Dr. Joe Bill

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The birth control pill is a popular method of contraception for many women – in fact, four out of five women in the United States who are sexually active have used, or currently use the pill. So, what is there to know before going on the pill?

Effects of going on the pill

Before going on the pill, our team mentions it is very important to consult with your doctor as each woman will be affected differently depending on their body. Factors a doctor will consider before prescribing the pill include other antibiotics you may currently be taking.

In simplest terms, the birth control pill works by telling the brain it is getting enough hormones (specifically, estrogen and progesterone). The brain then will not signal the ovary to produce hormones, therefore acting as a prevention to pregnancy. 

If you are considering taking the pill or you have recently started taking it, there are some common side affects you may experience. These include:

  • Sore or swollen breasts – Any swelling you may experience will disappear within a few months.
  • Lighter periods – A very common side effect of the pill is lighter periods. Along with this, cramps are likely to decrease.

Effects of going off the pill

If you have regularly been taking the pill and choose to stop, make sure you consult with a doctor so you are aware of potential side affects you may experience. Common examples include:

  • Breakouts – It is quite common to see a decrease in breakouts when starting the pill, therefore this effect will disappear quite quickly when you decide to stop taking it.
  • Mood changes – Depending on your body, the pill might be a mood stabiliser and you may feel grumpier when you stop taking the pill.
  • Heavier periods – As mentioned, the pill can lighten your flow and if so, it is likely when you stop taking it, you will have a heavier period.
  • Risk of pregnancy – The obvious side effect of going off the pill is that your brain will not be told it is getting enough hormones and will then tell the ovary to produce more. This can increase your chances of falling pregnant.