Taking Birth Control Pills To Avoid Pregnancy? Beware Of These 8 Side Effects Of Oral Contraceptives

Contraceptive pills are not totally a safe and need precautions while taking them. Know what side effects which women generally face are.

Written by: Puru Bansal Updated at: 2021-12-12 14:51

Do you think birth control pills are safe for avoiding pregnancy? People are very particular about their personal life. They like to keep a very intimate bond between each other. It is each person’s personal choice to have children or not but in spite of that their intimate relation should remain unaffected. Hence whenever they indulge in sexual intercourse, the women prefer taking oral contraceptives to avoid any unwanted pregnancy. Oral contraceptives have been in use for several now but sometimes even though after taking these pills, some women get pregnant. So here the question arises is if these oral contraceptive measures useful or not. 

What Are Contraceptive Pills?

Contraceptive Pills are used for birth control and reduce the risk of pregnancy after sexual intercourse. These oral pills contain hormones which regulate the menstruation and lower the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers. Women take one pill everyday to reduce the risk or pregnancy regardless of other contraceptive used. 

However there is no particular guarantee that by taking oral contraceptive you would not get pregnant. Also some contraceptives claim to be very effective and avoid pregnancy but that comes with a condition. Contraceptive pills need to be taken every day at same time for it to be efficient. If there is delay or the pill is skipped in between then there are chances that the women may become pregnant. 

Also read: What Is Womb Transplant? How Can It Help To Conceive And What Are The Risks

Are Birth Control Pills Effective?

According to Dr. Bindiya Khera, Gynecologist in City Hospital, Lucknow, birth control pills are only effective if taken regularly. Skipping the pill may result into pregnancy if other precautions are not taken. Oral contraceptives are responsible to keep hormone levels from fluctuating and stop ovulation process. But they are only effective around 80% and rest depends on other factors like condoms etc.

She tells that birth control pills reduce the ovulation from happening. It thickens the cervical mucus to keep sperm from entering the uterus and it reduces the lining of the uterus which prevents fertilized eggs to getting attached. 

Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills

There are 8 side effects of contraceptive pills-

Spotting between periods

It refers to vaginal bleeding between menstrual cycles. It may look like bleeding or brownish discharge. Spotting is the most common side effect of birth control pill. It occurs due to change in hormones and body adjusting those changes and uterus lining thinners.


Some people get nausea as a side effect of contraceptive pills. However it is usually mild. Taking the pill during bedtime may help in this. Birth control pills are not meant to make people sick most of the time, so if the nausea increases its better to visit a doctor.

Breast Tenderness

Oral contraceptives usually cause the breasts to feel tender and softer. It happens mostly when someone starts taking these pills initially. Wearing a supportive bra is a good option here, it can reduce breast tenderness.

Birth control pills can also make the breasts grow bigger in size due to hormones. But it should cause breast pain or other changes in the breast.

Weight Gain

You might gain weight due to consumption of birth control pills. Oral pills increase the fluid retention and water weight. This could result in increase of muscle mass or fat. But many people also complain of weight loss due to the pill, hence the exact reason is not known.

Headache and Migraine

This is also a result of hormonal changes going on in the body. Contraceptive pills can increase the rate of headaches and migraine. It is because sex hormones estrogen and progesterone can increase the migraine. Symptoms can depend on the rate and dosage of the pill. 

Mood Changes

Birth control pills play a vital role in mood swings and emotional changes. This is due to hormonal changes which take place in the body. There could also be risk of getting into depression. Hence better to change pill or see a expert if you feel that way.

Also Read- 4 Common Sexual Health Conditions In Women And Why Awareness Is A Must

Missed Periods

Taking birth control pills cause to miss your periods or have very light periods. This is generally not known to many women and they think it to be signs of pregnancy. It depends on the type of oral contraceptive as well. Some women can use it to skip their periods as well. Although there are other factors too which are responsible for missed periods, they are-

  • Illness
  • Travel 
  • Stress
  • Hormonal issues
  • Thyroid Problems

Vaginal Discharge

Effect of pill may also be on the vaginal discharge. The contraceptive pill may result to increase or decrease in the vaginal discharge and lubrication. It may also change the nature of discharge which is less common.

The pill may also cause vaginal dryness and for that you may have to use lubricants while having sexual intercourse. These changes are not very harmful though but if there is difference in color of vaginal discharge then it may be signs of infection.

Risks of Oral Contraceptive Pills

People with these problems should avoid taking oral contraceptive pills-

  • Smoke and over the age of 35
  • Having hypertension
  • Have history of heart problems
  • Have migraine
  • Have a history of breast cancer
  • Have history of endometrial cancer


Birth control pill or oral contraceptive pills are not totally safe for use because they need to be taken on a particular time daily. It does not create much harm to your body but some side effects can lead to complications. There are eight side effects which are common with women who take birth control pills. If there some unusual symptom or effect of the pill, then you should refer a gynecologist as soon as possible.

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