Ranking third on the top three most widely used contraceptive method for women is the oral contraceptive pill. Over one hundred and fifty million women all over the globe use it to be able to engage in casual sexual activities and avoid getting pregnant. Also called the birth control pill, this contraceptive prevents pregnancy by altering a woman’s hormonal level to prevent ovulation, or to create an intra-uterine environment that is not conducive to fertilization or implantation.
Aside from almost one hundred percent effectivity, the birth control pill brags about its other offered benefits such as: Less menstrual flow and cramping; lowered risks of uterine and ovarian infections; a decreased chance of forming ovarian cysts, non-cancerous breast cysts, or tumors; lessened chances of developing ovarian and uterine cancer; and improve acne.
But even with these benefits, it is impossible to overlook the fact that side effects will emerge from changing the body’s natural hormone levels. These side effects commonly appear during the first three months of use. A lot of women reported to have only minor, transient side effects. Here are some of the light side effects:
lLight bleeding in between menstrual periods
lAbsence of menstrual periods (Amenorrhea)
lIncreased risk of vaginal infections
lDecreased sexual drive and appetite
These side effects are transient and may disappear once the body gets used to the medications. However, there are more serious complications that may develop when using oral contraceptive pills. Here are more side effects of birth control pills:
lMood swings. Some birth control pill users noticed some changes in their emotional status, becoming depressed and/or emotionally unstable. This is caused by the hormone level alteration which has an indirect affect on certain brain chemicals that causes depression.
lBlood clots. Estrogen is said to help in blood coagulation, increased amounts of estrogen in the body may cause blood to thicken faster.
lCardiovascular diseases. There is an increased risk of having strokes and/or heart attacks for birth control pill users who smoke cigarettes, and have existing health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood cholesterol abnormalities.
lWorsening migraine headaches
lGall bladder disease
If you start feeling severe abdominal pain, severe chest pain or shortness of breath, severe throbbing headache, eye problems such as flashing lights or vision disturbances, or severe leg pains, discontinue using the pill and rush to the nearest hospital or contact your physician.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are different medications that affect the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive pill, so you should consult your healthcare provider and tell them what different medicines you are taking so that they can recommend a suitable backup contraceptive method for you.
There are other contraceptive measures available in the market, choosing what to use is entirely up to you. But choosing without understanding what each birth control method does to you and your body is unwise. Do some research, ask your physician, try out a few, and then select the best one that works perfectly for you. After all, it is your body, and it is your responsibility to protect yourself from the consequences of engaging in casual sex.