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15 Things That Happen When You Start Birth Control

There are many reasons why women start using birth control. Some women use it because they don’t want to get pregnant. Others use it to regulate their menstrual cycle, especially if they’re irregular. There are few women who use it in need of hormonal balance, but most use it because they want to be intimately active without the fear of getting pregnant.

Most men claim they can maneuver their way around such without protection. What most women and men don’t know is that the chances of getting pregnant without protection is a 100% guarantee. Without protection of some sort, the is a way for the swimmers to find the egg and dig in!

Thankfully, there are many methods of protection. The most common hormonal birth control methods include the pill, skin patches, and internal rings. Less common hormonal birth control methods include progestin-only pills, implants, and shots. The most common barrier methods that keep the swimmers away from the egg include diaphragms, rubbers, and internal caps. All have proven to be very effective and stable, though there are still accidents, it usually happens by fault of the user. As long as the rules of the protection methods are followed, pregnancy is very rare when on birth control.

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15 Blood Pressure

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Blood pressure is a measurement of how elastic and smoothly blood flows through veins in the body. Knowing your numbers and maintaining a healthy blood pressure ensures a long and healthy life. The fastest way to see if your lifestyle is healthy or not is by measuring your blood pressure. Eating too much fatty foods will clog up your blood vessels, shooting your blood pressure sky high. A healthy diet and a well-maintained lifestyle will give you normal or lower blood pressure. Naturally, blood pressure can be affected by a lot of factors including exercise, environment, diet, and stress, just to name a few. Due to the hormones in ALL birth control, taking/using them has been known to increase blood pressure. Being a smoker, over 35, or overweight will raise blood pressure, shortening your life. If your blood pressure continues to be high after starting birth control, talk to a medical professional about other options.

14 Heart, Don’t Fail Me Now

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Heart disease is NOT caused by taking birth control, but if someone with a heart disease takes birth control, it can raise their blood pressure, putting them at risk for a heart attack or stroke. A heart attack happens when there is damage to the heart muscle, when blood flow to the heart is blocked or stopped for any reason. A stroke is when blood flow to the brain is blocked or stopped. Both are fatal if help or aid are not administered immediately. Both are common in smokers and women over 35 years old. Some symptoms or signs include chest pains, coughing up blood, and feeling faint. Moments before a heart attack or stroke, the person will feel severe headaches, have difficulty speaking, or weakness/numbness in a limb. It is important to understand your body before you add more hormones to regulate and maintain it. Which is why there are so many different types of birth control, along with risks and health factors that come with them.

13 How Is Your Flow?

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If you’re not pregnant, lighter periods or spotting could be a result of losing or gaining a lot of weight. The lighter and shorter flow can ease cramping and PMS symptoms, it can also be an indicator of an increase in stress, which will affect the chemical balance in the body, which will cause a physical reaction from the body. Most women experience lighter and shorter periods when they start using hormonal birth control. Due to the change in the balance of hormones from the birth control method, period flow is affected. Some have said their flow becomes light and then gets heavier before becoming lighter again. Others have said every other is lighter. There are many different accounts because every female body and habits are different. The healthier the body is, including a balanced diet and a regular exercise routine, the more consistent and less painful it become. What goes into the body affects the balance, which can help with regulating what you do and how you want to be.

12 Less Cancers, More Risks

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Endometrial cancer occurs in the glandular tissue in the uterine lining. It’s the fourth most common amongst women and usually affects older women. Abnormal uterine bleeding is a major symptom. Ovarian cancer occurs from the difference cell types in the ovary, especially in the lining, placenta, and connective tissue. It is the fifth most common deadly cancer in women and more often in women older than 65. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is hereditary, thus family members need to be tested more often in life. Also, there are few to no indicating signs or symptoms so, by the time the cancer is discovered, it’s too late and has spread. Once that happens, the symptoms include fatigue, bloating, nausea, and more. Using birth control methods are believed to decrease the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers. Studies have shown that women who take birth control pills have a 20-30% higher risk of breast cancer than women who have never used the pill.

