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What are the risks of taking birth control pills?

What are the risks of taking birth control pills? Source: Wikimedia / Bryancalabro

If you are engaging in a birth-control process or are already on it, there are some things that you should know. Birth control pills are a medication, after all, and as such, they have side effects.  Some of these side-effects imply serious health issues.  

However, most people who take birth-control pills usually to not encounter dangerous side effects. In most cases, these effects go away in one or two months’ time.  Just like with any medication, though, there can be risks.

How do Birth Control Pills Work?

It is very important that you know how the pill works.  Every month, you produce an ovum.  This travels through the Fallopian tubes and, if not fertilized, it will be discarded along with the lining that formed within your uterus. 

Birth control pills release such amount of estrogens that they effectively convince your pituitary gland that you are pregnant; therefore you do not release a new egg. Since your body thinks that you are pregnant, your uterine lining thickens.

What are the Risks

As a response to the pill's synthetic estrogen, you will experience some physical and emotional changes.  Unfortunately, many women do experience some of these symptoms but they are downplayed in favor of convenience.  Some of these symptoms are:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Larger breasts
  • Breast tenderness
  • Slight nausea
  • Reduced or increased acne
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Decreased libido
  • Emotional sensitivity right after your period
  • Mood swings

The issue with not being aware of these side-effects of the birth-control pill is that these symptoms are usually treated as independent conditions.  If they are treated as such, the side effects could worsen.  

For example, if you have mood swings, you will probably take anti-depressants.  This medication along with the birth-control pills you are already taking can contribute to decreasing your libido.  

Even worse, there are some health risks associated with the birth-control pills.  These are:

  • Infertility
  • Migraines
  • Higher Blood Pressure
  • Decreased Bone density
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Increased risk of cervical and breast cancers
  • Increased risk of blood clotting

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