What Are the Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills

What Are the Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills

Contraceptive pills (birth control pills) are one of the most used options for women as a way to avoid pregnancy. During the last few years, new substances have been developed that make oral contraceptives a more efficient and safe alternative that has less side effects. From oneHOWTO we're going to tell you about the main side effects of Contraceptive pills, also know as birth control pills; both the positive and negative effects, so you can keep these in mind before starting to use this method.

Positive effects of contraceptive pills on a genital level

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease. There's a lower probability of suffering from infections in the Fallopian tubes. There are mechanisms that favour its protection such as changes in cervix discharge, decrease of inflammatory answer that is induced by steroids and lowers menstrual flow.
  • Endometriosis. Contraceptives control growth of the uterus tissue.
  • The appearance of ovarian cysts are reduced by 50%.

Positive effects of contraceptive pills for your period

  • More regular periods, thanks to the fact that estrogen is not very powerful.
  • Less bleeding. The amount and duration of your period is reduced thanks to the low dose of ethElyn estradiol.
  • Less risk of anaemia, as menstrual hemorrage is reduced.
  • Dysmenorrhea helps you suffer less during periods, as it inhibits ovulation and lowers the production of prostaglandins.
  • Ovulation pain, which is the typical pain associated to ovulation or PMS pain, is also reduced.

Positive effects of contraceptive pills for the cardiovascular system

  • Cholesterol. It lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, reducing the risk of suffering from heart-related diseases.
  • Arteriosclerosis. It has a protective effect against this disease, avoiding lipid alterations related to cardiovascular risks.

Positive effects of contraceptive pills for cancer prevention

  • Ovarian cancer. Its beneficial effect starts to take effect from 6 months onward, and if you've been taking them for 10 years, the risk is reduced up to 80%.
  • Endometrial cancer. If you've been taking it for more than a year, the risk is reduced by 50%.
  • Colon cancer.If you've been taking contraceptive pills for more than 5 years the probability of suffering this cancer is reduced by 20%.
  • Benign lesions on breasts. The frequency of suffering these lesions is reduced by 36% after taking them for 7 years.

Positive effects of contraceptive pills for pre-menopause

  • Helps regulate menstrual disorders.
  • Less bleeding during your period.
  • Less symptoms of menopause.
  • Lowers the progress of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Lowers the frequency of osteoporosis.

Other positive effects of contraceptive pills

  • Sebohorrea and acne. The pill has components that reduce free testosterone, which makes the problem get better.
  • Increase of sexual desire, which is related to the lack of worrying about unwanted pregnancies.

Side effects of contraceptive pills on a genital level

  • Bleeding between periods. It's a common side effect of the combined three-phase of contraceptive pills and one of the main causes of getting off the pill.
  • Absence of the period, it's also a common effect. It is produced in 1% of cycles during the first year.
  • Non-specific cervicitis, which is related to the dose of gestagen and the risk is three times higher when you've been taking it for 6 months.
  • Vaginal thrush or yeast infection, as it seems like contraceptive pills induce changes in the vaginal flora.

Side effects of contraceptive pills for the cardiovascular system

  • Smokers above 35 years of age. If you smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day it's not recommended to take the pill as it can cause thrombosis.
  • Heart attack.The risks of having one increase when joined with smoking, hypertension, etc...
  • Cerebrovascular accidents are also related to age, smoking and tension.
  • Thromboembolism starts in the veins in legs and can turn into clogs that can reach the lungs.
  • High blood pressure, related to gestagen usually appears in 5% of cases during the first 6 months of treatment.
  • Varicose veins. Contraceptive pills don't create varicose veins as such, but there also needs to be a genetic and habit predisposition for them to appear.
  • Diabetes. If you suffer this disease, check with a doctor to know which is the most adequate hormonal contraceptive for you.

Negative effects of contraceptive pills for cancer prevention

  • Breast cancer. The higher risk cases are found in young women that have not had children and have a family history of this disease, black women and those who have taken the pill for a long period of time.
  • Cervix cancer. It is related to this cancer due to several hormonal effects, though it's not the only cause, smoking and certain sexual habits are other triggering factors.
  • Liver cancer. The risk increases if you take contraceptive pills for a long time.

Other negative effects

  • Nausea & sickness. This is due mainly to the estrogen content.
  • Vesicular calulations. The possibility of calulations increases because the risk of lithiasis also does, especially during the first year.
  • Headaches, if it's very persistent it's best to leave the treatment in case there's risk of cerebrovascular accidents.
  • Chloasma, also know as melasmais an increase in skin pygmentation, and appears in 5%
  • Urinary tract infection. It seems like the use of contraceptives increases infections due to the fact that the female urethra is very short and bacterial can access easily.
  • Decrease in sexual desire. Between 5% and 30% of women who take contraceptives have less sex during the second phase of the cycle.
  • Anxiety and depression. Especially due to the use of progestagen, creating certain alterations of the brain's metabolism.
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This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Are the Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills, we recommend you visit our Drugs & supplements category.

  • If you decide to take contraceptive pills, go to your gynaecologist so you're assessed properly and have a thorough examination.