11 More PMS! More PMS!

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The thing about birth control is that, all forms of birth control methods raise different hormone levels in the human body. There is a chance that PMS symptoms will occur more often, more regularly, or more unexpectedly. Keeping in mind that everybody’s body is different, that means the reaction is different. If the flow was heavier and the birth control made the flow lighter and shorter, then the side effects will come regularly and stabilize the hormonal levels in the body. If the flow was light and irregular, then the birth control will help adjust the hormonal levels in the body so that symptoms occurred in a timely manner and put the body on a more regulated schedule. And, sometimes, people on birth control will experience irritation, tenderness, and enlargement due to the hormones, not just during their time of the month. Sometimes, the side effects can be due to the body adjusting to the birth control, but lowering caffeine and salt intake can decrease tenderness and cleaning the lower extremities can decrease the irritation.

10 Estrogen Please!

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In general, Estrogen is the female hormone that helps to develop and maintain female characteristics and traits in the human body. Estrogen is mainly produced by the ovaries, but smaller amounts can be found in the adrenal cortex, testes, and fetoplacental unit, or where the fetus is in the placenta in pregnant women. Normally, estrogen works to create a suitable environment for fertilization, implantation and nutrition for the fertilized egg. Estrogen effects mainly different parts of the female reproductive system. In the female body, estrogen influences bone growth, fat storage, hair growth, vocal cords, and control over acne oils. Also, in the brain, estrogen helps regulate the body, delay memory loss, increase and modifies serotonin and endorphin levels, while protecting and stimulating nerves. Higher levels of estrogen can stop the ovary from releasing an egg. If migraines are normal, higher levels of estrogen can aggravate migraines. Some common side effects include bloating, swelling and a tender chest are , a lower drive, weight gain, cold hands or feet, and trouble sleeping.

9 Progesterone Please!

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Progesterone is a hormone that stimulates and regulates various functions in the body. It’s a hormone produced in the ovaries, placenta, and adrenal glands. It helps prepare the female body for conception and pregnancy, as well as maintains the monthly menstrual cycle. It also adds to your desire. Progesterone releases special fluids during the second part of the menstrual cycle, prepare for a fertilized egg to latch on before a woman’s period. If the woman gets pregnant, progesterone controls the nutrients in the placenta so that the egg has enough nutrition to grow into an embryo while encouraging milk-producing glands in the chest area, causing them to swell and grow. However, higher levels can change the consistency of the liquid while suppressing ovulation. Higher levels of progesterone also cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS) with tender boobs, bloating, and mood swings. Progestin-only pills raise the level of progesterone in the body, thickening the liquid in your body so that swimmers cannot get to the egg to fertilize it. They also stop ovulation, and they thin the lining of the uterus so that the egg, even if fertilized, cannot latch on.

8 I Keep Bleed, Keep-Keep Bleeding…

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Sometimes, while taking birth control, a woman might miss a period or experience longer ones. Before freaking out, it would be wise to consider any recent changes in their life including stress, illness, travel, and hormonal or thyroid imbalances. While on birth control, if the flow is very light, a pregnancy test is recommended. If a Plan B was taken days before the start of a period, that would push the period back a few days because of the sudden rush of hormones. Once the period happens normally, it is safe to continue using the birth control method. If your flow happens longer than expected, it is recommended to talk to a medical professional for advice on what to do next. Bleeding excessively is dangerous because it will cause fatigue, dizziness, and more. If this happens, be sure to have someone else drive you to the doctor and stay close by, just in case something happens. Although irregular bleeding isn’t common, it still happens and it’s best to be prepared.

7 Halfway Between Happy

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Mood swings and depression are caused by hormonal changes and imbalance in the body. Those with a history with depression are recommended to talk with their physician about it before going onto the birth control method. Most people on birth control do not feel the change in moods, but those that do experience a more extreme response. There have been several case studies where women have responded differently to excess levels of estrogen and progesterone, but the results of having more of one than the other resulted with either having fear and anxiety or insomnia and anxiety. But, many feel the opposite when starting birth control. There are case studies with thousands experiencing calmer and stabilized moods who had experienced depression in the past. Some found that the depression went away after a few months on birth control. And even some who felt better once on birth control with no prior depression history. This isn’t a surprise because the chemical make up in each person’s body is different, thus the reactions to hormonal additions and adjustments will be different. It’s not a bad thing, but another way to prove that everyone is different.

