Side Effects of the Contraceptive Pill

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There have been a number of side effects associated with the contraceptive pill over the last few decades, some of which are true and others that have not been found to be significant. Side effects of the pill are a rarity but there is a chance that you could be affected as any medication has the risk of side effects. They usually occur in the first couple of months after starting the pill and disappear after your body gets used to this influx of hormones.

The most common side effect is nausea. Although the pill should not make you vomit, the nausea can be a pain at times so if it is causing you a lot of trouble, you should tell your GP and look at alternative contraception. Sore breasts are another side effect that is common amongst women as you are adding a continuous stream of hormones into your body that can affect your breasts.

Headaches may occur and these should be reported to your doctor, if they occur more frequently or if they become quite severe. This is potentially a sign of a blood clot so if your headache is out of the ordinary, more severe than usual or is long lasting and causes an aura, inform your doctor.

Some women believe that they gain weight whilst using the pill. The pill itself does not cause an increase in weight gain but rather this gain could be due to fluid retention. The pill can also cause mood changes, which could also contribute to the weight gain. Anxiety or nervousness is a side effect that affects one in ten women on the pill due to these mood changes. The pill may also change your sex drive by increasing or decreasing your libido. Mood changes can also play a part in this change.

There are a few side effects that are extremely rare but lead to more serious risks such as vomiting, high blood pressure, skin disorders or a risk of cervical cancer. For the majority of women, they will not have serious side effects but when you decide to go on the pill, the doctor should explain the risks of the medication to you so that you are aware that there is a possible chance of developing side effects.

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