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The Side Effects Of Birth Control No One Tells You About

The Side Effects Of Birth Control No One Tells You About

side-effects-of-birth-control

I

magine walking into a doctor’s office eagerly anticipating the freedom that comes with birth control pills, only to find out there are a host of side effects nobody warned you about. There have been lots of people who frantically share their experiences with birth control, especially hormonal options, and it’s natural to dig in deeper to weigh your options. As a result, we’ll explore the lesser-known, and even downright strange, side effects of birth control.

Check out the side effects of birth control from basic to over-the-top strange…

Physical side effects

Photo: Polina Zimmerman/Pexels

Birth control methods can have various physical side effects on the body. Here are some of the most common associated with different types of birth control:

Oral contraceptives (birth control pills):

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Changes in menstrual bleeding patterns (lighter or heavier periods)
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Blood clots

Contraceptive patch:

  • Skin irritation at the patch site
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Changes in menstrual bleeding patterns
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Blood clots

Vaginal ring:

  • Vaginal irritation or discharge
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Changes in menstrual bleeding patterns
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Blood clots

Depo-Provera (injection):

  • Irregular periods
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Decreased bone density with long-term use

Intrauterine device (IUD):

  • Cramping or pain during insertion
  • Spotting or irregular periods
  • Perforation of the uterus (rare)
  • Infection (rare)

Remember, not all individuals will experience these side effects, and some may experience different or no side effects at all. It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about any potential issues before starting a new birth control method.

Unusual side effects

Photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

While most individuals who use birth control experience minimal or no side effects, some people may experience strange or unusual ones.

  • Vision changes: Few who use hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill or the patch, have reported changes in their vision. This can include blurred vision or difficulty wearing contact lenses. While the exact cause of this side effect is unclear, it is believed to be related to changes in fluid retention and blood flow caused by hormonal fluctuations.
  • Decreased libido: While birth control is often used to prevent pregnancy, it can also have the unintended side effect of decreasing libido or having no sexual desire in some individuals. This is believed to be related to changes in hormone levels that can affect sexual function and desire.

  • Hair loss: Some individuals have reported hair loss or thinning hair while using hormonal birth control methods. This side effect of birth control is believed to be related to changes in hormone levels that can affect hair growth and maintenance.
  • Mood changes: Hormonal birth control methods can also affect mood and emotional well-being. Some people may experience depression, anxiety, or mood swings. This is believed to be related to changes in hormone levels that can affect neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Increased risk of infection: The use of certain types of birth control, such as the diaphragm or cervical cap, may increase the risk of urinary tract infections or yeast infections. This is believed to be related to changes in the vaginal microbiome and pH caused by the use of these devices.
  • Weight changes: While weight gain is a common side effect of birth control, some individuals may experience unusual changes in weight, such as rapid weight gain and weight loss. This is believed to be related to changes in hormone levels that can affect metabolism and fluid retention.

How to manage the side effects of birth control

the-side-effects-of-birth-control-no-one-tells-you-about
Photo: Pietro Jeng/Pexels

If you are experiencing side effects from birth control, there are several strategies to manage them. Here are some of the best methods:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider: If you are experiencing side effects from birth control, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. They may adjust your dosage or switch you to a different type of birth control that may be better suited to your needs.
  • Give it time: Many side effects may disappear on their own after a few months. If you have just started using a new type of birth control, give it some time to see if these effects improve over time.
  • Take your birth control as directed: Taking your birth control simultaneously every day or following the instructions for use can help reduce side effects. Missing doses or taking them at different times can increase the likelihood of side effects.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help reduce side effects, such as nausea or headaches.
  • Use non-hormonal birth control: If you are experiencing challenges from hormonal birth control, non-hormonal options such as condoms or a copper IUD may be a better option for you.
  • Consider lifestyle changes: Some issues such as weight gain may be managed through lifestyle changes like exercise and healthy eating habits.
  • Try over-the-counter remedies: These medications, such as pain relievers or anti-nausea medication, may help alleviate some side effects of birth control.
  • Natural remedies: Some people find relief from the side effects through natural remedies, such as herbal supplements or acupuncture. However, always talk to your healthcare provider before trying any natural remedy to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Featured image: Daria Golubeva/iStock


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