birth control for a few months or few years, the idea of stopping it can honestly be kinda scary. I know I was a lil nervous when I decided to ditch my IUD in favor of the pill, at least. I had read wayyy too many Reddit threads about what could go wrong post-removal .
But if you’re in the same boat, I have good news: According to Nicola Pemberton, MD, medical director of Artemis OB/GYN and The Birth Center of New Jersey, you shouldn’t be worried or scared about stopping birth control because of potential side effects . Most of the time, you’ll just lose certain benefits that your BC gave you, like lighter periods or clearer skin, adds Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine.
And on the flip side, sometimes you’ll experience positive side effects after stopping birth control. Like, if your contraception was causing annoying symptoms like bloating or spotting, they’ll prob go away once you quit using it, Dr. Minkin explains.
Some more good news? In a lot of cases, any changes you notice after ditching birth control will regulate themselves after a few months, says Dr. Pemberton. But if you start experiencing a side effect that’s super annoying, seems concerning, or doesn’t go away, definitely reach out to your gyno, says Dr. Minkin. They’ll help you figure out how to get rid of it.
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Unexpected Pregnancy & Ectopic Pregnancy
Over a five-year period, about eight in 1,000 women became pregnant while using Mirena, according to Bayers Mirena Welcome Kit. This can be life threatening. It may also cause loss of fertility. Study results on ectopic pregnancy risk are mixed.
In patients becoming pregnant with an IUD in place, septic abortion with septicemia, septic shock, and deathmay occur.
- Bladder or bowel problems
Blood Clot Signs You Shouldnt Ignore
In general, one of the biggest signs of a blood clot is pain. Usually the pain would be behind your knee or in the back of your calf, says Dr. Brant. Redness or swelling are also common. Sometimes, you can even develop a ropey-like firmness in the back of your leg. Its the actual vein, and you can feel it.
Blood clots that happen while people are using birth control vary in size and severity. These can develop in your artery or, more commonly, in a vein. When a clot develops in your vein, its called deep vein thrombosis and blocks your normal circulation.
Sometimes, the clot stays in place, while other times, it might break off and travel to another part of your body.
This can be serious. For example, if part of the clot travels to your lungs, it could stop blood flow there and cause a more severe complication called pulmonary embolism.Signs of a pulmonary embolism specifically include shortness of breath, coughing or chest pain.
In general, if you dont quite feel right especially if youve just started taking hormonal birth control call your doctor. If youre having symptoms such as pain, warmth, redness or swelling or if the symptom is affecting a lower extremity thats a reason to check in, warns Dr. Brant.
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