According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 60 percent of American women take hormonal birth control and while most of those birth control side effects are positive some can also be nasty.
Hormonal birth control has two types, combination and progestin-only. The first type includes transdermal patch, vaginal ring, and pills. All three have both progestin and estrogen. The latter type includes shots, IUDs, mini-pills, and implants.
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Both types have mostly similar effects whether good or bad. Here are some of the side effects.
1. Clear Skin
There are people who have hormonal acne so having a regular cycle and steady dose of hormones have a positive effect on them. For some, breakouts become worse before they start to get better. It is therefore suggested to wait for around 6 months before concluding if your hormonal birth control improved the clarity of your skin.
2. Weight Gain
Some women get to experience temporary weight gains because of the amount of estrogen in the pills but it could also be caused by some progestin-only options. There is a lower amount of estrogen in pills that are still effective so that’s what is recommended for those who experience weight gain. Less estrogen leads to less weight gain.
3. Mood Swings
Introducing hormones into anyone’s body via birth control can cause mood changes. So if you experience this, or suddenly have harming thoughts, having difficulty functioning properly at work, or your relationships are affected too, consult your doctor. Pay particular attention if the mentioned symptoms are being experienced for longer than a month.
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4. Disappearing Dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea or more commonly known as period pain can be helped by hormonal birth control because it’s associated with shorter and less painful periods. So for women who suffer from this monthly, such side effect can be heavenly.
5. Less Ovarian Cysts
Regular ovarian cysts could cause abdominal pains and taking your birth control can decrease the hormonal fluctuations that usually contribute to the development of the cysts. A reduced risk of cancer can also be a positive effect.
Abnormal cells could start to form during the regular pattern of ovulation and cells are repaired once the egg is released so fewer ovulations could also minimize the chance of ovarian cancer as opposed to those who ovulate more.
6. Higher Risk of Blood Clots
The presence of estrogen in hormonal birth control places women at an increased risk for a certain number of medical problems. There is presently a one in 1,000 risk of deep vein thrombosis so once you feel calf pain, swelling legs, and shortness of breath call your doctor immediately.
Be on the lookout for heart attack symptoms such as chest pains, back pains, shoulder pains, arm or neck pains, and signs of stroke like numbness or weakness in specific body parts such as your face, arms, or legs. A sudden severe headache or confusion could also be signs.
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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: