Whether you want to go on the pill to help control your period, help with acne or weight problems, or simply to make sure you won’t get pregnant going on birth control is a big decision in a young woman’s life. With this decision comes a lot of thought. By putting hormones in your body, you can change the way it works. The biggest question on most people’s minds is can it affect one’s mood?
Although you are putting hormones into your body, these hormones cannot be directly linked to depression or any types of mood swings. There are conflicting studies on the topic as there is some data showing that birth control can cause depressive states. The biggest issue is that the two most common types of hormones (estrogen and progestin) that are in birth control can cause change in someone’s mood. Estrogen is a mood upper whereas progestin can cause some fluctuations in your mood. This isn’t something to be worried about as the change in mood can be minimal. It’s important to take note whether or not you are feeling signs of depression or mood swings prior to taking birth control, or if your mood generally increases when you go off of it.
Even though people can be most concerned with mood swings when starting birth control, there are several other side effects to consider. One of the most popular methods of birth control is “the pill”, also known as the hormonal method. The following “negative” side effects are those found when women use this method.
This is a normal reaction to taking a new pill. The estrogen levels in the pill can cause irritation of the lining of your stomach, giving you that not-so-great feeling. An easy way try and solve the problem is to take the pill with food. If the nausea doesn’t go away, talk to your doctor about switching pills.
This is one of the most common side effects when switching birth controls, but it usually goes away after a little while. If it doesn’t go away, or the constant mid-month surprise is bothering you, talk to your doctor about changing to a new pill.
Much like mood swings, hormones can definitely change the way your body takes on and puts off weight. Research on the matter shows that women using hormonal methods have gained weight, but not a large amount. This should not be a cause of concern though, as with puberty and growing up in general, your body is going to change with or without the help of more hormones. If you do not want to chance gaining any weight, try a non-hormonal method.
It may be scary to think that you’re taking something that could increase your chance of a blood clot, but when faced with the numbers the chances aren’t that bad. Birth control triples your chances of getting a blood clot, whereas being pregnant and delivering the child actually increases the chance 5-10 times. As long as you’re keeping your heart healthy, through things such as not smoking, your chances for a blood clot are slim.
Thankfully, with some negatives come a lot of positives. There are many advantages to going on the pill, besides the obvious of lowering your chances of getting pregnant. The following are some benefits women found when taking the pill.
Helps with Cramping
One of the first PMS symptoms that comes to mind when one thinks about periods is cramping. During your period your body creates an influx of the chemical prostaglandin to help shed the uterine lining. When you take the pill, it helps reduce the creation of prostaglandin, thus making your cramping a lot less painful.
Reduces Cancer Risk
With all medications come certain risks. With birth control, some risks are actually lowered. When taking an oral contraceptive, your risk of getting ovarian and endometrial cancer is actually decreased by over 50%. It’s not 100% clear why this is the case, but one of the reasons why the risk for ovarian cancer is lowered is due to your body not ovulating as much as someone who is not on the pill.
Can Decrease Acne
Sometimes people decide to go on the pill for reasons besides being sexually active. One of these reasons includes helping control acne. The medication inside an oral contraceptive helps control the testosterone levels in your body, thus making breakouts less frequent.
Regulating Your Period
Periods can differ from one person to another, but the important thing is that yours feels regular by your standards. If your period goes on for longer than seven days over the course of a year, or your bleeding is very heavy, maybe you could consider going on the pill to help. By taking the pill you are getting the hormones in your body that can help regulate your period so that it’s comfortable every month. Although this may be an option, make sure to bring it up to your doctor to ensure you do not have an underlying problem.
Remember, the first type of birth control you go on may not be the right one. If your birth control doesn’t work or doesn’t agree with your body after the first while talk to your doctor. It may take a few different brands or types, but you can find the right one.