Getty Images 8 Your Risk Of Blood Clots Goes Way Up
The estrogen in hormonal birth control puts women at an increased risk for a number of medical issues, says Masterson.
Theres a one in 1,000 risk of deep vein thrombosis , so if you experience calf pain, swelling of the legs, or shortness of breath, those are serious side effects that need to be addressed by calling 911 or your doctor, says Masterson.
Also, keep an eye out for signs of a heart attack, like pain in your chest, back, shoulder, arm, or neck and signs of a stroke, such as numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, a sudden, severe headache, or confusion.
Some women are more at risk for these conditions than others, like smokers or those with a family history. So, Masterson says it’s smart for women to have their blood pressure checked regularly, particularly after starting a new birth control, and to pay close attention to any alarming signs.
Are There Other Factors To Consider
Your chosen method of birth control is far from the only thing that can dampen your libido.
If youve noticed some decline in your usual libido, it could relate to any of the following factors:
- physical health concerns, including sleep problems, digestive issues, and diabetes
- mood or mental health symptoms, including depression and anxiety
Its also not uncommon to experience regular shifts in libido over the course of your menstrual cycle. In other words, you might notice your libido rises at certain times in the month and falls at other times.
What Are The Types Of Birth Control Pills
There are two different types of birth control pills. Both types contain hormones that prevent pregnancy.
- Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin.
- Progestin-only pills are also called the minipill. Theyre better for some women, such as those who are breastfeeding or have a history of blood clots and strokes and shouldnt take estrogen.
The pill comes in different dosing packets from 21-day pill packs to 90-day pill packs, to even 365 days of active pills. Traditionally, depending on the brand and dose, you take at least three weeks of active pills followed by two to seven days of hormone-free pills. This is called cyclical dosing. Most women have a menstrual period during the inactive pills. Some brands do not provide any inactive pills at all in the pack . With the 21-day packs a woman does not take any pills for a week. During this time, youll have your period, similar to what happens when taking the inactive, hormone-free pills.
Some formulations offer continuous dosing, which means you do not have any inactive pills, and a woman takes an active pill daily. Alternatively, extended cycle dosing is when inactive pills or breaks in the active pill regimen only occur three to four times per year. Skipping the inactive pills prevents menstruation. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best option for you.
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If Youre Under 16 Years Old
Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
If youre under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist will not tell your parents as long as they believe you fully understand the information youre given and your decisions.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16. Theyll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they will not make you.
The only time that a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe youre at risk of harm, such as abuse. The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.
Hormonal Birth Control Pills
One of the most common types of birth control are hormonal birth control pills, or oral contraceptives. There are two types: combination birth control pills and progestin-only birth control pills, or the mini pill. The hormones in these pills taken every day work to prevent pregnancy by either stopping ovulation and/or by thickening cervical mucus and preventing sperm from reaching an egg. If you take them as guided, every day at the exact same time, they have a 99% effectiveness rate.
Cost Of Birth Control
According to Planned Parenthood, for most brands, one pack of birth control pills costs anywhere from $0 to $50. One pack lasts for 1 month.
People might also need to pay for an appointment with a healthcare provider before getting a prescription for birth control pills. This can cost between $35 and $250.
Most insurance companies will cover these appointments under the Affordable Care Act.
Also, most insurance companies will cover all methods of birth control, including the pill. Some plans only cover certain brands or generic forms, however. A person can speak to their insurance provider to find out which types of pill they cover.
People without health insurance may be able to cover the cost of birth control through Medicaid or another governmental program.
Hormonal Birth Control Side Effects: How Does The Pill Work
Birth control pills work by preventing ovulation. No egg is produced, so there is nothing for the sperm to fertilize. Pregnancy cannot occur. You become pregnant when an egg released from your ovary is fertilized by a manâs sperm. Hormones in your body control ovulation, and prepare your body to accept the fertilized egg.
Hormonal contraceptives all contain a small amount of man-made estrogen and progestin hormones. These hormones work to inhibit your bodyâs natural cyclical hormones to prevent pregnancy. A combination of factors work to prevent pregnancy. The hormones stop you from ovulating and menstruating. Hormonal contraceptives also change your cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to go through your cervix. Hormonal contraceptives also prevent pregnancy by changing the lining of your womb so itâs unlikely the fertilized egg will be implanted.
