Birth Control Pills – what you need to know?

Birth Control Pills – what you need to know?

Birth control pills are the most common method used by women to control pregnancy. Out of the majority of the women taking these pills, only 0.1 % women go through unintended pregnancy.

Birth control pills release synthetic hormones, estrogen, and progestin, which are released during a menstrual cycle to stop ovulation and females egg from being fertilized by the sperms.

It is important however to first fully understand the mechanism of birth control pills.

How do the pills work?

Birth control pills are basically of two types: the combined pill (containing estrogen and progesterone) and the mini pill (containing only progesterone).

In a normal cycle, a female is a fertile ten to fourteen days before her periods. It means her body produces eggs ready to be fertilized by the sperms. When using hormonal contraceptives, the pills, especially containing the man-made hormones estrogen and progesterone are used to stop ovulation (i.e. when ovaries produce eggs).

The synthetic hormone brings alteration in your menstrual cycle. When using the combined pill the synthetic hormone estrogen inhibits pituitary glands to produce Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). This prevents your ovaries from producing an egg because it stops your eggs from ripening and ovulating.

While high levels of estrogen levels are associated with pregnancy, the combined pills keep the level of estrogen high all month long to a point very the body is the fool to believe that it is already pregnant, thus inhibiting ovulation.

On the other hand, the synthetic progesterone thickens the mucus at the entrance of your womb so that sperm can’t get through to fertilize your eggs. The synthetic progesterone also thins the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to travel the fallopian tube.

What are the side effects of the birth control pills?

Birth control pills, however, are the most effective way to stop unwanted pregnancy if used properly, however, the uses do not come without its side effects.

The side effects can range from mild to severe depending upon your type of intake and the duration of the pills.

The first and foremost side effects can be seen in the emotional and physical changes in the body as a response to the synthetic hormones.

The mild changes can be, a potential increase in breast size, decreased libido, nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, mood changes and sensitivity throughout the cycle, irregular bleeding or spotting or reduced or increased acne and weight.

Among the serious issues can be discussed as below.

Apart from bringing issues such as blood clotting and potentially high risks of heart and breast cancers, it does cast undesirable effect on your nutritional system as well.

1) Nutritional deficiency

Liver requires an extra amount of B – complex vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Zinc to metabolize the pills. Intake over a longer period of time may eventually increase the deficiency level of these mineral and vitamins. However, the lack of these minerals and vitamins are the basis for many other diseases.

2) May cause Candida

Yeast that is normally found in the digestive tract, it’s over production can infiltrate the body and can spread to other parts. Yeast’s overproduction is associated with the high levels of estrogen with the intake of pills.

The body can develop candida symptoms such as symptoms like migraines, infertility, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, psoriasis, PMS, depression and digestive disorders. With treatment, the symptoms can be controlled.

3) Increased risk of blood clots

Research has suggested that there is a direct proportional link between the estrogen levels and the blood clot formation in veins.

Blood clots formed in the veins of the leg once broken and travel up to lungs can develop a condition pulmonary embolism causing shortness of breath, pain in lungs, redness swelling in the leg and the coughing up of blood.

However, these are some of the major mentioned side effects of the birth control pills. Immediate advice is needed if someone tends to face these problems.


The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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