We hear about birth control pills all the time these days. Not only are they one of the most popular contraceptives available today, they’re also used to manage a ton of additional health concerns like out-of-control acne, intense menstrual pain, and PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome.
Although it’s necessary to have a conversation with your OB-GYN before getting on the pill, there are a few things that you need to consider before you even have that conversation. After all, there’s more to a birth control pill than meets the eye. If you’re considering taking the pill, you may want to analyze your reasons behind them and the facts that we’re going to lay out for you below.
You Could Completely Reboot Your Cycle
Many of the women who start taking birth control pills are those who have irregular cycles. One of the symptoms of an irregular period, unfortunately, are extremely painful menstrual cramps. Some women have cycles that are so painful, they’re practically bedridden for 3 or 4 days.
Regular and consistent taking of birth control pills can reboot your cycle and normalize it. On the other hand, it’s also possible that starting birth control pills could also completely reboot your cycle and change it.
You Could Halt Your Period Altogether
While most women take birth control pills to help bring some order and regularity to their monthly cycles, there are also a number of women who take birth control pills for the sole purpose of stopping their period altogether.
Not many women know this, but having monthly visits is actually a decision that women can make and if you’re not trying to give birth, then there’s no medically necessary reason to have your period. Some women worry that this could mean a permanent discontinuation of their cycle, but it goes without saying that you should have a lengthy conversation with your doctor before pushing through with plans like this.
You Could Have Some Pretty Nasty Mood Swings
Generally speaking, women tend to have some pretty crazy mood swings when their cycle comes around, right ladies? We warn our partners of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome for a reason. Well, as unfortunate as it may be, taking birth control pills doesn’t necessarily mean that’s going to change. In fact, studies show that both negative and positive emotional changes can result from taking birth control pills.
This is because taking birth control pills affects two hormones in particular that have a strong effect on the emotions of a woman: progestin and estrogen. It should go without saying that when you mess with the amounts of these hormones in the body of a woman, you’re going to see some mood swings take place as a result.
You Could See Some Positive Changes Take Place
Remember how we mentioned that birth control pills are used for more than just preventing pregnancies? Well, one of the positive changes that could take place when you start taking birth control is that it lowers your chances of anemia. Taking the pill could also reduce your risk for certain cancers, most notably endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer.
Women who suffer from severe acne have also seen their skin clear up and heal from years of terrible skin thanks to birth control pills. One of the biggest impacts that the pill has though, is on women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome. The pill eases a lot of the unfavorable symptoms of women with polycystic ovary syndrome and can help them enjoy the benefits of a regular monthly period.
You Could Also See Some Negative Changes Too Though
The pill isn’t always going to be about sunshine and daisies. For some women, taking birth control pills could have some pretty nasty side effects. Like we mentioned previously, mood swings (the I’m-about-to-bite-your-head-off kind) are a potential side effect for some of the women who start any kind of birth control regimen.
Some women have also reported experiencing severe abdominal pain, chest pain, shortness of breath and bouts of coughing after starting on birth control pills. Additional symptoms that have been reported in the past include loss of vision or blurred eye sight, speech impediments, severe pain in calves or thighs, severe headaches, numbness, loss of energy and dizziness.
If you choose to take birth control pills in spite of these potential side effects, you need to pay close attention to any possible changes that take place in your body after your regimen starts. If you notice any changes, big or small, consult with your doctor as soon as you possibly can.
You Might Need to Try a Different Brand
Not all birth control pills are created equal. While some women find a brand that works for them and doesn’t incite any side effects right off the bat, other women aren’t so lucky. Because each person’s body is different, what may work for someone you know won’t necessarily work for you, so at times, there’s a period of testing different brands to find, which birth control pill is most suited to your body.
If you experience any negative side effects, talk to your doctor about what’s happening and ask about switching to a different kind of birth control pill.
You Could Still Get Pregnant
Think of taking birth controls as a kind of art. If you’re more of a left-side-of-the-brain kind of person, then think of it this way: the pill is only 99% effective when you’re taking it perfectly and to the specifications that your doctor (or the brand) requires.
This is why approximately 9 percent of the women who take birth control pills still get pregnant, because there’s a science and a routine to it. For the pill to work as effectively as it possibly can, you will need to take the pill at exactly the same time every day.
Taking them every day at the same time lowers your chance of pregnancy to about 1 perfect. However, if you’re the kind of person who misses pills or takes them when you remember them, then your chances of getting pregnant increase dramatically.