Birth Control Pills – Short and Long Term Side-Effects

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Birth control pills of oral contraceptive pills are hormone-based methods of preventing pregnancy. They are synthetic hormones that prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation. There are a list of side-effects that go hand-in-hand with the consumption of these pills. It is necessary to know all the long and short term side-effects of these pills before using them.

Why are There Side-Effects?
The levels of estrogen are increased unnaturally by birth control pills. This results in an imbalance. Since these pills are taken throughout the month, the imbalance becomes pretty drastic. Hence, it is bound to have side-effects that aren’t positive.

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Short-Term Side-Effects of Birth Control Pills
  • Nausea: This lasts for about three months. A constant uneasily sense of nausea is a characteristic side-effect.
  • Tenderness in Breasts: This can persist longer than other short-term side-effects. The breasts swell up and become so tender that it hurts to touch or wear a bra. Reducing on the intake of caffeine and salt can help you lessen the effect of this side-effect.
  • Spotting Between two Periods: There might be vaginal bleeding even between periods after you use birth control pills. This starts after almost three months of consumption of the pill and lasts up to three months.
  • Missed Periods: There are chances that you might skip periods after you take the pills. The chances might increase if you are under stress or had thyroid problem when you started with the pill.

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  • Vaginal Discharge: Many women experience wet or dry vaginal discharge after the consumption of the pills. The nature and amount of lubrication might also change. If the discharge is not normal or is foul smelling, you should contact your doctor.
  • Weight Gain: After going on birth control pills, weight gain is a very common side-effect. Excessive fluid-retention in the hips and the breasts area might be a reason behind this. High estrogen levels can change the size as well as distribution of the fat cells. Hormones like insulin and leptin are closely connected to estrogen. Influencing one might influence others in the process.
  • Fluid Retention: Women often feel bloated after using birth control pills.
  • Lowered Libido: This may not be a direct influence of the hormones but general consequence of the situation of the woman due to other side-effects. This might subside after the disappearance of other effects.
  • Skin Problems: Many a times, hormonal imbalance can cause an outbreak of acne in women.
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  • Blood Clots in the Legs and Lungs: It is a rare side-effect but must be attended to immediately. If not, it can lead to a serious medical condition.

 Long-Term Side-Effects of Birth Control Pills
  • Cancer Risk: There is a high risk of liver and Breast Cancer when it comes to frequent use of birth control pills.
  • Gallstones: If you have gallstones, taking birth control pills might increase the size of the stones.
  • Diabetes: Women who do not have any signs of diabetes might develop it after the use of oral contraceptive pills.
  • Heart Problems: Taking birth control pills might cause oxidative stress in women. The waste isn’t efficiently removed from their body leading to heart related disorders. This can be taken care of by taking more of vitamin C and E.
  • Yeast Infection: Excessive amount of estrogen might get rid of the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. It can, in turn, cause overgrowth of yeast. This causes sweet cravings in women leading to eventual weight gain.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis: Taking birth control pills might cause this long-term side effect that needs immediate medical attention.
  • Depletion of Nutrients in the Body: You might be on a diet that is rich in all kinds of nutrients but birth control pills prevent your body from absorbing them, resulting in a scarcity of essential nutrients in the body.
  • Pituitary Glands Shrink: The master gland that produces hormones in the brain can shrink by frequent use of birth control pills.
It is best to contact your doctor if you see any of these symptoms and attend to them as soon as possible!

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