Contraceptives are those little pills that prevent pregnancy. But the arguments about what role they play more positive or negative on the female body are many and at the same time contradictory.
The birth control pill first appeared in the US in 1960. Today’s pills contain only 1.2% of the hormones of that time.
In principle, it is scientifically proven that contraceptives are useful, but they must be taken correctly. Their effectiveness reaches 99% and they guarantee a very small risk of metabolic disorders.
But what are their side effects?
The misuse of oral contraceptives is one of the most common causes of irregular periods. This problem can also occur when taking hormones. For this reason, every woman should become very familiar with the method of taking contraceptives.
Half of the women taking oral contraceptives experience unpleasant extra menstrual vaginal bleeding. It usually starts after taking the first pills and lasts about three months. In 90% of cases, it normalizes, but if it lasts too long, consultation with a specialist is required.
Nausea is one of the constant side effects of birth control pills. It also goes away after a few weeks and is not an alarming symptom. To reduce the occurrence of nausea, it is recommended to take contraceptives with meals. If they are in a form other than a pill, it is good to consult a specialist to change the contraceptive.
These pills cause the breasts to change shape, they may enlarge, soften or become too hard, which is accompanied by pain in this area. Lumps often appear. If they do not disappear within the first three months, medical attention should be sought. Reduced breast tenderness during this period can be achieved by limiting caffeine and salt intake.
For effective treatment of headache attacks, experts recommend combining hormonal contraceptives with so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and triptans.
Headache is a common side effect of hormonal contraceptives and occurs predominantly during the phase of the cycle when estrogen levels and contraceptive activity fall rapidly. According to the data, women who take birth control use 1.5 times more headache remedies than other women.
Especially the first hormone contributes greatly to water retention and thus interferes with weight loss – it causes an increase in personal weight. As a result, it turns out that the more estrogen, the stronger the fattening effect.
For example, taking a high estrogen (50 mcg) birth control pill can help you gain 2 to 5 kilograms per year. This anti-effect will not be observed (or will be several times less significant) if products containing 20 μg are used.
The use of birth control pills causes weight gain in another way – they increase the level of insulin in the blood. With a high presence of a hormone produced by the pancreas, appetite is greatly increased, and in addition, the conversion of carbohydrates into fats is also supported. When following a weight loss diet, the goal is just the opposite – to use fat for energy and eventually burn it, leaving only lean muscle mass.
Decreased sexual activity
Contraceptives often lead to loss of sex drive. This is because they suppress the production of testosterone, which affects libido.
Oral contraceptives often change women’s preferences in favor of men. Psychologists have found that women who take oral contraceptives prefer rough, manly men.
A large percentage of women taking birth control complain that they had frequent mood swings in the first months of taking it. The reason for this effect is due to synthetically obtained hormones affecting the hormonal balance of the body, to which it must adapt.
The estrogen found in contraceptives also reduces serotonin levels, which are responsible for pleasant emotions, to some extent, and this is also one of the reasons for the observed more frequent depression in women taking contraceptives.
Sometimes birth control pills cause a violent reaction in the body, which leads to serious hormonal abnormalities. In some women, one of the affected areas is the hair, and there is profuse hair loss, which can cause serious problems. It is mandatory to change the drug before the consequences become more serious.
Sick heart and malignant diseases
Contraceptive pills are sometimes linked to high blood pressure and liver tumors. They also carry a risk of developing cervical cancer, scientists warn. Women with a family history of any of these conditions are advised to use these medications.
Experts remind us that each remedy is strictly individual and should always be used after consulting a doctor. First, you should undergo a gynecological examination, take into account the age of the woman, explain to her the advantages and disadvantages, and only then prescribe the contraceptives that are suitable for her, obstetrician-gynecologists also said.
It is also not a problem for young girls to use them, as there are many new generations of contraceptives with a low content of hormones, but they need to be taken after examination and age determination.
Other diseases are also taken into account, in which such drugs cannot be prescribed, the specialist specified.
For example, smoking greatly affects the effect of pills. Because cigarettes constrict blood vessels, and contraceptives have the same effect.