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Health

Contraceptive Pills Side Effects

There are several ways to catch fun but for women taking a pill certainly wouldn’t count as one. This has led to the trending #MyPillStory on twitter. Some folks tend to go through a plethora of struggles when taking pills, mostly because they’ve not been adequately informed on the effects of taking contraceptive pills. However, the effect of contraceptive pills on the human body is nebulous. Hence, there are a couple of ‘good’ effects and the ‘not so good’ effects as well.

Contraceptive Pill, generally referred to as ‘the pill’, is a form of hormonal contraception taken by women to prevent pregnancy. It consists of two types, one of which contains both the estrogen and progesterone (progestin) hormones, while the other called ‘mini pill’ contains only the progesterone hormone.

The Good

Clearer Skin

 

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Black woman with clear skin

Due to the fact that acne is accelerated by high level of male hormones (androgen), balancing it out with female hormones (estrogen & progesterone) can help reduce the break out of pimples on your face.

 

Less Painful Sex

In a few cases, the pill can increase your vaginal lubrication, thus making sexual intercourse less painful, especially if you had the issue of painful sex before you started taking the pills.

Reduced Risk of Certain Types of Cancer

A study carried out in 2011 showed that incidences of endometrial and ovarian cancers dropped by about 40% among those with a history of HIV, who were on pills. Also, research has shown that women who take the pill may be 20%less likely to contract bowel cancer.

Less Painful Menstrual Cramping

When your body experiences a regular intake of estrogen & progesterone, your periods get on a more predictable schedule. Periods tend to become lighter when you’re on the pill.

Fewer Complications from Anemia

Researchers believe that pills can boost iron levels and the protein molecule hemoglobin in the bloodstream, which can reduce the incidence of anemia.

Combined pill
Combined Pill

The Not So Good

Nausea: Some women tend to feel mild nausea when they first start taking the pill. Taking the pill with after a meal or at bedtime can help in reducing how queasy you feel during the time your body needs to adjust to new levels of estrogen and progesterone. You should seek medical guidance if you have this experience.

Mood Changes

Before taking contraceptive pills, you should ensure that discuss with your doctor if you have a history of mood problems like anxiety and depression. Women with such symptoms tend to see an increase in these mood changes when taking pills. On the hand, even if you don’t have a history of mood swings, you may experience slight changes in your mood when taking pills.

Breast Tenderness

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Woman with breast pain holding her breast

Taking pills may lead to enlargement of the breast or tenderness. This can last for up to 18 months while on the pill. If you experience persistent breast tenderness or pain, seek medical help. You should also reduce your salt and caffeine intake in order to stem the tide of breast tenderness. Wearing a supportive bra would also be ideal for you.

Headaches

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Teen woman with headache holding her hand to the head

A study carried out by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2005 found that about 10% of women feel headache within a month of starting the pill. The sex hormones have an effect on the development of headaches. Thus, studies have shown that pills which contain low doses of hormones are less likely to cause headaches. In the long run, headaches tend to reduce.

Lower Sex Urge

It has been discovered that some women experience decreased drive for sex while on pills. So don’t be surprised when your wife feels a little uncomfortable with the coital act during the period when she’s on pills. The hormones in the contraceptive pills can affect se drive (libido) in some people. Albeit, it can also cause increased sex drive, in which case you may experience symptoms such as endometriosis and premenstrual syndrome.

Quick Facts about Contraceptive Pills

  • People with a history of blood clots, heart attacks or stroke are best advised to avoid taking a combination of the pill. In other words, if you must take the pill, you should only take the mini pill.
  • In the event that the pill isn’t having any negative side effects on you, you can continue taking it until menopause
  • The US Food and Drug Administration advises that women aged 35 years and above who smoke, should avoid taking a combination of pills.
  • Some women may experience weight gain while taking the pill but this doesn’t cut across all women.
  • People with a history of liver disease, heart disease, uterine cancer, breast cancer, and uncontrolled blood should avoid taking contraceptive pills.
  • The hormones in the pill don’t remain in your body for long, which is why you have to take it every day.
  • Women who miss a pill are have a higher probability of getting pregnant than women who take their pills faithfully.
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Woman consulting female Medical Doctor

Above all, consult a qualified health care provider if you are not really sure of the effect the pill could have on you, considering whatever peculiar situation you might have. Seeking medical guidance would help you know the best type of pill to take as well as how to take birth control pills.

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