Some people might think that birth control is just a way to stop you from getting pregnant, as though it's a shield surrounding your uterus. However, birth control is a pill, just like other prescriptions, and it does more than that. Some people also take birth control to help with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or to help regulate their periods. Regardless of your reasoning, going on birth control is a big decision, and it’s important to know the pros of the pill as well as the weird things happen when you start birth control.
Some are the more unusual side effects are common and treatable, and others may require you to change your prescription or go off birth control completely. This is because everyone's body is different and we all react to oral contraceptives in different ways. Sometimes the pill isn't right for you and, depending on the severity, the cons of the pill can outweigh the pros of taking birth control. It’s important to pay attention to the way your body reacts when you start taking the pill. If you're experiencing and of the following weird side effects (or anything out of the ordinary for that matter), let your doctor know. They'll work with you to get the prescription that's right for you.
1. You Experience Nausea And Headaches
Young Women's Health notes that nausea and headaches are common side effects, and can go away after taking the pill for a couple weeks. These side effects, along with a few irregular periods, are just your body's way of getting used to the pill. But according to the Migraine Trust, if you're having horrible migraines while on birth control, you might want to talk to your doctor about switching to a different contraceptive or getting off it completely.
2. Your Libido Drops
For some, this is a great side effect, and for others, it's the worst. WebMD reports that only 1 in 100 patients report a dip in their sex drive after starting the pill. If it happens, your doctor might be able to take a look at how much estrogen and progesterone is in your birth controls and adjust your prescription or recommend a break in your pill cycle. However, Fitness magazine reports that a break from other life stressors might be needed if getting off the pill isn't an option.
3. Your Mood Swings
For some women, birth control is a great way to treat PMS symptoms and PMDD. For others, Common Health reports that contraceptives can wreak havoc on their hormones. These symptoms can include general anxiety, depressions, and higher levels of mood swings, especially around your period. If you start the pill and are crying all the time, call your doctor and they can switch the type of pill you take. Since the pill metabolizes out of your system in days, it won't take long to get back to your normal self.
4. Your Appetite Changes
When I was on birth control, I used to be nauseous around food when I was on my period, and joked to my friends that the pill was a great dieting method. However, appetite changes can be serious if you aren't careful. According to Healthline, some women report an increase or decrease in appetite while on the pill, but they mostly go away after a few months. If they haven't, talk to your doctor.
5. You Notice Some Skin Discoloration
According to Women's Health, certain types of oral contraceptives are better at treating skin conditions than antibiotics and creams. This is because there's less free testosterone in your body, which clears the acne from your face. On the other hand, Healthline reports that birth control can cause brown pigmentation to form on your skin. Make sure to check your mirror daily for any changes in skin color.
6. Your Breast Look A Little Bigger
Girls with small boobs might be rejoicing, but after going on birth control, my small A-cups stayed exactly the same. This isn't the case for everyone though, as I enviously watched a friend jump from Bs to Cs in the span of a few months after going on the pill. Her Campus reports that birth control affecting your breast size is rare, but can happen due to the extra estrogen.
7. You Don't See As Well
Researchers at Brown University found contact lens wearers may experience a change in their vision or vision intolerance when on the pill, and should contact their ophthalmologist. However, if you're having some serious vision loss or blurring, especially in conjunction with severe leg, chest, or head pain, contact your doctor immediately as those might be indicators of blood clots.
8. Your Gums Bleed
One study concluded that women on oral contraceptives were more susceptible to gingivitis, or bleeding and inflammation of the gums. However, regularly scheduled trips to the dentist can make this side effect avoidable and treatable, and tell your dentist that you're on the pill. And if you notice canker sores in your mouth, don't worry — that's just your period. They usually go away around the time your period does.
9. Your Taste In Men Change
Scientific America reports that some women's taste in men change when they start the pill. Apparently, it's linked to the natural scent men have, and women who are on the pill tend to start preferring men who have similar genes to them. Similarly, Science Daily notes that women's arousal or desire towards their partner also might decrease.
However, scientists urge women to be cautious when interpreting the results of these studies. I personally had no prominent changes to my romantic or sexual desire when I started or stopped taking birth control, and the benefits - staying healthy, preventing unwanted pregnancies, and regulating your periods - outweigh any potential cons in your relationships.