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Birth control pills: Side-effects and usage

Birth control pills

Intermenstrual spotting, nausea, breast pain, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, missed periods, reduced libido, vaginal discharge, and visual changes with contact lenses are all common adverse effects of oral contraceptives.
Dr Amita Shah will guide you best on how to use contraceptives and avoid any adverse effects of birth control pills. She is available at Global Women’s Clinic in Palam Vihar, Gurugram.


use contraceptives

Intermenstrual spotting

Approximately half of all pill users suffer vaginal bleeding between predicted periods, also known as breakthrough bleeding, most typically during the first three months of using the pill. In most situations, by the third pill pack, this has been resolved.
The tablet is still effective during spotting as long as it is taken carefully and no doses are missed. People who have 5 or more days of bleeding while taking active tablets, or severe bleeding for 3 or more days, should seek medical treatment.
Intermenstrual spotting may occur as a result of the uterus adapting to a thinner endometrial lining or as a result of the body adjusting to altered hormone levels.


Some individuals suffer slight nausea when they initially start taking the tablet, but the symptoms normally go away within a few days. Taking the tablet with meals or before night might help reduce nausea. Anyone who has chronic or severe nausea should seek medical attention.

Breast discomfort

Breast enlargement or soreness may be caused by birth control medications. This adverse effect usually goes away a few weeks after beginning the pill, but anybody who discovers a lump in their breast has chronic discomfort or tenderness or has severe breast pain should seek medical attention.
Caffeine and salt reduction, as well as using a supportive bra, may help reduce breast soreness.

reduce breast soreness, Birth control pills


Some individuals encounter “the pill’s” negative effects, such as irregular periods, nausea, migraines, or weight gain.
Sex hormones influence the development of headaches and migraines. Hormone pills of various sorts and dosages may cause a variety of headache symptoms. Some studies have previously shown that medications containing modest levels of hormones are less likely to cause headaches.
The symptoms of a headache are likely to improve with time. Anyone who develops new headaches while taking the medication should seek medical assistance.

Gain in body weight

Clinical investigations have revealed no consistent link between birth control pill usage and weight changes. However, many individuals who take the tablet notice some fluid retention, particularly in the breast and hip regions.
The oestrogen in birth control tablets may similarly alter fat cells, albeit the hormone causes the cells to become bigger rather than more numerous.

Mood swings

People who have a history of depression should talk to their doctor about it since some people develop sadness or other emotional changes while taking the drug. Anyone suffering mood swings while taking pills should consult their doctor.
A 2015 research of 90 women published in Human Mapping discovered that using the birth control pill was related to lower cortical thickness measures in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex. These brain regions are associated with reward response and evaluating incoming stimuli.
The study’s authors state that further research is needed to determine whether or not there is a link between cortical thinning in certain regions of the brain, mood changes, and birth control pill usage.

Missed Periods

Despite careful pill administration, a period may be skipped or missed at times. Stress, sickness, travel, and hormonal or thyroid problems may all have an impact on this.
If a period is lost or extremely light while on the pill, a pregnancy test is advised before taking the following pack of pills; if future periods are missed or very light, seek medical help.

Reduced libido

Some people’s sex drive (libido) may be affected by the hormone(s) in the contraceptive pill. Many additional causes, however, might lead to a decline in libido. If the reduced libido continues and is troublesome, it should be handled with a physician.
However, in rare cases, the birth control pill might boost libido. This rise might be attributed to the alleviation of uncomfortable symptoms such as menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.

Vaginal discharge

When using the pill, some individuals notice changes in their vaginal discharge. This may include changes in vaginal lubrication, changes in the type of discharge, and changes that might disrupt sexual intercourse. If vaginal lubrication is diminishing, more lubrication may be used to make intercourse more pleasant.
Changes in vaginal discharge are usually not dangerous. Anyone worried about such changes, especially those who suspect an infection, should consult with their doctor.

Precautions and risks associated with taking the pill

Combination medicines can raise the chance of cardiovascular adverse effects such as heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. People with a history of blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes should avoid using the combined birth control pill.
Blood clots are uncommon, but anybody with a history of blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes should avoid taking the combination birth control pill and consult with their doctor about an alternate strategy.
It’s also worth noting that an unwanted pregnancy has its own set of complications. The experts advise avoiding using combo tablets in women over the age of 35 who smoke. Obesity and a family history of heart disease are two more risk factors for blood clots.
Hormonal contraceptives should not be used if you have a personal history of liver or heart illness, uterine or breast cancer, uncontrolled blood pressure, or headaches with an aura. Combination tablets containing drospirenone, a synthetic progesterone, may increase the risk of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

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Ankush Gaur
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Geeta Upadhyay
Geeta Upadhyay
I would highly recommend Dr Amita Shah to anyone in need of a gynaecologist. She is incredibly professional and always takes care of her patients. I have never had an issue with her and she has always been very responsive to my needs. I would definitely recommend her to anyone in need of a gynaecologist!
Sandeep Ranga
Sandeep Ranga
I had been suffering from severe pain and heavy bleeding for so many years.My ultrasound showed a large cyst in the uterus .All doctors had advised open surgery but Dr Amita Shah advised Laparoscopic surgery.Surgery was very smooth,I had no pain and my recovery was very fast.I am very thankful to Dr Amita Shah.She is a very skilled surgeon and very polite and gentle with her patients.Highly recommended for Laparoscopic surgery.
I have made all the pregnancy visits to Dr. Amita Shah, and my end-to-end experience with her has been wonderful. I was someone who was absolutely terrified of needles, but with Dr. Amita Shah's constant guidance and good consultation, I could overcome a lot of my stress and worries related to delivery as well as during the pregnancy phase. Both the doctor and her clinic staff are helpful and amiable. She was all ears when it came to even the tiniest of details and issues, listened calmly and resolved all my issues. She was also constantly available via phone and WhatsApp to clear any doubts that popped up in my head in addition to the in-clinic visits where she eased my mind and resolved plenty of my concerns. At the time of my delivery, she offered complete mental support and her presence itself offered calmness to me. I highly recommend Dr. Amita Shah for her professionalism, empathy and supportive attitude. By God's grace, we are blessed with a baby girl in December, and I have been on the path to a smooth and fast recovery since then.
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My end to end experience with Dr. Amita Shah has been very amazing. I found her trustworthy in the very first visit. The medications very limited and She handled the emergency of water break very diligently and ensured safe delivery of my baby. She is calm, positive and considerate and will make your pregnancy journey beautifuI with no stress. I highly recommend Dr Amita Shah.
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Our experience with Dr Amita mam and her clinical expertise has been fabulous. Her staff, Ms Komal and Ms. Ashu are very kind and cooperative. Dr. Amita operated on my mother with such finnese. Explained each and every step in detail. She is a very good gynaecologist. Happy we found her to treat my mom.