Hormonal Birth Control: Benefits, Risks, And Safer Alternatives

hormonal birth control

Hormonal Birth Control

Women use hormonal birth control pills to prevent unwanted pregnancy. In a world where the expenses are continually rising, it is a blessing that we have simple options like this to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Apart from this one merit, the hormonal birth control pills offer some other benefits too as listed below:

  • These birth control pills help to reduce bleeding in women who have heavy periods.
  • The birth control pills are also known to effectively reduce menstrual acne that is common in some women.
  • These birth control pills have given many women the option to choose when they bleed.

While there are many benefits associated with the use of birth control pills, like all other medicines, they too have certain side effects. It is necessary to understand these side effects and choose these medicines only if the merits are more than drawbacks. We have listed out the most common side effects of the medicine for your knowledge and reference.

1. How Pills Affect The Mind?

Most women undergo mood fluctuations during their menstrual cycles as a result of a change in hormones. When this occurs naturally, it happens within permissible limits. However, when you are consuming the birth control tablets too, there can be certain ways the mind reacts to the hormonal changes.

Here we have listed these out:

  • Mood swings are a common side effect when you first start on the hormonal birth control pills.
  • Some women may also face anxiety issues.
  • In rare cases, women may face depression and memory-related issues. In such situations, you need to consult your doctor and consider taking alternate birth control pills.

2. How The Pills Affect Blood Circulation?

In Ayurveda, the stomach is termed as the second brain because the stomach is where all the food is processed. The energy or blood circulation to the different parts of the body will depend greatly on the blood or energy received by the brain. Unless the stomach processes the food and sends energy to the brain, the remaining circulation won’t happen properly. This implies that any medication you consume will first affect the digestive health and circulation of blood in the body.

When you start taking birth control pills, there could be a direct impact on your digestive health and may result in appetite changes. Your appetite may increase or reduce when you start taking the pills. The situation may normalize as your body gets used to the pill. You may also face digestive health issues like nausea and discomfort in the stomach when you start on birth control pills. This will also normalize as the body gets used to the pills.

3. Health Benefits

Surely, there are some benefits offered by hormonal birth control. That is the reason why these are preferred by women as a health control measure. Before ruling out the use of birth control tablets for preventing pregnancy, you need to be aware of the different health benefits of birth control pills.

Here we have listed these out:

  • It is revealed that the use of hormonal birth control pills reduces the risk of certain types of cancers.
  • Discomfort related to periods such as menstrual cramps, swelling, and irritation is reduced when you are on hormonal birth control pills.
  • In some people, hormonal birth control medicines reduce the occurrence of menstrual acne.

4. Risks

Understanding the health risks of birth control pills will help you make a wise choice.

Here we have listed out some common health risks of using birth control pills:

  • Hormonal birth control pills could cause weight fluctuations in some women.
  • Migraines and headaches are some possible side effects of birth control pills.
  • The chances of high blood pressure are increased when you are using hormonal birth control pills.
  • Alterations in hair growth may also be caused because of birth control pills causing an increase or reduction in overall hair growth.
  • Breast tenderness and enlargement are other possible side effects of using birth control pills.

5. Safer Alternatives

There are many different types of birth control options available to women these days. You may have to try out the different options before selecting the most suitable option for your body. Here are some of the common ways to prevent unwanted pregnancy:

5.1. Abstinence

Abstinence or staying away from intercourse is the safest way to prevent pregnancy but it is not always a practical solution.

5.2. Female Condoms

Female condoms are similar to sheaths with one end closed to cover the cervix and the other end open to allow the male organ to penetrate. These help to prevent pregnancy but should not be used by a woman when her partner is also using a condom.

5.3. Pills (Oral Contraceptives)

These are tablets to be consumed by women who wish to avoid pregnancy. These could either be combination pills that contain both oestrogen and progestin or it could mini pill containing just progestin.

5.4. Contraceptive Patches

Patches also contain the hormones oestrogen and progestin but they must be placed on the skin and should be replaced on a weekly basis.

5.5. Birth Control Shots

Birth control shots are provided to women once in 3 months and they contain just progestin. Research reveals that the effect of the shot may last even up to one year.

5.6. Intra-Uterine Device

IUD (Intra-Uterine Device) is one of the long-term birth control options used by women when they wish to prevent pregnancy for long. These are of two types. The first is copper IUD that is a T shaped device with copper plating that is inserted into the vagina.

Copper metal prevents pregnancy from happening. These may last for 10 years or more. The other variant is hormonal IUD that emits hormones into the body at regular intervals. These take around a week to get activated. The hormonal IUDs need to be replaced after 5 years or so and, compared to copper IUDs, have a shorter life.

It is necessary to weigh the pros against the cons of each birth control method before selecting the apt birth control method for your body. It would be great if you consult a doctor and seek his advice regarding the best birth control option for you.