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Side-effects of Birth Control

Updated at: Jan 10, 2014
Written by: Pratima SharmaPublished at: Nov 09, 2011
Side-effects of Birth Control

Contraception - Sterilisation, birth control shots, pills and barrier are some contraceptive methods that can have serious side effects.

Side effects of birth control

Birth control refers to the measures employed to prevent fertilisation and pregnancy.  Though most of them are safe, some can have adverse effects too.  There can be numerous side-effects of birth control which can lead to serious repercussions, if not treated in time.


Side-effects of Birth Control


  • Birth Control pills: If these pills are taken over a long time, you may experience ‘ACHES’ i.e. abdominal and chest pain, headaches, eye problems and swelling in thighs and legs. Occasionally, you might experience acne breakouts, breast tenderness, weight gain and mood swings too. Smoking while on these pills, can increase the risk of blood clots.
  • Barrier Protection: Use of condoms, diaphragm, contraceptive sponge and cervical cap prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Latex condoms however, can cause allergies to some. Some women get urinary tract infections due to these methods.
  • Birth control patch or implants: This is another hormonal method in which the hormone reaches the bloodstream through a small patch put on the skin of the arm, stomach or chest. The side-effects are quite similar to what is experienced due to pills i.e. breast tenderness, depression, weight gain, and abdominal pain.
  • Vaginal contraceptive ring: This is a ring inserted into the vagina for a period of about 3 weeks. It can lead to problems during sex, increase in vaginal discharge, yeast infection risk, headaches, spotting and nausea. Smoking increases the risk of blood clots.
  • Birth control shots: These are hormonal injections which are effective for three months. Side-effects include changes in menstrual cycle, headaches, spotting, fluid retention, weight gain and mood swings.
  • Intra-uterine Devices (IUDs): Side-effects due to birth control are not too many in this method but some women may experience pain and cramping after the insertion of an IUD. Spotting and irregular periods can also occur, added to an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Sterilisation: These are surgical procedures which can be either for the male or the female. Pain and discomfort might be experienced initially, similar to any surgery. There might be a risk of ectopic pregnancy involved too.


Read more articles on Contraception




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