What are the Most Common Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills?

P.M. Willers
P.M. Willers
Some contraceptive pills result in weight gain.
Some contraceptive pills result in weight gain.

The side effects of contraceptive pills are varied and numerous. Different types and dosages affect each individual differently. Contraceptive pills use diverse hormones, so it may be helpful when experimenting with contraceptive pills to note the hormone used and the side effects that you experienced. The side effects of contraceptive pills can affect mood, menstrual cycle and flow, skin, and other body chemistry and functions.

Contraceptive pills might cause weight loss or gain.
Contraceptive pills might cause weight loss or gain.

Contraceptive pills contain hormones and function by affecting hormone output and hormone levels in the body. Most users find that the side effects include an increase or decrease in emotion. Some contraceptive pills may also cause anger or an increased temper. Depression is a possible side effect, as well as an increase or decrease in libido.

Menstrual cycle and menstrual flow will most certainly be affected by contraceptive pills. Cycle length may increase or decrease, as well as the rate of flow. It is also common for spotting or irregular bleeding to occur during the first few months of usage. Individuals may experience decreased menstrual cramps as well.

Contraceptive pills affect body chemistry, thus they have numerous possible side effects.
Contraceptive pills affect body chemistry, thus they have numerous possible side effects.

Skin and hair are also affected. Contraceptive pills are sometimes used to control acne or prevent skin breakouts. Skin moisture and oils may increase or decrease, and sensitivity to sun is a common side effect as well. Precautions should be taken before going out in the sun or visiting a tanning booth. An allergic reaction to contraceptive pills could also cause unexplained rashes or skin irritation.

Contraceptive pills can help a woman obtain a regular, predictable menstrual cycle.
Contraceptive pills can help a woman obtain a regular, predictable menstrual cycle.

Additional side effects of contraceptive pills include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Contraceptive pills may cause weight loss or gain, and may affect appetite. Other physical side effects may include jaundice, breast tenderness or enlargement, and hair loss.

In addition, there are serious side effects that could result from the use of contraceptive pills. These could include blood clots in the legs, eyes, or lungs. Contraceptive pills could also cause high blood pressure or feelings and symptoms associated with heart attack or stroke. If a patient experiences any of these sensations or side effects, a doctor should be consulted immediately. An individual who may be at higher risk for these side effects should consider the varying types of contraception and find the method that is most compatible with her health and lifestyle habits.

Contraceptive pills may cause breast tenderness.
Contraceptive pills may cause breast tenderness.

It is always important to consult a physician before starting birth control. The side effects of contraceptive pills depend on personal body chemistry. There is great variation in side effects among contraceptive pill users, so it may be necessary to try several types of contraceptive pills before finding the right one.

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Discussion Comments

Heavanet

I use to take birth control pills, and I did notice nausea and upset stomach symptoms during the first few weeks of taking them. However, once my system go use to the contraceptive pills, the side effects subsided.

To avoid nausea and upset stomach while taking contraceptive pills, one good tip to follow is to take this medication with food. This will help keep your stomach calm until your body is use to taking this type of medication.

Raynbow

Does anyone know how frequently nausea is a side effect of taking contraceptive pills? I have heard that it is very common and can be quite severe.

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    • Some contraceptive pills result in weight gain.
      Some contraceptive pills result in weight gain.
    • Contraceptive pills might cause weight loss or gain.
      Contraceptive pills might cause weight loss or gain.
    • Contraceptive pills affect body chemistry, thus they have numerous possible side effects.
      Contraceptive pills affect body chemistry, thus they have numerous possible side effects.
    • Contraceptive pills can help a woman obtain a regular, predictable menstrual cycle.
      Contraceptive pills can help a woman obtain a regular, predictable menstrual cycle.
    • Contraceptive pills may cause breast tenderness.
      Contraceptive pills may cause breast tenderness.
    • Some contraceptive pills may cause a decrease in libido.
      Some contraceptive pills may cause a decrease in libido.