Do you or someone you know take birth control pills? According to the CDC, about 15% of women ages 15-49 currently take the pill as a form of birth control. Birth control pills – often referred to as “the pill,” are medications designed to alter the hormones that affect ovulation and, as a result, fertility. So how does the pill affect your body? Here are some physical, emotional, and other changes you can expect from birth control.
What is The Pill?
The Pill refers to birth control pills taken daily to prevent ovulation. Ovulation is the release of an egg from an ovary, which typically happens every month around the same time. Birth control pills work by adjusting the hormonal levels in your body.
How It Works
The hormones in birth control pills prevent pregnancy in a few ways. The first and main goal of hormonal birth control is to prevent ovulation, so your ovaries will not release an (ovum) egg, thus preventing pregnancy from occurring. The second way it works is by stopping fertilization if the ovaries release an egg. It does this by causing a thickening of the cervical fluid, making it difficult for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg. The third-way hormonal birth control works are by stopping the implantation of an already fertilized egg. The medication works by weakening the uterine lining, so the fertilized egg cannot implant properly in the lining of your uterus, thereby stopping the pregnancy from continuing.
Even though birth control is commonly prescribed, risk factors still come into play with its use. For example, birth control pill users are at higher risk for blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These are dangerous conditions and can be life-threatening if not treated early. Other risk factors include:
-High blood pressure
-Cervical or breast cancer
The Pill Side Effects
In addition to these more severe risk factors, there are other side effects to consider. It is important when it comes to your future fertility that you are aware that birth control pills affect your natural hormone levels, and it can take a long time for them to regulate after you stop taking the pill. If you want to get pregnant now or in the future, it’s essential to keep that in mind. Other side effects from this medication can include:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Trouble falling and staying asleep
- Libido changes
Understanding the risk factors and side effects of birth control is important. While birth control pills work to prevent pregnancy, you might not expect some of the effects that come along with these pills. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that artificial hormones affect your body in many ways. You are altering your natural hormonal balance every time you take the pill. This is the main way that birth control pills affect your body. If you want more natural birth control alternatives to the pill, you can consider tracking your basal body temperature,
cervical fluid changes, and measuring your hormones before ovulation.
If you are concerned you may be pregnant or have questions about how birth control pills affect your body; please get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation. A medical team member can provide you with information and guidance in a confidential setting.