There comes a time in every girl’s life when she is faced with the question: to take or not to take the BCP? It’s not a decision to make lightly. Of course, it all depends on the individual girl and what her situation is like. Unwanted pregnancy is just about the most difficult situation to handle, so it's important that girls are given all the information about the good and bad effects of popping that small, daily pill. In the past, doctors were not known to always disclose the awful side effects, partly because they didn't know or weren't convinced that the pill was the cause. But today, partly through the sharing of stories by brave women around the world, we know that the birth control is not always safe for everybody and it can cause debilitating reactions in certain people. Just like some people have nut allergies, some women's bodies are just not accepting of synthetic forms of hormones. If you are on the pill and have any of these side effects, visit your doctor immediately to discuss your options.
Migraines are extremely common in women who take birth control pills. The problem is--most women don't think the pill is the cause. Why? We are often not given the information from our doctors, and because headaches are often caused by many different things, including stress and anxiety, we don't think to blame the pill. Don't think migraines are that terrifying? Well, you probably haven't had one. Migraines are basically the worst form of headaches and can cause temporary blindness, extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and touch. They often also cause other physical symptoms such as nausea and moodiness and can increase your likelihood of stroke. Some migraines are so bad they are absolutely debilitating, making you unable to get out of bed for days at a time. If you have migraines that come at the same time every month, it's time to talk to your gyno about alternative forms of contraception.
Eczema is a condition where your skin becomes inflamed and causes red, itchy blotches to appear. Eczema can be caused by soaps, clothing materials, foods we eat, and even pills we take. Because the birth control pill can cause dehydration, it will often lead to red skin rashes. The patches can be extremely itchy and show up on any part of the body. And scratching them may seem good and comforting at first, but this will cause the skin to become thick, dark, and even cause it to scar. If you live in a cold climate, you may think your dry, itchy skin is environmental, but if it doesn't improve with loads of moisturizer, you may try looking into other causes. First, try changing what you normally wear and see if anything improves. If not, you may want to get on a cleaner diet with less processed foods. But if you are still having issues, try changing your birth control pill or going off of it entirely.
The problem with people who are depressed is that they don't always know they need help. It usually takes a family member or close friend to intervene and say, "Something's not right. You need help." Even then, we often refuse. That's why, if you are on the BCP, it's important that you analyze your life before this moment. Ask yourself if you were happier before. Did you do more things? See more friends? Did you travel more, or were you more excited about life? If you don't know, ask someone close to you. It's normal in life that your moods go up and down depending on how much stress you have, but your attitude should not change entirely and stay down for long periods of times. If this happens, you should always consider what you are putting in your body, because it might be affecting the way your brain is working. Always consider stopping birth control pills until you figure out what is causing your change in mental health.
Birth control pills raise your risk of heart attack, especially as you age. If you've ever had high blood pressure, it's very important that you tell your doctor and discuss what this can cause when on the pill. A heart attack is extremely serious, and though the odds may be low (that they know), it doesn't mean that you won't get other heart problems. Many young, healthy women complain about heart palpitations while on the pill. They also may experience rapid heart beat causing shortness of breath. Estrogen affects your entire body, so it's not uncommon to feel its symptoms show up in heart-related ways. If there's one thing you don't want to take a risk with, it's your heart. You may be able to swap out your prescription for a different kind with higher or lower levels of estrogen or one that contains a combination pack. Don't by shy to talk to your doctor about different options.
The pill is known to deplete your body of nutrients, or not allow it to absorb the nutrients that you need, causing a thinning of your bones. If this happens over a long period of time, not only will you have brittle bones, but there's no telling what disease may pop up in your body. Without the right nutrients, our bodies cannot function properly, and they definitely can't fight disease. Thankfully, there's an easy way to test if synthetic hormones are affecting your nutrient levels. If you eat a healthy diet, you should be getting exactly what you need to stay in the normal range. Test this by getting a simple blood test to find out. If anything is low, you can first try supplementing with vitamins, which should take care of your deficiencies. If not, you might want to look into the fact that the pill is doing more harm than good.
Your risk for breast cancer can go up if you are taking birth control pills. But it also depends on what brand, what concentration of estrogen, and what other medication you are taking. First, you should ask yourself if there is any family history of breast cancer, if you have the breast cancer gene (if you don't know, you can test for it), and if you've ever had abnormal biopsies. If your answer is "yes" to any one of these questions, proceed with caution. Sometimes doctors do not ask you the right questions, so you must always offer the information beforehand. If you decide to take birth control pills, always opt initially for the ones that have low-dose estrogen, as high-dose estrogen has been known to double the risk of breast cancer. And of course, always do your own research and trust your body. If something feels wrong, don't hesitate to visit a doctor.
If you smoke or if you are overweight, your risk of developing blood clots from birth control pills increases substantially. Also, the older you get, the more risk you have. If you are over 35, you should ask your doctor about changing the pill you have been using and if it's necessary based on the evidence that different pills can cause different symptoms in different age groups. Blood clots are extremely scary and life-threatening, so it's important to pay attention to the symptoms. Blood clots usually occur in lower legs, causing pain, swelling, a warm feeling, and even a discoloration. Blood clots in the lungs cause breathing problems, palpitations, pain, and sometimes blood when coughing. But some blood clots develop in different areas, and not all show symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms and are concerned about being on the pill, make sure to get to an ER immediately.
