Birth control pills are not as safe as we think they are. Here’s why

Before you pop that pill, let us tell you that birth control pills can do more harm than good to your body.
Are birth control pills. the only treatment for PCOD? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 13 Oct 2023, 01:24 pm IST
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It is generally believed that hormonal birth control pills primarily serve just one function: to prevent unwanted pregnancy. After all, don’t all advertisements point towards this conclusion? No doubt, birth control pills give women a choice as to when, and if at all, they want to bring a life into the world. You might choose to delay pregnancy or abstain from it completely–and birth control pills allow you to do so. 

That said, while most women use these pills for birth control–many also consume them to treat menstruation-related issues like PCOD and PCOS. But all of this comes at a cost. Since these pills play around with your hormones, they tend to have their own set of side effects.

So why not reinvent our relationship with these birth control pills in 2020? But before you get down to that, let’s understand just how bad birth control pills are for your body:

1. Birth control pills can mess up your cardiac health
A study, published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine points out that some birth control pill users develop severe, even life-threatening hypertension and the hypertensive effects after the pills are discontinued. This makes dwindling cardiac health a long-term side effects of birth control pills.

A separate research by American Physiological Society also suggests that long-term oestrogen exposure generates superoxide–which causes stress in the body, leading to an increase in blood pressure.

2. It has a love-hate relationship with your skin
Birth control pills have a two-fold effect on the human skin. While some studies have found that oral contraceptives reduce acne, others suggest that a surge of hormones from the pills can cause acne.

Also, read: 8 things that happen to your body when you stop taking birth control pills

3. Naturally, it also affects the reproductive system
Menstruation issues, vaginal irritation, spotting between periods, tender breasts, and changes in sex drive are the most side effects of taking birth control pills. In fact, a study by the University of Vermont in US found that one of the most commonly reported side effects with continued use of oral contraceptive pills is uterine bleeding.

Also, read: RED alert! Taking period-delaying pills can royally screw up your menstrual cycle

4. It also takes a toll on your central nervous system
You may take acne and low libido lightly while you’re on the pill, but it might be difficult for you to ignore this piece of research.

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birth control pill
Those birth control pills might end up giving you migraine. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A 2018 study, published in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, highlighted that the differing levels of oestrogen, triggered by birth control pills, gave the female subjects migraines. The study suggests this is because sex hormones affect cells around the trigeminal nerve and connected blood vessels in the head.

5. It can also f**k up your digestive system
Many times women who take birth control pills notice a change in their appetite and weight. Not only does it seemingly facilitate weight gain–but it also leads to nausea and bloating.

However, despite several studies connecting the dots between the same, researchers have come to the conclusion that in the weeks after commencing a course of birth control pills, weight gain is actually due to water retention and not fat.

In the end
Now that you know what birth control pills can do to your body, it’s time to make an informed choice. Consult for gynaecologist about other contraceptive measures that you can take and if you can, break up with birth control pills in 2020.

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