Birth Control Pill Side Effects Uncovered 😮


Dr. Sam Bailey


Published on Apr 22, 2019

How to fix your most common birth control pill side effects, so that you're doctor will even be impressed! Learn about how to treat side effects such as acne, nausea, depression, breakthrough bleeding, breast soreness and weight gain.


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What is the Combined Pill?
A pill that contains both synthetic forms of natural hormones (oestrogen and progestogen). The pill stops the ovaries releasing an egg. For it to work properly it needs to be taken every day.

Who should use this?
By and large the contraceptive pill is used to prevent pregnancy. Although, it can be used to treat heavy periods, painful periods, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Acne or Endometriosis.

There are lots of brands of pills, are they the same?
No, they are all slightly different. As a matter of fact some pills will cause side effects in some people, but not in others. In short, if you find a pill you prefer - stick to that brand. Your doctor can suggest similar medications if that brand is no longer funded.

Will the contraceptive pill make me put on weight?
On the whole evidence has shown that appetite increases in the first three months of pill taking. Of course if you eat more you may gain weight! In fact some pills may cause water retention when you first start taking them. However, most modern contraceptive pills do not cause water retention.

Will the contraceptive pill give me spots or make me feel sick?
Occasionally some women breakout in spots when they start the pill. If this happens, talk to your doctor about switching pills because many pills improve acne. Similarly, switching to a lower dose contraceptive pill may help nausea. Other side effects that might happen include mood swings, tender or sore breasts, headaches and breakthrough bleeding.

Is it safe to have sex during the 4-7 day break (sugar pills)?
Definitely, provided that you have remembered to take your last week of hormonal pills.

I've missed my contraceptive pill/had vomiting or diarrhoea what should I do?
In brief, take the active pill as soon as you remember. Whenever you miss two contraceptive pills in a row you will need to do the 7-day rule. In other words take a hormone pill each day for a week and use a condom with sex for additional protection.

Can I skip my periods altogether?
In a word yes. In fact it is safe to take hormone pills continuously. Overall you may notice more spotting and breakthrough bleeding, but this usually settles down after a few months.

What is the mini-pill (Progestogen Only Pill)?
A pill that contains a small amount of a synthetic-made natural hormone (progestogen). Specifically, this pill thickens cervical mucus and/or stops ovaries releasing an egg. For it to work it needs to be taken at roughly the same time of each day. Frequently women use their phone alarm to remember.

What side effects will I notice?
For one thing your bleeding pattern might change. 20% of women have no bleeding at all, 40% of women will have regular periods and 40% of women will have irregular bleeding. In fact research has shown that the mini-pill does NOT cause weight gain, depression or headaches.

Who can use the mini-pill?
Generally, this is an alternative pill for women who cannot use the combined pill for medical reasons, or for women who are breastfeeding.

Who shouldn't use the mini-pill?
Namely, women who have had breast cancer or who are taking some anti-epileptic medicines. Or women who have abnormal vaginal bleeding that hasn't been investigated by a doctor.

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ABOUT ME: I want to make it easier for people to fix common health problems. I work as a medical doctor in New Zealand.

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