Truth be Told

4th Dec 2018

The truth about contraceptive side effects

Read and heard multiple things on the side effects of contraceptives and now you are confused and unsure what to believe and what to not believe?

This article will help clear any confusions and provide clarity on the truth about contraceptive side effects.

Contraceptive categories and the side effects

Although studies have shown that there are more than 15 birth control methods in total, here are some of the side effects of some of the methods.

1. Method: birth control implants
Side effects:

  • Changes in bleeding patterns – irregular, prolonged, lighter, no monthly bleeding
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight change
  • Nausea

2. Method: copper-bearing intrauterine device (IUD)
Side effects:

  • Changes in bleeding patterns – prolonged, heavy, irregular
  • MAY contribute to anemia for girls that have a preexisting anemic condition

3. Method: combined oral contraceptives
Side effects:

  • Changes in bleeding patterns – lighter, irregular, infrequent, no monthly bleeding
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne - improves or worsens
  • Mood changes
  • Dizziness

4. Method: combined patch
Side effects:

  • Changes in bleeding patterns – lighter, irregular, prolonged, no monthly bleeding
  • Skin irritation on patch area
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Vaginitis – irritation, redness, or inflammation of the vagina

5. Method: monthly injectables
Side effects:

  • Changes in bleeding patterns – lighter, irregular, prolonged, no monthly bleeding
  • Weight gain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Dizziness & headaches

6. Method: combined vaginal ring
Side effects:

  • Changes in bleeding patterns – lighter, irregular, prolonged, no monthly bleeding
  • Vaginitis
  • White vaginal discharge
  • Headaches

7. Method: emergency contraceptive pills (ECP)
Side effects:

  • - Changes in bleeding patterns – irregular for 1-2 days, change in timing of period
  • - Nausea
  • - Abdominal pain
  • - Dizziness & headaches
  • - Vomiting

Male and female condoms have no side effects.

All of the methods have a common side effect; changes in bleeding patterns. This is caused by the fluctuation of hormones and is completely normal and harmless.

None of these side effects are of any real danger to you.
However, if any of the side effects are causing too much trouble or discomfort, consider counseling and support as they can prove to be very helpful.

If you are on one of the contraceptive methods and you notice something out of the ordinary, make an appointment and consult your doctor.

Even though there are side effects for more or less all of the contraceptive methods, they are very less likely harmful.
On the other hand, there are also several health benefits for the methods.

We hope that this was a helpful read. If you are unsure of any contraceptive side effects, refer to this article for any clarification needed. And if you want a more detailed understanding of how the contraceptive that you have picked will impact your body, then consult a doctor before making any decisions.

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