Birth control pills work by preventing ovulation. Since there is no egg being produced, there is nothing for the sperm to fertilize. There are different types of contraceptive pills. However, they all contain synthetic forms of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, or both. This method of contraception is used by almost one in six women aged 15 to 44 in the United States. When used correctly, the pill is highly effective, but because people make mistakes in their pill taking habits, a handful of pregnancies in every 100 are estimated to occur.
5 Common Side Effects
Some people experience mild nausea when they start taking birth control pills. Symptoms usually alleviate after some time and taking the pill along with some food may help. If the nausea becomes overbearing or persists for too long (3 months), speak with your doctor.
- Headaches and migraine
The hormones contained in the pills can cause headaches and migraine. Starting the regime with lower dose pill may reduce the incidence of headaches. Symptoms usually improve over time, but seek medical assistance if they become severe.
- Mood shifts
There are studies suggesting that oral contraceptives may alter the user’s mood. The use of the pills may also increase the risk of developing psychiatric disorders such as clinical depression. Contact your physician if your mood swings become significant.
- Altered libido
Due to the hormones, the pills can decrease the sex drive or libido in some people. However, they can also increase the user’s drive by removing psychological and physical barriers such as concerns for pregnancy and painful symptoms of menstrual cramping.
- Weight gain
There has not been a consistent link developed between the use of birth control pills and weight gains. Common reports of weight fluctuations may be due to fluid retention.
The pill works for many women, but there are also other forms of birth control that women can choose. To know more about other forms of contraceptive check out our website or come in and speak with one of our providers to see which would be the best fit for you!