Side Effects of Oral Contraceptives

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Oral contraceptives come in two different types the twenty-eight day and the twenty-four day packets. In this article, we are going to look at the side effects of oral contraceptives.

The majority of side effects of oral contraceptives are minor for most women and many women will not notice any side effects at all. However, some women do experience moderate to severe side effects as a result of their oral contraceptives.

Let us start by looking at the most common side effects of oral contraceptives - these side effects can vary in degree from mild to severe. It is also important to remember that some of the side effects are temporary once the body adjusts to the hormones the side effects often subside on there own.

The most common side effects of oral contraceptives include headaches, breast tenderness, irregular periods, spotting in-between periods, nausea, and mild to moderate mood swings. More uncommon side effects of oral contraceptives can include blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure, these side effects are seen more often in women over the age of thirty-five who smoke or have a long history of smoking (reformed) and a history of certain cancers such as breast cancer.

At one time weight gain was also listed as a common side effect however; researchers have since proven that the use of oral contraceptives does not cause weight gain. Perhaps what causes weight gain (if any) is related to the hormonal changes in the body during the first few months of taking oral contraceptives this can cause a woman to eat more or eat “junk food” during a mood swing. Food is comforting especially during hormonal imbalances.

As I stated before side effects of oral contraceptives affect each woman differently and some women are not affected at all. Most of the side effects are not bothersome enough for the woman to stop taking the birth control pill.


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