What Are Common Side Effects of Birth Control?
There are multiple contraceptive methods available for preventing pregnancy. The pill is the most common method of birth control, used by 16 percent of women aged 15-44. Like all medications, the pill can have several side effects. Some are positive and some are negative, and their severity can vary from person to person. Talk to your gynecologist in Jacksonville to see if birth control pills are the right contraceptive method for you.
How do Birth Control Pills Work?
Birth control pills work by preventing you from ovulating. The egg isn’t produced and as a result, the sperm will not be able to fertilize anything. That prevents you from getting pregnant.
There are different forms of birth control pills. The pills contain synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone. Synthetic progesterone is known as progestin. Some pills contain both estrogen and progestin while other pills may only have either estrogen or progestin. Most birth control pills contain 28 pills, 21 have active ingredients while 7 (sometimes less) contain inactive ingredients (also known as placebo pills). During the week of the placebo pills is usually when you will get your period. Talk to your gynecologist in Jacksonville about the various types of birth control pills available.
Birth Control Common Side Effects
While taking birth control, you may experience these side effects:
- Spotting: Also known as breakthrough bleeding. This may happen when you first start taking birth control pills. It usually occurs when your body is adjusting to the new hormones added to your body.
- Nausea: This can be an unfortunate side effect. It can occur within the first 3 months of starting birth control. To help with nausea, try taking the pill with food or before bed. If your nausea persists after 3 months, contact your doctor.
- Headaches or Migraines: Due to the hormones, this may increase the likelihood of getting headaches. A low-dose pill might help with headaches.
- Breast tenderness: Birth control often causes your breasts to get larger and tender. This usually occurs in the first 3 months of taking the pill.
- Weight gain: There have been studies that show that there isn’t a direct link to weight gain and taking birth control. However, birth control can cause fluid retention mainly in the breast and hip areas. Therefore, people associate weight gain with birth control.
- Mood changes: Birth control has been known to affect your mood and increase the risk of depression. If you feel like you are becoming depressed, consult your gynecologist in Jacksonville for other options.
- Missed period: Some birth control pills you won’t experience a period at all. Other factors could cause you to miss a period such as stress, illness, travel, hormonal or thyroid problems. However, if you experience a super light period or miss altogether it is recommended to take a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy before starting the new pack of birth control.
- Decreased libido: Hormones in birth control pills can sometimes lower your libido.
- Vaginal discharge: This could be an increase or decrease in usual vaginal lubrication.
- Eye changes: This is an unusual side effect, but it could be possible for birth control to thicken the cornea of your eye. If you wear contacts, they might not feel as comfortable on your eyes.
If any of these side effects are persistent or make you feel uncomfortable, consult your gynecologist in Jacksonville to see if you might need to change birth control methods.
Are There Positive Side Effects to Birth Control?
Absolutely! Birth control can be used for women who suffer from endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), or acne, as well as a number of other issues. Many people with especially rough or irregular periods use the pill to regulate their period and lighten its severity. It can also help with unruly PMS symptoms such as cramps. It can even help improve your skin! Often times, many people struggle with hormonal changes which can lead to acne. Birth control regulates those hormones and as a result, helps reduce their acne. A huge bonus of taking birth control pills is that it can decrease the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer. If you have taken birth control for 5 years, your chances decrease by 50%. Ask your gynecologist in Jacksonville about more of the positive effects of birth control pills.
Discuss Your Birth Control Options with Your Gynecologist in Jacksonville
Talk to one of the experienced, caring physicians at North Florida OBGYN of Jacksonville today to discuss your birth control options. Contact us to schedule an appointment.