How Safe are Birth Control Pills

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 23, 2012

Birth control pill

Birth control pills are very effective method of preventing unwanted pregnancies. These pills contain either progesterone or a combination of oestrogen and progesterone. Not only do they prevent pregnancy, but also certain conditions such as ovarian cancer, cancer of endometrium, besides reducing cramps during the menstrual cycle.


[Read: What is Ovarian Cancer?]


Side effects of using birth control pills


Most women do not report any side effects or health complications after using the birth control pills but there are some who are prone to certain problems. Some of the side-effects reported due to these pills are:


  • Weight gain – Some women, sensitive to even small amount of hormone present in the pill find themselves gaining weight. Hormonal disturbances lead to water retention and fat deposition in such women.
  • Yeast infections – There are some young women, particularly teenagers, which are likely to get yeast infection due to the use of birth control pills.[Read: Boric Acid for Vaginal Yeast Infection]
  • Clots – Women having a history of heart disease are at a risk of clots because of the hormonal disturbances that creates complications with the biochemistry of women.
  • Cancer – Some women can develop liver cancer as well as gall bladder disease due to birth control pills. This is not solely because of the pills but some underlying condition in women which did not react favourably in the woman.
  • Smokers beware! – The most likely women to suffer from side-effect of a birth control pills are smokers. It has been found that smokers who take birth control pills are more likely to suffer from cancer than non-smokers. That is why women who smoke are advised to give it up when they are about to take contraceptive pills. The problem of blood clot mentioned above also becomes more troublesome in the case of smokers.[Read: How Smoking Affects Fertility in a Woman]


You need to discuss with your doctor about the health complications possible after taking birth control pills. Although most over-the-counter pills are safe, it would be advisable for you to take the advice of your health care provider before starting the pill. You do have to decide between the progesterone only pill or the combination pill, and your doctor should recommend one of these along with providing information on the kind of side-effects possible.


Read more articles on Contraception.



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