Taking any type of hormonal birth control brings an inherent risk of side effects. While some may fade over time, others are clear indicators that you should investigate other options. Below are some common side effects of hormonal birth control and information on which could be cause for alarm.
- Headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness- These side effects should fade over time. If they remain at the same intensity after three months, consult with your doctor about alternatives.
- Breakthrough bleeding- This symptom may never go away, even if you diligently take your birth control pill at the same time daily. While it is not cause for concern, it is most definitely frustrating and inconvenient.
- Decreased libido- For some women, synthetic estrogen increases their levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This protein binds to testosterone and makes it less available for the body’s use. The result is lowered sexual desire, subdued orgasms, and possibly pain during sex. Even worse, SHBG levels can remain high in the bloodstream for months after going off the pill.
- Mood swings- The hormones in birth control pills can cause some to become clinically depressed. In fact, those with a history of depression would be advised to avoid hormonal birth control completely.
- Your body composition-While the pill will not make you gain weight, a 2009 study conducted at Texas A&M University showed that it can decrease your muscle tissue. Comparing a group of 73 women on a weight training program, researchers found those on the pill built 60 percent less lean muscle, had lower levels of muscle building hormones, and had higher levels of hormones that break down muscle tissue.
Those seeking an alternative to hormonal birth control should consider Lady-Comp, an easy-to-use system that can predict your fertile days based on your daily morning body temperature and information you input. To learn more about Lady-Comp, please call 1-877-925-LADY.