Birth Control

The risks of the birth control pill

 

Ranking third on the top three most widely used contraceptive method for women is the oral contraceptive pill. Over one hundred and fifty million women all over the globe use it to be able to engage in casual sexual activities and avoid getting pregnant. Also called the birth control pill, this contraceptive prevents pregnancy by altering a woman’s hormonal level to prevent ovulation, or to create an intra-uterine environment that is not conducive to fertilization or implantation.

Research and studies have been made on the effectiveness and reported risks of using birth control products. According to a Belgium-based research, they said that the long-term use of birth control pills can increase buildup of debris or plaque in the arteries, making the user of the drug more exposed to risk of heart disease. Another study claims that 1,300 healthy women aged 35 to 55 had 20 percent to 30 percent increase in prevalence of arterial plaque for every ten years of oral contraceptive use. While the arterial plaque identified were small and not large enough to block an artery, any plaque is thought to raise your risk of heart disease. Such side effects of birth control may seem ordinary to the naked eye and hardly noticeable during the early years of use, so women should be aware of their current health condition.

Moreover, the use of birth control pills for non-contraceptive purposes is rarely justified. If in case a woman only uses birth control pills for controlling menstrual cycles, irregular bleeding, cysts, or endometriosis, then they are not treating their underlying condition. Instead, they may simply be increasing their risk for other conditions such as cervical and breast cancers, and an abnormal increase in blood pressure. If these products are used without a prescription or doctor’s approval, some women may experiences side effects of birth control such as faster thinning of the bones and higher risk for osteoporosis.

Many women also report side effects of birth control, and some of which are awful and is undoubtedly due to the artificial hormones that run throughout a woman’s body when taking birth control pills. Side effects of birth control usually include migraines and nausea, irregular bleeding or spotting, weight gain and mood changes, breast tenderness, yeast overgrowth and infection, among others. As a side note, birth control pill is the main cause of constipation and GI-related issues in women.

Here are more known side effects:

  • Light bleeding in between menstrual periods
  • Absence of menstrual periods (Amenorrhea)
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Increased risk of vaginal infections
  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased sexual drive and appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Blood clots
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Gall Bladder disease
  • Liver failure

It is also important to keep in mind that there are different medications that affect the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive pill, so you should consult your healthcare provider and tell them what different medicines you are taking so that they can recommend a suitable backup contraceptive method for you.

The pill affects the thyroid, the adrenals, the hypothalamus, the uterus, and the ovaries leading to several hormonal imbalances. Finally, it causes deficiencies in Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 or folic acid, B12, Vitamin C, zinc, selenium, magnesium.

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