Most Common Side Effects of Birth Control Pills

Choosing a method of contraception is a very personal choice. Above all, it is extremely important for health reasons. The contraceptive pill is among the most popular prevention measures. The biggest advantages of this solution are its high efficiency and easy handling. However, only a few people know the side effects of birth control pills.

The pill changes the natural hormone cycle of the woman. It contains a combination of estrogen and progestin, which increases the concentration of these hormones in the blood: the body is faked a pregnancy and no ovulation occurs. With a Pearl index of 0.1 – 0.9 (ie less than a woman of 100 becomes pregnant despite taking the pill each year), the pill, when used correctly, provides very safe contraceptive protection.

Regular intake is a prerequisite for reliable contraception
Taking the pill starts on the first day of the menstrual period. For most pill preparations, one tablet is taken every day for 21 days. This is followed by a 7-day break in which contraception continues. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the pill has always been taken regularly. During the intake break, it comes to the so-called withdrawal or withdrawal bleeding.

Micro and Mini Pills

There are two types of birth control pills: micro and mini pills. Micropills contain the female hormone estrogen and a progestin and must always be taken at the same time of the day. In addition, in the case of the micropillus, a distinction is also made between single-phase preparations and multiphase preparations. The mini-pill contains only one progestin. For some preparations a low dose was chosen. These mini-pills must always be taken at the same time, otherwise the protection against pregnancy is not sufficiently guaranteed.

Risks and Birth Control Side Effects

Like any drug, the pill can have side effects . Especially at the beginning of the pill intake can lead to bleeding, breast tenderness, mood swings, headaches and skin changes. In many cases, these symptoms disappear within the first few weeks of use. However, in case of severe, recurrent or long-lasting side effects, the treating physician should always be consulted.

A rare side effect is deep vein thrombosis. A thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a blood vessel and blocks it, so that the blood can no longer flow unhindered. Most of the time, such a clot forms in the veins of the legs and then causes unilateral discomfort in the affected leg.

Typical symptoms of deep vein thrombosis are:

  • Pain and tension in the affected leg, increased pressure and sometimes similar to a sore muscles
  • Swelling of the lower leg
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin
  • Overheat
  • Veins are visible on the affected leg

If it comes to symptoms, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible, especially as a deep vein thrombosis in rare cases, a pulmonary embolism may result: If the clot does not adhere firmly to the vessel wall of the vein, it can dissolve and through the bloodstream in the Lungs, where it may clog a pulmonary artery. This disease is called pulmonary embolism and can be dangerous or even life-threatening. Overall, the risk of pulmonary embolism, which comes from the pill intake, but very low.

Typical symptoms of pulmonary embolism are:

  • Abrupt onset of shortness of breath or greatly accelerated respiration
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Piercing chest pain that may be exacerbated by inhalation
  • (Bloody) cough
  • Dizziness or drowsiness

In very rare cases, taking the pill may also cause a blood clot to form in an artery, leading to a stroke or heart attack. However, such arterial thrombosis scarcely occur at a young age.
Overall, especially women are at risk of developing thrombosis, which are severely overweight and / or smoke.