There are a dizzying number of ways that you can prevent an unplanned pregnancy, and you’re thrilled to have settled on one that best suited your needs and your lifestyle — the birth control pill.
Unfortunately, you’re now experiencing some side effects that are making you regret your choice, and you want to know whether you should ditch this family planning method in favor of a different one.
To help with your decision making, the team here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley, under the capable direction of Dr. Fernando Otero, wants to provide you with some points to think about when considering birth control.
Why the pill can be problematic
With this family planning technique, you take a daily pill that regulates the levels of reproductive hormones in your body, namely estrogen and progestin, to prevent ovulation. While highly effective — the pill boasts an efficacy rating of 93% — some women don’t respond well to this hormonal approach.
To give you an idea, here are some of the side effects that women can face when they take the birth control pill:
- Breast tenderness and/or enlargement
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Decreased libido
- Vaginal discharge
Many women can use hormonal birth controls without issue, but some don't tolerate the hormonal controls as well.
If you’re having side effects from your birth control medication, we want you to consider a few points.
First, if it’s only been a few months, these side effects might subside once your body adjusts to the hormonal medications. So, you might try waiting to see if the side effects improve.
As well, weigh your side effects against the protection you’re receiving. For example, if you experience mild nausea when you take your pill, try taking your pill with food, which usually helps. This way you can still benefit from the pill while also managing the side effects.
If, however, your side effects are persistent and strong, it might be time to change your birth control method.
Nonhormonal birth control methods
Since your side effects stem from tinkering with your hormones, it’s a good idea to explore nonhormonal birth control methods, which include:
- Copper IUD
- Cervical cap
- Fertility awareness
We’ve listed these in order of protection — the copper IUD offers a 99% efficacy rating while fertility awareness and pulling out drop to about 77-78%.
Of course, we’re here to help you sift through these choices and provide more efficacy ratings so you can find a birth control that fits your lifestyle and goals.
If you're struggling with side effects from your birth control pill and want to explore your options, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to schedule an appointment.