6 Fat Jokes Aside…

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Some on birth control have complained about nausea and bloating. Although there are no medical studies linking weight gain to birth control, several people on birth control have spoken out about changes in their chest and hips. Some have contributed that, perhaps the estrogen causes fat cells to grow larger in those areas because those are the areas estrogen regulates and maintains. Some birth control methods have caused women to put on some weight, before the munchies went away. Older birth control methods contained higher estrogen levels which increased appetite and fluid retention. The newer birth control methods have lowered the hormone levels, so weight gain is no longer a big issue. Perhaps, it is simply the female-ness that makes women crave chocolate, junk food, and other unhealthy delights. But the body will respond to decisions made and items consumed, especially without a proper exercise regimen and way to work off the sinful weight gained.

5 Liver N All

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Taking birth control will not grow cancer in the body, but if there is a history of gallstones, it may cause the stones to form faster. Gallstones are formed when the bile has too much cholesterol in it. Bile and cholesterol come from the liver.

Think of the liver as that giant mass over most of your organs, filtering out the good, the bad, and the ugly in your blood stream and body. More functions include producing bile, proteins, and cholesterol. The liver also stores and releases glucose, regulates blood clotting, helps the body fight off infections and more. So much interactions with harmful substances, it’s not hard to believe that benign tumors grow around the liver, usually having spread to that area from somewhere else. A tumor, an abnormal growth of cells or tissues in an area it’s not supposed to be in, can be benign (noncancerous), malignant or cancerous. Either way, birth control can cause tumors but it hasn’t been proven to cause liver cancer.

4 Revving Your Drive

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Age never matters when it comes to your drive. Everyone feels the pull from getting excited to intimate activity like magnets to one another. Feeling the need to touch and be touched, taste and be tasted, and pleasure and be pleasured is something everyone feels at different times, some more often than others. Unfortunately, some people who start birth control can notice a decrease in their drive. This can be caused by the hormonal shift, as well as stress, illness, travel, diet, and exercise. Everything done to the body, affects the body. In addition, taking birth control may regulate and maintain some aspects of the body, but many factors can cause something to happen. For some people, taking birth control increases their drive. This happens when the birth control relieves some of the prior symptoms of PMS, which makes the person more willing and open to engaging in physical activities more often than before. If worried about the decreased drive, talk to your physician for possible solutions.

3 Pimple Me, This!

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During puberty is, often, when most people discover acne on their skin, usually their face. Acne happens because of an excess of sebum, an oil made by glands in the skin. Sebum can clog pores that leads to bacteria growth, which leads to acne. The group of hormones known as androgens are what stimulates the skin to produce sebum. Birth control containing estrogen and progesterone lowers the androgens in the body, which results in less sebum and much less acne. This is why some people find birth control as a great way to gain healthier skin. Birth control pills that contain only progesterone can make acne worse. Birth control with estrogen and different levels and forms of progesterone are what brings the acne levels down. It is not recommended to use birth control to clear up skin, but just happened to be a side effect. Most recommend the use of acne treatments for acne, before starting birth control.

2 Oh, My Hair!

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Just like how the androgens can cause more acne, they can cause more hair growth and hair loss. Unfortunately, the hair growth isn’t restricted to any part of your body, along with the hair loss. Most birth controls containing estrogen and progestin, can reduce the action of androgens. So, if the androgens were irritating hair follicles, thinning out your hair on top of your head, then taking birth control can stop it and allow hair to grow normally and thicker than before. Unfortunately, it works both ways. If your hair follicles are sensitive to male hormones, then birth control pills may have no effect. Therefore, if hair loss, thinning, or more scalp shows after the start of birth control, it is highly recommended to see a doctor for more options. Sometimes, hair loss can be because of the birth control, sometimes it can have no effect. The important thing is to do what makes you feel comfortable and not just because it is the social norm.

1 Mentally Sound

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The number one reason most women take birth control is so that they don’t get pregnant while they are intimately active. The stress and pains of worrying about getting pregnant before one is ready can affect hormones, moods, and the experience. If the couple refuses to use rubbers, then birth control is a good step for protection. Also, if one does become pregnant while not using birth control, then the consequence the body will undergo for an abortion is much worse than the consequences of starting birth control, both physically and mentally. Overall, women entrust their bodies and physical safety to science when taking birth control and every woman wants to feel safe, to some degree. Whether or not the woman is aware or oblivious to the effects of the birth control hormones, they are an added factor to the woman’s health and well-being. Any changes to her well-being and personality can be affected by the added hormones, which will continue to affect her mental state of mind.

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