The pill is one of the most effective methods of birth control, but do you ever consider what you should know about the pill that either your doctor doesn’t tell you, or you have never asked about? Women who take the pill see it is a little miracle and because of that, many of us have never questioned that while it might stop us getting pregnant, some of its other aspects are not so great for us and our bodies. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am still a huge advocate of the pill for birth control. I just think that if we are going to pop a pill every day we should be better informed about the drugs it contains and their effects. Here’s what you should know about the pill to give you food for thought. At the very least, please ask the questions the next time you go for a repeat prescription.
1. You May Be Increasing Your Chances of Developing Certain Types of Cancer
What you should know about the pill is that while it can decrease your risk of getting ovarian cancer, it can also increase your risk of developing breast, cervical or liver cancer. This risk is not high, but still something to consider when opting to go on the pill. The good news is that you can decrease your risk after a ten-year hiatus from birth control pills.
2. Birth Control Pills Are Considered Carcinogens
Who would have ever thought of comparing birth control pills to cigarettes or cigars? But according to the World Health Organization, the pill ranks right up there with tobacco and asbestos in this category.
3. Blood Clots Are a Possible Occurrence
One of the facts about the pill that many women may not realize is that depending on your age and weight, you could be at risk for a blood clot while on it. If you smoke, you can add that to the list of risk factors as well. If you do not have any of these risk factors, but are still concerned, there are genetic tests you can take that can tell you if you have a genetic predisposition to getting blood clots since five percent of Caucasian women have this problem.
4. Newer Does Not Necessarily Mean Better
What you should know about the pill is that drug manufacturers are always coming up with newer versions of them. But this does not mean they are better than what you have been using in the past. One of the problems is that newer pills contain drospirenone (DRSP) which is a synthetic form of progesterone. Studies have shown that there is a greater risk of blood clots with DRSP pills than low-dose estrogen types. Be sure to read the label on your prescription if you are changing to a different version of birth control to make sure that DRSP is not listed.
5. You May Be Depleting Much-needed Vitamin B
If you are on birth control, one of the facts about the pill you should know is that taking it may require you to also take more Vitamin B which is responsible for boosting your memory, reducing your risk of heart disease and reducing stress. Some newer pills are now being made with additional folic acid (also known as Vitamin B9) so that this deficiency is no longer a problem.
6. It Messes with Your Sex Drive and May Affect Who You Find Attractive
One of the not so nice facts about the pill is that it can lower your sex drive by affecting your testosterone levels during your cycle. It also affects the type of guy you are attracted to according to some researchers who claim women taking the pill tend to go after more masculine and macho men rather than the nice, clean-cut type.
7. The Pill is Often Used to Treat Menstrual Symptoms Resulting in Possibly Overtaking the Medicine
Many women experience cramps, severe headaches and pain when they are menstruating. Often, the pill can relieve these symptoms, but it should not be the sole reason for taking it and there is still no concrete evidence on what the long-term effects are of taking the pill for a significant period of time.
8. Your Fertility May Be Greatly Affected
What you should know about the pill is that it tinkers with your cycle to the point that it functions well as long as you are on it. But once you decide to stop taking the pill, your body has to figure things out on its own which can take a long time. And if you are trying to have a baby, it may not happen as quickly as you like.
9. An Increased Risk for a Stroke or Heart Attack
Another one of the not so great facts about the pill is that it can increase your chance of having either a heart attack or a stroke. While the risk is measurably low, it is still something to consider—especially if you are not leading a healthy lifestyle which can make this risk all the greater.
When you know some of the facts about the pill you are much better able to make your choice of birth control method. None of what you should know about the pill should make you throw your arms up in dismay and stop taking it. Discuss ALL the facts with your doctor and choose the best birth control method for you.
Are you on the pill? What’s your experience with it? Is it the best method of birth control?