To take the Pill or not to take the Pill? That seems to be the question for just about every young woman today.
I’m a firm believer that every woman is entitled to her own choice when it comes to oral contraception. But I also believe that every woman owes it to herself to get all information available before deciding on which path is right for her. Unfortunately, many women today are either prescribed the Pill at a young age (before it ever occurs to them to question their doctor), or they start the artificial hormone regimen because they believe the Pill is their only option when it comes to fixing their hormonal and period problems. That’s simply not true and I want every woman to truly understand the risks involved before going down the medicated road!
Even though birth control pills are very safe, using the combination pill can slightly increase your risk of health problems. Complications are rare, but they can be serious. These include heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and liver tumors. In very rare cases, they can lead to death. For the most part, progestin-only pills (aka mini pills) don’t have these risks.
When talking with your doctor about birth control, tell them about any medications you’re taking and any health problems you’ve had.
What Are the Risks of Taking the Pill?
While birth control pills are highly reliable in preventing pregnancy, there is the possibility that you could become pregnant. This is especially true if you miss a dose or do not take the pills regularly. Excess weight or obesity may also increase your risk of pregancy. The excess weight may affect how well the pills work in your body.
Oral contraceptive pills can increase your risk of developing blood clots in the veins in your legs. These can become life threatening if the blood clots leave your legs and travel into you lungs. The risk of blood clots is increased more in people who smoke.
Taking birth control pills often causes the breasts to feel tender, especially soon after a person starts taking them. Wearing a supportive bra can help reduce breast tenderness.
Along with increased breast sensitivity, the hormones in the pill can make the breasts grow bigger. Learn more here.
A person should talk to their healthcare provider about severe breast pain or other breast changes, especially a new or changing breast lump.
Disruption of normal menstruation
Among the most common and troublesome adverse effects of contraceptive implants are alterations in the normal menstrual pattern. About 10 percent of women discontinue this method for this reason. Such changes have their onset within the first three months of implant insertion and indicate the future course of bleeding for the individual patient. For this reason, women about to receive the implant should be warned what to expect, and advised to come in for evaluation if abnormal bleeding patterns develop, to rule out ectopic gestation, pregnancy, or disease conditions. Changes include:
light or irregular bleeding
frequent bleeding episodes (more than five in 90 days)
continuous bleeding for weeks (more than 14 days)
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