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Why We're Scared of Birth Control - Some Misunderstood Side Effects

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

Birth control comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Birth control can be anything from patches to IUDs, but most women know about what the pill is. Birth control is also known as oral contraceptives or simply 'the pill'. Birth Control has become a big part of many woman's lives because it regulates periods, reduces acne outbreaks, and lessens cramps. It is important to recognize that Birth Control has side effects, even though they are rare.

Birth control comes in many forms, one of the most popular forms is the birth control pill. Birth control pills are used to regulate ovulation and menstruation to prevent pregnancy. Birth control can also be used for women who suffer from painful cramps during their period or have bad acne outbreaks. Birth control works by stopping ovulation which stops egg production, stopping sperm from reaching the egg. Birth control also thins the lining of the uterus making it harder for an embryo to implant itself there if fertilization were to happen(1).

However, Birth Control is not just a safe form of contraception for all women, side effects do occur but they are very minor. Birth control side effects vary from woman to woman, some have none at all while others have more intense ones.

What are some major side-effects of Birth Control?

Birth control's most common side effect is breakthrough bleeding, this means spotting in between your regular periods. This can be fixed by simply taking the inactive pills or just switching brands of birth control. Birth Control also has side effects that are welcomed such as lighter periods. For some women, Birth Control thins the lining of the uterus too much causing it to bleed during their period which is called menorrhagia. Birth Control will make you gain weight because Birth Control slows the metabolism and makes you retain water(2). Side effects brought on by Birth Control can include nausea, vomiting, headaches, breast tenderness/discomfort, bloating, or mood swings(3). Birth Control will have a good effect on acne outbreaks as well. Birth control can clear up your skin and reduce hyper pigmentation which is caused by acne scars (4). Birth Control may also undo some of the damage done by PCOS such as lowering testosterone levels and bringing back normal periods (5) . Birth Control can bring on PCOS if you do not regulate your insulin, that way Birth Control is no longer effective for preventing pregnancy. Side effects of Birth control include anxiety and depression because Birth Control has progestin which affects serotonin receptors, this leads to an increase of cortisol levels(6).

It is important to note that Birth Control side effects are often short lived and they do not last for the entire time you are on Birth Control. Birth control side effects may include temporary spotting in between periods, acne outbreaks, mood swings, nausea, bloating, breast tenderness/discomfort. Birth Control is safe for most women but it is important to keep track of how Side Effects make you feel and if they are not improving or getting worse. Birth control does not change your fertility in the long term meaning that once birth control gets out of your system everything should go back to normal(7). Birth Control can affect any woman differently so it is important to understand that all Birth Controls are different and each one affects individuals differently.

It is important that the pros outweigh the cons when using Birth Control because they're many alternatives such as abstinence or condoms. Birth Control should always be taken with caution and it is important to record all Birth Control side effects so they can be addressed accordingly. Birth Control will change your fertility but you have to remember that Birth Control is only temporarily effective, once Birth Control gets out of your system everything should go back to normal(7). Birth control has many benefits such as regulating periods, reducing cramps, acne outbreaks etc. It also has Side Effects but most are minor and temporary.


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