Hormonal Birth Control Pills Side Effects


The use of oral hormonal contraceptives helps avoid unplanned pregnancy. However, what risk do we face by trying to control the natural rhythms of the body?

Pills and a glass of water

Can Oral Birth Control Pills Harm Your Health?

There seems to be nothing easier than the opportunity to take pills regularly. You can buy them at any pharmacy. But does this mean that they can not cause harm to the body? The answer is simple: they can, and before you make your choice, you need to consult a gynecologist. Let us see why.

Access to Birth Control Pills in Different Countries

In Russia, for example, you can buy contraceptive pills at any pharmacy without a prescription, while in the United States and in some European countries they are available only if you have a doctor’s statement. In Indonesia, the spread of hormonal contraceptives among adolescents under 17 years old is considered a crime. The point is that not everyone can take such pills. The list of contraindications is quite impressive. Individual characteristics of the woman and the presence of bad habits are also of great importance while selecting a suitable drug.

Oral Birth Control Pills Have Changed through the Years

Women around the world have been using hormonal contraceptives for over 40 years, and during that time their structure has undergone great changes. Today, we can see five generations of this type of contraceptives. The latest products, of course, have fewer side effects and contraindications. Modern contraceptives are significantly different from those that were sold 10 years ago. There are drugs that contain estrogen, which is identical to the natural hormone. However, this does not mean that you can choose the right product by means of trial and errors and without risk to health. The right choice can be made only with the help of a gynecologist.

Women Smoking & Taking Oral Contraceptives

The negative impact of smoking on the heart and blood vessels is known to all. It affects the properties of the blood, reducing its fluidity, which increases the likelihood of thrombosis. Oral contraceptives (OC) enhance the effects of nicotine. This means a higher risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks. You should either give up smoking or choose non-hormonal methods of contraception. This is especially important for women over 35 years, while they are 3 times more likely to have thromboembolic complications at this age. Thrombosis is quite a dangerous disease. A disengaged clot can cause a number of serious complications, including death. Women with this disorder are contraindicated hormonal medications.

Give up smoking

Hormonal Birth Control Pills’ Side Effects

It would seem that the smallest additional dose of hormones can hardly affect anything, but it is not true, especially if there are violations of metabolism in the body. Liver plays the major role in the metabolism of hormones. Although there are synthetic steroids in the composition of OC, they are not natural hormones, and they get bound by the same receptors as natural estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen stimulates lipoprotein receptors in the liver and increases the absorption of dietary cholesterol and its secretion into bile. Ethinyl estradiol in the OC is known to cause changes in the function of the body and contribute to cholestasis. About 10% of women with metabolic abnormalities demonstrate an increase in cholesterol and are 2 times more likely to suffer from cholelithiasis. That’s why oral contraceptives are contraindicated to the people with liver problems.

Can a Woman Gain Weight Because of the Birth Control Pills Use?

There is a common belief that oral contraceptives contribute to gaining extra pounds. Of course, this factor sounds scary to many women. However, recent studies have shown that small changes in healthy women’s weight can be observed only during the first 2-4 months, while then the weight gets back to normal. However, if you suffer from obesity, OC are contraindicated since the additional hormones will only aggravate the problem.

Birth Control Pills – Contraindications

If a gynecologist prescribes contraception pills and is not interested in the general state of your health, you should think twice whether to trust this doctor. Before you take OC, it is important to understand which part of your body is vulnerable. There are absolute contraindications to taking hormone pills – for example, autoimmune and cardiovascular abnormalities, liver diseases, and migraine. Certainly, they must be taken into consideration when choosing contraceptives.

Woman, headache

When & How Should You Switch to Another Pill?

If you are healthy, your weight is normal, just as your blood chemistry parameters, and there is no violation on the part of the reproductive system, you do not have bad habits and you do not take antibiotics, your doctor will require a minimum of additional information. Such as your age and the information about pregnancy and childbirth. During the first month of receiving these pills, one must watch the reaction of the body. If all goes well, the drug can be taken. Spotting mid-cycle secretion, dramatic weight gain, mood swings, and any other non-specific reactions are all reasons to change the medication. Remember that it can be prescribed only by the doctor, after considering the symptoms.

Oral Contraceptive for Men

Israeli scientists have come up with a contraceptive for men that will prevent the women from risking their health while taking birth control pills. Unlike drugs for ladies, oral contraceptives for men do not contain hormones and block the flow of protein in semen, making it temporarily infertile.