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The Pill: A Hormonal Method Of Birth Control
The class of hormonal methods of birth control include birth control pills implants such as Norplant, Jadelle and Implanon injectables such as Depo-Provera and Lunelle intrauterine devices , patches and rings, and, of course, the class of abortion pills and so-called emergency contraception, which includes Cytotec, ellaOne, Mifegyne, Mifeprix, Plan B and Misoprostol.
All of these contain either one or a combination of artificial progestins and artificial estrogens.1
Benefits And Side Effects Of Hormonal Birth Control
If youre considering going on the pill or another form of hormonal birth control, you may wonder how it works and whether it has any side effects. This article explores the benefits and side effects of hormonal birth control methods.
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Starting The Combined Pill
You can normally start taking the pill at any point in your menstrual cycle. There is special guidance if you have just had a baby, abortion or miscarriage. The guidance may also be different if you have a short menstrual cycle. Get advice from a doctor or nurse if you need it. You may need to use additional contraception during your 1st days on the pill this depends on when in your menstrual cycle you start taking it.
Why Worry If The Risk Is Still Low Overall
There are plenty of probably wont happen risks that I avoid in my everyday life because the steps needed to avoid the risk are relatively easy, and the potential risk is sufficiently concerning. I use a seatbelt whenever I drive, not because I expect to get in a car crash, but because its a simple step that can protect me from serious harm in the unlikely event of an accident. I avoid giving honey to my infant, not because I expect she would contract infant botulism, but because its super easy to avoid and can prevent serious illness. I also use fertility awareness methods to track my cycles and space pregnancies, not because I expect that I would develop a blood clot while on birth control, but because my FAM is easy to use, helps me monitor my health, supports good communication with my spouse, and helps me entirely avoid the side effects and risks of using hormonal birth control.
Rosano, Giuseppe et al. Obesity and contraceptive use: impact on cardiovascular risk. ESC Heart Failure, vol. 9, no. 6 : pp. 3761-67.
Severinsen, Marianne Tang et al. Anthropometry, body fat, and venous thromboembolism: a Danish follow-up study. Circulation vol. 120,19 : pp. 1850-7. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.863241
Csige, Imre et al. The Impact of Obesity on the Cardiovascular System. Journal of diabetes research : 3407306. doi:10.1155/2018/3407306
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Frequently Asked Questions Expand All
You can start using this method for the first time at any point during your menstrual cycle. But you and your obstetriciangynecologist or other health care professional should be reasonably sure you are not pregnant. Follow these directions:
If you start taking the pills within the first 5 days after the start of your menstrual period, no additional birth control method is needed.
If you start taking the pills more than 5 days after the start of your period, you need to use an additional birth control method or avoid sexual intercourse for the next 2 days.
If you are switching from another form of birth control, simply stop using the other method at the same time you start the progestin-only pills. If it has been more than 5 days since your period started, use an additional birth control method or avoid sex for the next 2 days.
If you are switching from an intrauterine device , you have a few options. You can wait until you have been taking the pills for at least 2 days to have the IUD removed. You can use another form of birth control or avoid sex for the 2 days before removing the IUD and starting the pills. Or you can use emergency contraception at the time of IUD removal.
Certain medications may interfere with the effectiveness of the progestin-only pill. These medications include
rifampin, a drug used to treat certain infections
some drugs used to prevent seizures
It stops ovulation.
Risks Of Birth Control While Pregnant#
No studies have been done to prove whether birth control is safe later in pregnancy, mainly because pregnancy is not a time to prevent pregnancy. However, some people might take birth control for reasons other than pregnancy prevention. If this is true for you, you should stop taking birth control if you get pregnant. The process of pregnancy is run by hormones. Knowing this, we can infer that taking anything that disrupts the bodys hormonal balance might not be a safe option. The hormones they contain& mldr are designed specifically to interfere with the normal production and function of ovarian hormones, for the purpose of preventing fertility and conception, explains Dr. Gersh. It is possible that they may affect the development of the endocrine system by affecting the function of hormone receptors.
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Do Combination Pills Contain The Same Level Of Hormones
Most of them use between 20 and 35 micrograms of estrogen along with some progesterone. Your doctor may start you on this level and then change it if side effects bother you.
Combination pills are either monophasic or multiphasic .
- Monophasic pills deliver an even level of hormones throughout the month.
- Multiphasic ones have slightly different levels of hormones in active pills. They mimic normal hormonal changes that happen during your menstrual cycle.
Both are equally effective at preventing a pregnancy.
