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The other side of birth control

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

¿Have you ever heard about side effects?

First, let's clear up what that means. A side effect is an unpleasant reaction, in addition to the main effect, that comes in after you consume a medication but it's ok, don’t worry, every pill we take, even the more simple one has side effects. Now, having cleared this up, is really important that we understand the side effects of our birth control methods, each one has at least one (not including fertility awareness) and that’s why if we are going to start using birth control, or change the method we are currently on, it is necessary to consult our doctor. In medicine, every patient is a different world, so it's important to know their personal information such as underlying diseases, family background, highlighting the gynecological obstetric history, and even what method is comfortable for that specific individual.

Types of Birth Control

¿Why is this important?

Well, according to the specific information about the patient, the risk of side effects could increase depending on the type of birth control you're taking. As well as side effects for each specific individual, all methods have their own added symptoms, and they could be classified as simple, moderated and severe side effects, or common and uncommon symptoms. Here are some examples of common or simple reactions you can have depending on the birth control you're taking:

Long-acting reversible contraception, such as the implant or intrauterine device (IUD)

  • Irregular bleeding, which can improve after months

  • Symptoms like headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, acne, mood changes, cramps or pelvic pain

Hormonal contraception, such as the pill or the Depo Provera injection

  • Decreased libido

  • Vaginal discharge

  • Hot flashes

Barrier methods, such as condoms

  • Latex allergy

Emergency contraception

  • Fatigue

  • Abdominal pain

  • Menstrual changes

Permanent contraception, such as tubal ligation

  • Damage to the bowel

  • Reaction to anesthesia


Other more serious but more uncommon symptoms can include blood clots in the legs, heart attack and strokes (especially if you smoke), liver disorders, and gallbladder diseases.


Always, talk to your doctor

In conclusion, it is necessary for us as women to get to know our bodies and be aware of any physical, emotional, and physiological changes because no one knows you better than YOU! In addition to this, we have to take the time to check and understand the symptoms being caused by our birth control and remember, if you have any concerns and/or non-usual side effects, consult your physician before making any decisions.


Camila Quintero

Adira advisor, last year medicine student interested in women’s wellness and promoter of a healthy lifestyle. You can find more of her content on @karantina_col where you'll find recipes and tips to a better wellbeing.


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