Birth control is the most popular form of preventing pregnancy in the developed world. Many women continue to take these pills despite the various warning and possible health effects that could result from use of many of these products.
Many of these women who rely on the pill as their primary form of birth control take it daily, making it that much more important to know exactly what they are doing to your body in the long term.
If you or your partner uses birth control of any kind, meaning the pill, patch, shots or any other type of birth control, you need to be aware of what it is doing to you.
There are many different variations of birth control pills out there sold by various companies however the vast majority of them are either progestin only pills or combined pills.
Progestin birth control pills only contain one hormone, that being progestin. These types of pills are usually given to women who can’t take the combination pill due to some side effect or reaction they experience as a result.
Progestin pills work by thickening the cervical mucus which in turn causes the lining of the uterus to thin. These pills don’t stop ovulation, but are generally considered to be effective in birth control. Progestin pills are not as widely available as combined pills and also cause breakthrough bleeding.
Combination pills on the other hand contain multiple hormones, as their name implies. They contain hormones that mimic progestin and estrogen, the two major female hormones responsible for ovulation. Ovulation is where the ovaries release one egg every month which can lead to pregnancy if fertilized by sperm.
Combines pills are taken in a cycle every month, and are usually taken 3 weeks or so out of the month, with the other days taken off. Even on days where the woman does not take the pill, she will still have no chance at becoming pregnant.
Some pills cause bleeding every month while others may cause bleeding to be eliminated almost entirely. This is not only dependant on the pills but the woman herself, so some trial and error may be needed to find the correct pill.
One thing people aren’t aware of when it comes to their birth control is that the body needs certain nutrients to help break down or metabolize the pill itself. This includes certain B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. Also remember that your body needs these nutrients to break down each and every pill, and that many of these women taking birth control bills have done so for their entire lives.
This significantly increases the chance of having a nutrient deficiency.
To combat these risks, if you are taking the pill make sure that you are eating a diet rich in there nutrients to help make up the difference.
Birth control pills contain hormones, so it really shouldn’t be too much a surprise to find out that they can have an effect on our mood as well. Taking the pill increases the levels of progesterone and estrogen which is believed to alter responses in the brain leading to moodiness and depression.
Studies have shown that women who take birth control have a higher chance of developing depression and other psychological issues when compared to those who did not.
Estrogen and the development of blood clots as a result has been known for decades now. Studies have shown that as the levels of estrogen doses increase, so does the chance of pulmonary embolism. This is when a blood clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, which can cause death.
Warning signs of blood clots include shortness of breath, chest pain, blood in phlegm, chronic lower leg pain, redness and swelling. Estrogen seems to influence the clotting of blood, so if you have increased levels especially in the case of birth control, be aware of these potential problems.
If these problems seem like enough of a deterrent to avoid birth control altogether, don’t worry as there are plenty of other types of birth control out there. Male condoms for example are 98% effective against preventing pregnancy, almost as effective as birth control itself when used properly.