When you do some research on birth control, there’s always a long list of side effects that range from occasional headaches to hair loss. It’s really hard to know what the most common side effect of birth control is – it varies per method and per woman.
Here are some common listed side effects:
- Changes to your period or spotting – this can be shorter cycles, longer cycles, your periods stop completely, become heavier, or you have spotting in between your periods. They key here is to keep an eye on your cycle and your periods and to contact a medical professional in case you’re not sure about the impact of the changes on your body
- Nausea – Some women experience a sick feeling when starting with hormonal birth control.
- Tenderness or soreness in the breasts – There can be many reasons for sore breasts; including your caffeine and salt intake, but also the hormones in your birth control can be a cause.
- Headaches – Another side effect to keep an eye on if you’re on birth control. There can be many causes.
- Mood swings or changes to your mood – There are studies that link an increased risk of depression with certain hormonal birth control methods. This is another effect that you could track in an app and should discuss with your doctor.
- Decreased sex drive – Some women report that their libido is significantly reduced while on hormonal birth control. That’s not the case for all women, but it is a common complaint.
- Weight gain – Some women attribute weight gain to their use of birth control. Again, this is something we recommend you talk to your doctor about.
- Changes to your vaginal discharge – These changes are usually not harmful, but if your discharge has changed colour or odour, you may have an infection that you should get checked out. Other changes reported from women on birth control are related to an increase or a decrease in discharge, the latter can result in vaginal irritation or dryness.
With any birth control side effects, you should always discuss them with your gynecologist or doctor.