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Birth Control Side Effects
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Birth Control Side Effects

Side Effects of Birth Control – Get the Answers

Women are becoming more interested in learning about possible birth control side effects. Depending on the type of birth control used, some women may be at a higher risk of health complications, especially if they are already being treated or have been diagnosed with a particular medical condition. A woman’s age, body weight, and whether past pregnancies have occurred also plays a factor in determining which type of birth control is best and involves the slightest amount of risk.

Oral Contraceptives

Birth control pills have been the contraceptive of choice for more than half a century. In general, the risks are minimal. A simple health exam and consultation with a doctor is all that is needed to determine which type of pill is right for each individual.

Over the past couple of decades, “The Pill” has undergone some changes in its formulation, particularly in the amount of hormones it contains. This is the result of scientific study that has clearly shown the dangerous effects of heavy hormone levels during certain periods of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Even with these changes, some minor side effects are still experienced by many who choose this method of contraception.

These side effects include, but are not limited to, a lowering of the libido in some women, mild clotting of the blood, breakthrough bleeding, and decrease in milk production for nursing mothers. Women who smoke heavily or have serious cardiovascular problems may be at a higher risk for complications due to blood clot formation. Breakthrough bleeding generally occurs only during the first few months that oral contraceptives are taken, and decreased milk production can be the result of taking the wrong type of pill.

Vaginal Rings, Diaphragms, and IUDs

The flexible plastic vaginal ring is quite effective because it contains estrogen and progestin. However, women who smoke or have been diagnosed with certain types of cancers are prone to complications.

Diaphragms must be used along with a spermicide. Side effects have been noted in women whose weight fluctuates more than 10 percent during a calendar month. The weight gain or loss can cause the diaphragm to malfunction and allow semen to pass through the cervical opening. Women who have experienced toxic shock syndrome are more likely to have certain health complications if a diaphragm is used.

An IUD is surgically implanted in a manner that prevents sperm from reaching the egg in the fallopian tube. It is recommended only for women who have previously given birth. Those who have never been pregnant may suffer from an expanded uterus, the result being a painful condition that cannot be treated unless the device is removed.

It is always best to consult with a physician if any type of contraceptive is being considered. Getting the answers ahead of time concerning possible birth control side effects is the right course of action.

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