Is It Ok To Take Other Drugs While Taking Birth Control Pills
Some drugs, including antibiotics and anti-seizure meds, can make birth control pills less effective. Some herbal supplements like St. Johnâs wort and some drugs used to treat HIV can also affect how well your pills work.
Tell your doctor about all medications, over-the-counter agents, herbs, and recreational drugs that you take. They can tell you about any possible effects on the pill.
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Before You Switch Birth Control Methods
Changing hormonal birth control methods should always be done under the care of your primary healthcare provider. You want to avoid gaps in methods to prevent pregnancy, but you also want to prevent additional side effects as you transition.
Some doctors recommend finishing your pill pack before stopping oral contraceptives, but this may not work for you if youre experiencing bad side effects on the pill. Other methods may be safe to overlap as you switch.
Talk to your doctor about the best way to transition birth control methods. They can also share tips on non-hormonal backup methods of pregnancy prevention for that first month or so after you stop hormonal birth control.
Hormonal imbalances can cause issues even if youre not on birth control. At PrimeHealth, we work with women both on and off hormonal birth control to balance hormones and optimize their health. If youre having trouble managing mood swings, we can help.
Schedule a free consultation to learn about hormone testing or individualized plans to return your body to a healthy balance. for tips on hormonal health, improving your brain-gut connection, and testimonials from our members.
Depo Provera And Depo
Depo Provera and Depo-subQ Provera 104 are hormonal contraceptive injections. Both depo shots are similareach injection slowly releases the progestin, medroxyprogesterone acetate. You must get a Depo Provera injection every 11 to 13 weeks . If you use Depo Provera, you basically need to have four injections each year. Like all hormonal birth control methods, Depo Provera does have some side effects. Many women stop using Depo Provera because of the side effects . There is no way to know before starting Depo Provera if you will have any of these side effects. The good news about Depo Proverait has been FDA-approved to help treat endometriosis.
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Benefits Of Birth Control Pills
Besides being an effective means for birth control, studies show that birth control pill users have a decreased risk for ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer when compared to non users. The pill has also been seen as a useful method for chemoprevention across women with varying levels of cancer risk. Other potential advantages of birth control pills include lighter, less painful periods, more regular periods, and less acne .
Often doctors will prescribe the pill to address symptoms such as painful periods, acne, migraines, and excessive hair growth, but at Parsley Health we aim to address the underlying causes. Once we do that, it frees our patients up to pick the best birth control method for their needs.
Environmental Effects Of The Pill: 79% Of Male Smallmouth Bass In The Potomac Growing Eggs
A later Washington Post article described how scientists said the cause is probably some pollutant created by humans perhaps a farm chemical, or treated sewage, which can contain human hormones or residue from birth-control pills. The later Post article reported that scientists think the problem is caused by a mixture of hormone and hormone-mimicking pollutants and have found negative effects on female fish as well.11
Iain Murray, author of The Really Inconvenient Truths, wrote on National Review Online, By any standard typically used by environmentalists, the pill is a pollutant. It does the same thing, just worse, as other chemicals they call pollution.
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What Are Oral Contraceptives
Oral contraceptives are hormone-containing medications that are taken by mouth to prevent pregnancy. They prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and also by preventing sperm from penetrating through the cervix.
By far the most commonly prescribed type of oral contraceptive in the United States contains synthetic versions of the natural female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This type of birth control pill is often called a combined oral contraceptive. Another type of oral contraceptive, sometimes called the mini pill, contains only progestin, which is a man-made version of progesterone.
Who Shouldnt Use It
Progestin-only contraception may not be appropriate for you if:
- You are at high risk for or have had breast cancer: While the research on this is not definitive, some studies have shown an association with progestin-only birth control and breast cancer.
- You have liver disease: Some evidence has shown that progestin can potentially damage the liver.
- You take anti-seizure medications: Some anti-seizure medications break down hormones in your body and may reduce the effectiveness of a progestin-only pill.
- You have had bariatric surgery: Bariatric surgery may affect the way your body absorbs these medications and may make them less effective.
- You have trouble remembering to take medications at the right time: While combination birth control pills dont have to be taken at the exact same time every day, the minipill does.
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Irregular Or Heavy Periods
Your periods will change after you get the device. Hormonal IUDs +utrn/details” rel=”nofollow”> Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla) often make periods lighter and shorter. Sometimes they stop menstruation altogether.
The copper IUD may make your periods heavier for the first few months.
Some women have spotting or bleeding in between periods. Your cycle may return to normal within 6 months after you get an IUD.