Lots of women take a birth control pill for obvious reasons. But like any pill, there are side effects that can affect your choice on whether to take it or not.
Deciding to take birth control pills as contraception is a personal choice. Some women can’t stand them and others are all about them. Men, while unaffected, have their opinions, too.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, here are 5 things about the pill you might not have known but may like to:
1) It Might Affect a Woman’s Sex Drive
For some women, the pill can kill their sex drive. Not everyone is affected by this side effect, but since taking birth control pills reduces the amount of testosterone circulating in a woman’s body, as a result, some feel less horny.
In a review done in 2013 and published in the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, 15% of women taking birth control pills noticed this decrease.
So, it might not be him, her or you- but just the pill!
2) It Can Make a Woman Feel Like She’ Gained Weight, Even if She Hasn’t
Studies have shown that taking the pill doesn’t actually cause much weight gain if any, contrary to what many women feel.
But the pill CAN make a person retain more water, which pretty much feels the same. The estrogen in birth control pills affects fat cells, making them bigger…but not more numerous.
So, it’s true: those jeans could feel considerably tighter.
3) It Can Raise Cholesterol Levels
The Mayo Clinic states that the changes in cholesterol levels that the pill enacts on the body are small and don’t actually impact overall health. But the pill does alter a woman’s levels-it all depends on how much estrogen or progestin the pills being taken contain.
4) If a Woman is Over 35 and She Smokes, She Probably Shouldn’t Take It
Doctors recommend that women over the age of 35 who smoke turn to another method for their birth control. Individuals taking birth control pills in this category are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
5) It’s Possible to Take Birth Control Pills To Help With Iron Deficiency
Birth control pills come in different varieties. If a woman takes the pill as part of an extended or continuous cycle regime – ie, she takes active hormone pills every day for a year- she can stop all menstrual bleeding.
This has various side effects, including the fact that the taker now has a smaller chance of developing an iron deficiency, as the body isn’t losing as much blood. Win!