There have been mixed theories on what the risk is for stroke with women who take birth control pills. The consensus is that the risk is small, but only if you are a young, healthy woman who doesn't take any other medications. And even then, you may be the unlucky one who has a stroke. It's hard to tell what causes a stroke, but doctors agree that if you smoke, it definitely increases your risk. You should also always opt for low-dose oral contraceptives, because the higher the estrogen, the more confused your body gets, causing it to shut down certain organs or allow disease to develop. If stroke runs in your family, that's another thing you should consider. Remember that everything is connected, and often, when you get a blood clot, it can cause a stroke. Do not fool around and think, 'it won't happen to me.' It happens. And it happens more than you think. Google it.
The gut is our biggest organ, and it still remains a mystery in a lot of aspects. It definitely does more than just digest your food. Some scientists have said the gut is connected to the brain in more ways than we could imagine. What we called "leaky gut syndrome" can be categorized as people who have gas, bloating, cramps, and general aches in their stomachs. This condition is usually caused by a sensitivity to certain foods, or by too much yeast in our guts. One thing that helps this condition dramatically is probiotics. By introducing good bacteria into your gut, you can kill off all the bad bacteria that have been having parties in your intestines. If you've changed your diet and probiotics don't work, you may try getting off the BCP to see what happens. If everything clears up, then you'll know what was to blame. It's not uncommon for birth control pills to cause yeast infections on different parts of the body.
If you research hair loss connected with birth control pills, you will not only get medical journals talking about it. Thanks to the internet and personal blogging, you will be able to read real stories about real women who experienced this. Sometimes it was so bad that women reported clumps of hair coming out in their hands as they did something simple like washing it or pulling it back into a ponytail. Doctors aren't sure exactly why this happens but do know that it's a hormonal issue. If you have been having this problem, it's probably because the dosage in your pill is not the right fit for you. Either get on a different one or better yet, ditch the pill for another form of prevention. You might also want to check if you have iron deficiency or thyroid disease, both which cause hair loss, and yes, both which are attributed to birth control pills.
It is well-known that nausea can be a result of early pregnancy (or food poisoning), but it's also a side effect of taking the pill. This can be troubling for some women on the pill who fear they may be pregnant based on their symptoms. Estrogen is known to irritate the stomach, so nausea can come about frequently when you start taking the pill. Many doctors are aware of this, but they tell you the side effects will get better after a few months. For many, they don't. Many women are told to take the pill after the eat in order to diminish the effect of nausea, but often, the hormones can irritate the stomach even after food is diminished. Nausea can also be accompanied with unusual sweating, so if you're developing these symptoms, it's time to reevaluate what you're putting into your body and if it's absolutely necessary.
Estrogen can cause tumors to grow in the body, especially the liver. Though most are benign, it is not known exactly what causes them to grow in some women and if they can become cancerous. Is that a risk you want to take? Today, we have sensitive tests like MRIs that can detect growths. Even though most show no symptoms, it is not normal for these growths to develop in your body, and their association with birth control pills should be known. Most women do not know how much synthetic estrogen affects their bodies because we have never really asked about it, or done the research. We are prescribed so many medications when we are sick that we have become numb to the idea that most of them have terrible side effects. Always, always do your research before putting anything in your body.
Because birth control pills cause dehydration, they are known to cause red, dry, itchy eyes. Just like women who may develop skin rashes, their eyes can also be affected by the lack of moisture in their bodies. If you notice this symptom, but nothing else, do not be fooled. It probably means that your eyes are not the only parts being affected. Moisture in your body is necessary for all organs to work properly, and there may be internal parts of you that are being affected without you noticing. Eyes are very sensitive, so they can be the first part of your body to react to an internal problem. They don't call them 'windows to the soul' for nothing. Get tests done if you are noticing unusually dry eyes that never clear up, even with medication and an excessive amount of drinking water. You may have a problem you never suspected.
The pill can affect your libido; that's a fact. A bad fact. A fact no woman wants to hear! If you start taking the pill and realize you have no more fantasies and no interest in intimacy, chances are the pill is to blame. Even worse, the pill can affect your natural lubrication and make intimacy painful. Usually, low-dose estrogen pills are the cause. So women are faced with the choice of using higher dose estrogen pills to increase their desire and possibly increase their risk of cancer, or using low-dose estrogen pills that seem less risky, but also affect libido. It's not an easy choice, so women should always take all their options into consideration. Nowadays, there are many different choices for women's reproductive health; all should be looked at and researched heavily before making a decision. The pill is not always the best choice for every woman.
There are so many stories out there from women who felt better, lost weight, cleared up their acne, and felt more confident after going on the pill. But there are also a lot of horror stories. Some women claim they gained 40 pounds in 6 months after going on the pill. It's important if you decide to take the pill to pay attention to the side effects. The pill is definitely not for everybody and it can cause damage that can't be repaired. If you are on the pill and notice that you just don't feel right, stop immediately and see if anything changes, Of course, the pill may not be to blame, but you can always start again if you come to that conclusion. As with any medication, it's important to note that even though the percentages of people who get terrible side effects may be low, you could be part of the population that experiences them.