The darker side of the pill: side effects of hormonal birth control

Side effects of hormonal birth control

Hormonal birth control is commonly prescribed as an effective contraceptive method and the pill is the most commonly used type of birth control in the U.S. Many women choose to take the pill because it isn’t permanent, and can sometimes reduce symptoms of cramping, suppress acne,  and lighten your flow.

However, there are also many adverse effects of hormonal birth control that we must consider before making a decision on using it. Keep reading to find out what they are!

Hormonal Imbalance

Birth control pills release synthetic hormones that can be endocrine disruptors that cause hormonal imbalance. The hormonal imbalance can also have effects on your mental health, and many women develop more anxiety, depression, and migraines as a result of birth control. For many women, hormonal acne can be reduced, but for some, the change in hormone levels can actually increase acne. 

Menstrual Cycle

Taking birth control will stop your periods because hormones do not change as they normally would, thus preventing ovulation and the uterine changes that typically occur during the menstrual cycle. Birth control will thin the lining of your uterus to make it more difficult for eggs to implant while also thickening the cervical mucus to stop sperm from entering the uterus. While the pill may ease your cramps for the time being, it can cause other symptoms from hormonal imbalance such as breast tenderness. Because of these changes, it is common to have irregular cycles after stopping birth control, and it can be harder to become pregnant.Side effects pill


Taking birth control may cause temporary infertility in some women who have trouble adjusting to regular cycles after taking the pill for a long period of time. However, studies show that the pill does not cause infertility and women should be able to go back to regular cycles within 3 months to a year. If you are facing infertility after taking the pill, it may be best to consult your doctor to understand what the next steps are.

Blood Pressure

Birth control pills could also increase blood pressure or lead to blood clots. These side effects are especially more likely if you have a heart disease or smoke, so be aware of pre-existing medical conditions before taking the pill.

Digestive System

Many women also experience appetite changes, bloating, and nausea. Nausea is especially common when you first start taking birth control, but if it persists, it might be best to consult your doctor on whether you’re taking the right type of birth control. Weight changes can also be a result of the appetite changes and hormonal imbalance that comes with birth control.



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