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Things You Didn't Know About Birth Control Pills

Written and reviewed by
MD - Psychiatry, Diploma in Psychological Medicine, MBBS
Sexologist, Mumbai  •  14years experience
Things You Didn't Know About Birth Control Pills

The birth control pill is one of the best inventions in the medical field. At the same time, it has been misused and abused also. Whether it is to avoid pregnancy or to fight other hormonal issues like ovarian cysts or even severe acne, birth control pills are used extensively for purposes beyond what they were originally meant for. There are a lot of hidden facts about the oral contraceptive pills (OCP) or the birth control pills (BCP). Read on to know more!

  1. Plays with your mood: So, if you have experienced PMS, this is not new to you. Remember that chemically speaking, the BCP or OCP is just a dose of hormones. Therefore, it is very natural for a woman to have mood changes when taking the pills. You may experience anxiety and the irritability which sometimes can be hard to deal with.
  2. Affects sex life: It affects your sex life in multiple ways – reduces libido, shrinks the clitoris, and causes vaginal dryness due to the excessive hormones. All this, in effects, spells less sex, at least less enjoyable sex.
  3. Intestinal damage: The pill alters the normal bacteria present in the stomach. These bacteria are essential for the proper digestion and absorption of foods including vitamin B12, B6, B2, and C. Minerals like selenium, zinc, magnesium are also not properly absorbed. Therefore, the woman taking these over a long term can have these nutritional deficiencies. They are also more prone to develop stomach infections.
  4. Increased blood pressure: The pill causes increased blood pressure by constriction of the blood vessels. This in turn can lead to various other conditions like migraines, visual disturbances, increased risk of stroke, etc. Studies have suggested that the risk of BP increase is higher when the woman is also a smoker.
  5. Cancer connection: The OCP when regularly used can also cause cancer of the lungs, liver, ovaries, uterus, and endometrium. The estrogen level is constantly on the higher side, which in some cases can lead to cervical cancer. A woman taking OCP for 5 years or more should get evaluated for cervical cancer regularly.
  6. Beneficial too: For women in their early 40s who are not yet into menopause, taking the BCP under supervision can help in controlling symptoms like hot flashes and irregular bleeding.
  7. Other medicines interactions: If you are taking other medications, then talk to your doctor before popping that pill repeatedly. Antibiotics, antidepressants, and medical supplements should be discussed with your doctor before taking the pill.

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