The following side effects listed are from e medicine health.
- Breast tenderness
- Low libido (sexual desire)
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
Now none of the side effects sound good or fun or enjoyable…but rarely are they discussed with much seriousness with a patient and her provider. Why? In my case, and in my opinion, many times women are prescribed hormonal birth control because “that’s just what we do”. I went on birth control for the first time when I was 16 thinking they would help with period cramps…which they did. But I was not prepared for what they would do emotionally or physiologically.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
**I am not a medical professional, and I am not trying to help diagnose or cure anyone. Simply sharing my experience that may help other women.**
Hormonal birth control made me a completely different person. I suffered from constant headaches and honestly I was overly emotional. I thought at times I was crazy…overreacting to normal, every day things. When the doctor tried to switch me to a lower dosage pill I had almost continual breakthrough bleeding because the hormone levels weren’t high enough.
So I didn’t feel (and really wasn’t) myself, and I basically had a never ending period. It wasn’t until we decided to have a baby that I stopped taking birth control. Pregnancy and breastfeeding aside…when I stopped the mini pill again because of side effects I felt (for the first time in my adult life)normal! But then I got pregnant with baby #2. I went through the mini pill deal again while breastfeeding him and during my husband’s deployment told him I wasn’t going to take birth control any more because I was tired of having to put an unnatural chemical into my body to control normal, natural bodily functions.
MEN CAN’T DEAL
So if you didn’t know, researchers began testing a hormonal birth control given to men through injections every eight weeks. You can read more about it through this CNN article. Researchers were forced to stop the testing early because the men experienced negative side effects: mood swings and depression. Hmmmm…Sounds familiar. Yet women, since 1962 have subjected themselves to that plus so much more all in the name of not getting pregnant!
HOW TO EFFECTIVELY PREVENT PREGNACNY
As you can see by our family photos..
We did not successfully use any form of birth control to prevent pregnancy. But that’s okay, we love each of our children.
Of course the most effective way to avoid pregnancy would be to abstain from sex. But there are many forms of birth control that DO work relatively well. Know your options. The most effective option after abstinence and hormonal methods would be a vasectomy. Yes, even before female sterilization. (And that often comes with some side effects doctors seem to gloss over. I’m not trying to vilify doctors, but it amazes me how many women complain of side effects of getting their tubes tied…and they’re kind of unpleasant, that their doctors never discussed. Plus, if you DO get pregnant, it can be dangerous for both you AND the baby.) You can read the top FIVE most effective ways to prevent pregnancy here. If you’re planning to breastfeed exclusively, then you may be able to use that as birth control if you follow a strict protocol. Keep in mind, for the purpose of what’s best for me and probably a lot of other women, I’m avoiding hormonal methods.
LIVING YOUR HEALTHIEST LIFE
Sometimes we can’t avoid prescription medication, and if you’re doctor has put you on any type of medication, including hormonal birth control (this would include pills, mini pills, injections, hormonal IUD, and vaginal ring) please do not stop taking your medication unless directed to do so by your doctor. But if you don’t feel yourself, or you’ve struggled with any of the side effects listed throughout this blog, please talk to your medical provider. There are other options for you.
I try to live my healthiest life, and if you’re a woman who wants to live hers but needs some help, I’m here for you. Contact me today and see if you’re a good candidate for personal training and/or nutrition coaching.
Until next time…