Side Effects Of Birth Control Pills – Is Contraception a Risk?

Many women fear of side effects of birth control methods and therefore refuse the application. However, healthy non-smoking women rarely experience serious side effects and complications at using birth control. Still, the development of complications is possible in several cases. Let’s investigate!

Side Effects of Birth Control Pills

One of the most popular birth control methods is birth control pills. The pills contain hormones, that participate in the reproductive mechanism of the female body. The birth control pills for men are not yet on the market. The occurrence of the side effects depends on the individual peculiarities of any female body, but there are certain risk factors and contraindications, that may provoke the common side effects:


  • existing thrombosis of any location;
  • stroke;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • severe liver disease;
  • suspected or current pregnancy;
  • unexplained gynecological bleeding;
  • malignant breast tumor or other gynecological malignancies.

Risk factors

Some of the mentioned below risk factors are the indications for the supervision of the specialist at taking birth control pills.

  • diabetes;
  • hypertension;
  • chain smoking;
  • varicose veins;
  • A severe headache;
  • age over 35 years;
  • gallbladder disease;
  • jaundice in previous pregnancy.

Most Common Side Effects

(Revealing within the first 3 months after the first application)

  •  Nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain;

It is recommended to take the drug at night (not fasting), which makes the adjustment period easier.

  •  Spotting;

Intermenstrual spotting or bleeding while taking birth control pills may occur during the first two months of taking pills. Consult a doctor

  • Engorgement, breast tenderness

The side effects observed in the first 3-6 months of taking any contraceptive pill. Your doctor may recommend additional means to relieve these side effects.

  • Changes in mood (tearfulness, depression, irritability);
  • Greasy skin, acne;
  • In case you’ve had acne before, it’s likely to disappear, which is not a side-effect;
  • insignificant pains in mammary gland and stomach;
  • swelling of the ankles and feet;
  • increased fatigue and irritability;
  • increased appetite and increase in body weight (This side effect is almost brought to naught in the modern contraception pills).

Side Effects Which Occur Less Frequently

  • Headaches (migraine attacks);
  • the increase of blood pressure;
  • vaginal infections, inflammation;
  • nausea, weakness, plentiful sweating may develop diabetes.

Less Common Side Effects

  • Depression. At development of a heavy depression it is recommended to stop taking birth control pills and consult a specialist;
  • Leg cramps;
  • worsening of vision (more likely to occur when wearing contact lenses);
  • itching, skin rash;
  • abdominal pain, yellowness of eyes or of skin (most common in smoking women);
  • increased sensitivity to solar radiation;
  • the increased growth of hair on body and on face or hair loss;
  • strengthening or weakening of sexual desire;
  • weight loss;
  • the increase in sensitivity of the mammary glands skin (their increase in size is possible too);
  • amenorrhea (at withdrawal).

In all these cases, it is better to see a doctor.