When it comes to birth control methods, women have several choices. While the most popular choice has been, and continues to be, the pill, it may not be your best choice. Here are ten risks and disadvantages associated with the pill that you should be aware of:
The pill does not protect against STDs. While the prescription medication may help to prevent pregnancy, it does nothing to protect you from STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes. Even if you do choose to take the pill, you need to utilize a barrier form of contraception in order to protect yourself against infection.
2.High Blood Pressure
It’s not unusual for women who are taking the pill to have slight rises in blood pressure. While this may not be an important risk factor for all women, it is for some. If you have a family or personal history of high blood pressure, choose another form of birth control.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, IUDs and implants are more effective than the pill at preventing pregnancy. This is because women can forget to take their pill on a regular basis. Additionally, a back-up form of birth control should be used during the initial seven days of pill use.
Not all women experience weight gain on the pill; however, if gaining weight is a concern of yours, you may want to rethink your choices. Some women experience androgenic effects from the pill’s progestins, causing an increase in appetite.
Many women don’t stop to consider that illness can weaken the efficacy of the pill. If you are vomiting or have diarrhea, the pill may exit your system before it has a chance to be absorbed. In the case of illness, it is best to use a back-up method of birth control instead of relying solely on the pill.
Chloasma is a darkening of the skin under the eyes, on the upper lip or on the forehead. While this doesn’t occur for all women, the effects may be permanent. You’ll need to decide if a change in skin pigmentation is a risk that you are willing to take.
For some women, a decrease in libido is a side-effect of the pill. This can cause a very real problem with some couples. If you decide to take the pill and experience this side effect, speak with your doctor. Your OB/GYN may try switching pills or may suggest a different form of birth control.
Venous thromboembolism is up to six times higher in women who take oral contraceptives. These blood clots in the legs or lungs can ultimately cause death due to stroke or heart attack. If you are obese, have had major surgery or have a family history of clotting disorders, avoid the pill.
Women who take the pill are more likely to develop headaches and migraines, even if they’ve never suffered with them before. For those women who have a history of migraines, taking the pill can lead to an increased risk of stroke.
The synthetic hormones in birth control pills can cause mood swings, sometimes severe, in some women. It’s not atypical for women to become depressed while taking the pill. If you are on the pill and notice any mood swings or general change in disposition, speak with your physician immediately.
The pill has been a popular contraceptive choice for women for over 40 years. Though it is popular, it isn’t the right choice for every woman. Before you start taking the pill, talk to your doctor about the risks and advantages about the oral contraceptive.