Birth control pills are considered a safe and effective method for preventing unwanted pregnancy for most women. Women who have been previously diagnosed with heart or liver disease should not take the birth control pill. If you have previously had a blood clot you should consider another form of birth control as it can increase the risk of blood clots.
Common Side Effects
Most medications on the market today have the risk of producing side effects when taken. The birth control pill has side effects as well. These side effects vary from person to person and depend sometimes on which pill you are taking and the dose prescribed.
Some of these side effects can include nausea and vomiting, headaches, acne, bloating, breast tenderness or enlargement, bleeding between periods and decreased sex drive. Another common side effect of birth control pills is weight gain.
Most side effects are mild and can usually be controlled by changing the type or dose of the medication prescribed. They may also subside as your body adjusts to the levels of hormones in the pills, but if they persist or become worse you should contact your physician to determine if a change is necessary.
Serious Side Effects
Birth control pills can also cause more serious side effects, especially in women over 35, women who smoke and for those who have taken them for long periods of time.
Some more serious side effects include abdominal pain, chest pain, severe headaches, swelling in the lower extremities, blurred vision. If you experience any of these symptoms notify your doctor immediately as they could develop into life threatening emergencies.
Life threatening effects such as blood clots, stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease and heart attack are also possible. All of these side effects are life threatening and you should notify your physician and go to the hospital emergency room for evaluation.
Birth Control Pills and Other Drug Interactions
When taking birth control pills some medications can interfere with the effectiveness of the pill. For example, taking certain antibiotics can make the pill completely not work. Other medications can be affected by the hormones in the pill. You should always ask your doctor or pharmacists about possible drug interactions of the birth control pill that you take with any medication, either prescription or over the counter before taking them.