The Effectiveness and Side Effects of Birth Control

It’s so important to be smart and safe when it comes to your reproductive health, especially as a female. The female body goes through so many hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy that it’s crucial to know our options when it comes to the well-being of our body. There used to be a negative stigma associated with “the pill,” but it is more accepted in our society now. Birth control is widely used to protect the female body from pregnancy; however, it can also be used to treat an irregular menstrual cycle, acne, PCOS or cramps.  

Birth control pills contain two different hormones, estrogen and progestin, that are naturally made by the ovaries. The hormones prevent a woman from releasing her egg, thus preventing ovulation. Although this is a resourceful method of contraception, there are many side effects to the pill, and its effectiveness should be evaluated by users as well. According to the CDC, the pill is 91% effective, so just by taking a birth control pill will not prevent pregnancy. The reason as to why it is not nearly 100% effective is because of a lack of consistency or other medications that may interfere with the pill.  College Women Freeze Eggs Molly Longest / Her Campus

Birth control has many side effects that women should be aware of. For instance, the pill can cause nausea, headaches, spotting during the menstrual cycle, mood changes, and in some serious cases, endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder when the tissue that is supposed to grow inside the uterus begins growing outside. It is hard to diagnose, and if it is not treated, it can lead to infertility. 

There also different forms of the pill available depending on which scenario it is needed for. One of the forms includes the combination pill, which consists of both estrogen and progestin; another form of the pill is the minipill, which only contains progestin. Both the pills prevent sperm from reaching the egg by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the uterus. It depends on whether or not the individual is sensitive to estrogen as the hormone can cause a higher risk of stroke or heart attack to women who are older than 35 and smoke. 

The pill is a useful form of contraception, but it may not always work, so it is important to take other precautions as well if you want to prevent pregnancy. Additionally, if you choose to be on the pill, then remember to take it consistently, and consult your doctor if you want to take other medications with it, especially antibiotics. At the end of the day, it is so important to be cognizant of the various types of contraceptives out there and to talk to your doctor before you begin any cycle of medications. Do what is best for you even if that means to avoid the pill, take the combination, or practice abstinence. It is your body, your choice. Please just remember to be safe and to be smart about the choices you decide to make!