For many women, going on birth control pills seems like a no-brainer. If you’re sexually active and have been using condoms, you know that sometimes you can forget one in the heat of the moment. Also, they occasionally break or slip off, and then you’re risking STDs and pregnancy.
Birth control pills are not 100% effective either, but most doctors and women consider them to be a solid option. However, they’re not side-effect free, and you should know all the details before you decide to go on them.
We’ll discuss a few of the possible side effects right now.
As far as side effects of some birth control devices go, those from the pill usually aren’t all that bad. One potentially serious one, though, is eye changes. Birth control pills can:
- Thicken the corneas
- Cause your contacts not to fit as well
This is one of the rarer things that can happen to a woman on birth control pills, but you should still watch out for it. If you experience any eyesight changes when you go on the pill, then talk to an ophthalmologist.
For some women, vaginal discharge changes when they go on birth control. That might mean that:
- You have less natural lubrication during sex
- You have more natural lubrication during sex
If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, then adding lubricant might be the way to go. Doctors say that these changes are seldom harmful.
However, if you’re detecting an odor or the discharge is an unusual color, then talk to your doctor immediately. That could be an infection.
It’s unfortunate to think that after going on the pill, you’ll be less excited about sex, but it does happen in some cases. The pill can alter your hormones, and your sex drive might not be what it was.
If this happens when you first go on the pill, it’s possible that your body might adjust if you give yourself a little time. If it’s been a while, and your libido is still missing in action, you should talk to your doctor.
All is not lost, since some women want sex more when they’re on the pill. That’s often less to do with hormonal changes and more to do with your being less worried about pregnancy.
Fewer Menstrual Cramps
Here we have a side effect that’s actually better once you go on birth control pills. Some women experience less menstrual pain each month.
In fact, some women go on birth control not so much because of pregnancy concerns, but because they want to reduce painful cramping.
Birth control pills also reduce discomfort and pain from uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and premenstrual symptoms in some women.
Missed or Late Periods
Some women miss periods or experience delayed periods when they go on birth control pills. If you have thyroid or hormonal abnormality, this is more likely. Excessive travel can also cause late periods while on birth control pills, as can illness or stress.
If you miss a period while on birth control pills, or if your period is light, then take a pregnancy test. Remember that the pill is not entirely effective, and it’s certainly better to be safe rather than sorry in this regard.
You might experience mood swings or changes when you go on birth control pills. This is more likely to happen in the first weeks and months, while your body adjusts.
You might feel depressed. If that happens, consult your doctor. There might be additional medications that can treat that, or you may look at some other options, like yoga or meditation.
Most doctors don’t feel like there is a direct link between weight gain and going on birth control pills, but it does happen occasionally. Fluid retention is more common, especially around the hips and breasts.
Some birth control pills can lead to a decrease in lean body mass. If you’re noticing any of this, talk to your doctor about it, so you develop a strategy for combating these changes.
Some women also deal with other symptoms when they go on birth control pills. They might experience nausea or breast tenderness. They may have headaches.
Still, all things considered, the benefits of going on birth control pills far outweigh the side effect risks for many women. No birth control method is utterly side effect and risk-free, but this is certainly one of the better options and works well for more women than not.