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Birth Control Side Effects To Be Prepared For

It is pretty well documented what side effects can be expected if no birth control is used, but recently there have also been various studies outlining the side effects of birth control, particularly the oral pill. The birth control pill works by releasing hormones into the female body which trick the body into believing that it is pregnant, so that the egg isn’t released early. By taking the pill on time each day women can pinpoint when they will get their period and protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy to a high percentage. Health.com reports: “Hormone-based birth control often comes with side effects that can range from slightly annoying to bad enough to make you switch. You may not know what you can tolerate until you’ve given a couple of them a try.”

The pill works best when it is taken at the same time every day, and when no pill is skipped. When a woman skips a pill, it can throw off the cycle, and render the process void, meaning that the woman would need to start over following her period. Some physicians will advise that women take two pills the following day if one is skipped.

Side effects of the birth control pill vary from women to women but can include a number of symptoms related to menstruation, and some that many women aren’t used to and may find uncomfortable.

Vaginal Bleeding

While the point of the pill in many cases is to regulate the menstrual flow and ovulation cycle, some women who take the pill may still face vaginal bleeding from time to time. This can be anything from a small amount of spotting, to a full flow. For some women it may last only a day, for others it can be longer. Medical News Today explains: “Approximately 50% of people using the pill experience vaginal bleeding between expected periods, most commonly within the first 3 months of starting to take the pill. Generally, this resolves in over 90% of cases by the third pill pack. During spotting, the pill is still effective as long as the pill has been taken correctly and none were missed.”

Those women who experience more than five days of bleeding should consult a physician as soon as possible. Heavy bleeding at a constant rate for three or more days is also cause for concern. Man medical professionals

People who experience 5 or more days of bleeding while on active pills or heavy bleeding for 3 or more days should contact a health care professional for advice.

Weight Gain

Unfortunately, one of the side effects that many women face while taking the birth control pill is weight gain. This can happen when any hormonal balance is shifted, but is prominent when it comes to progesterone enhancement. Studies have not been able to prove any true connection between this change in hormones and weight gain, but enough reports have been made by women on the pill that there is believed to be a connection, at least in water retention. Bloating in the lower abdomen, hipline, and breast area is quite common.

Some physicians suggest that increasing water intake can help with fluid retention and bloating, while others may prescribe a lower dose of the pill.

Pregnancy Symptoms

You may think it sounds unfair to feel symptoms of pregnancy while taking a pill to avoid it and yet many women do. Nausea is one symptom that is often reported during the first few weeks and even months of taking the pill. This is particularly true if your physician starts you off with a pill that includes a high hormonal dosage. Starting off with a low dose may help to keep nausea out of the picture. Eating with the pill, or taking the pill at night before your body settles down for sleep can help reduce these sensations.

Breast tenderness is another common side effect associated both with pregnancy, and with taking the birth control pill. Research has found that caffeinated beverages can help reduce breast tenderness and swelling, but physicians encourage any women who feels excessive pain or lumps in her breasts to contact medical professionals as soon as possible.

Dangers Associated With The Pill

While many studies have been performed in an effort to connect the pill with cancer and other negative effects on this spectrum, one that has proven problematic for pill takers is an increase in blood pressure. This can be increased as a risk if you smoke or are of a certain age. Healthline states: “For some women, birth control pills and patches can increase blood pressure. Those extra hormones can also make it a little more likely that you’ll form a blood clot. That risk is substantially higher if you’re a smoker or are over age 35. The risk of blood clots is also greater if you have high blood pressure, pre-existing heart disease, or diabetes.”

Before and after you begin taking the pill, your doctor should give you an exam to determine how healthy you are. This should include the taking of the blood pressure as well as a mammogram and other procedural tests.

It may take you some time to find a pill with minimal side effects which works for your body. Just because your doctor starts you off on one brand doesn’t mean you need to stick with it for the rest of your life. Take your time and explore your options, especially if this is going to be a long term birth control solution for you.

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