Scroll Down To Continue

15 Best (and 15 Worst) Effects of Birth Control

Good: Reduced Risk of Pregnancy

This was the original reason that birth control was created. It helps women prevent pregnancy and allows them to control their own lives. When they’re ready for children, they can always quit taking the medicine. Studies have proven that women who quit the pill aren’t less likely to have children afterward. In fact, 21% of the women in the study were pregnant within a month and 79% within a year.

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Headaches at First

Birth control has hormones, which is how it changes your menstrual cycle. The change in hormones can cause headaches and migraines. Low dose birth control is often used to reduce the risk of headaches when adjusting to the new medication.

Good: Fewer Acne Issues

Women produce testosterone like men, although it’s in much smaller amounts. Rather than changing your voice, you produce more oil, which causes breakouts. Birth control decreases testosterone in the body and helps improve acne.

Bad: Slight Nausea

Some people experience mild nausea when taking their first pill. While most symptoms usually subside after a month or so, some women may experience nausea for longer than three months. A low dose pill often helps with this issue.

Good: Eases Symptoms of PMS

Once your body grows used to the hormones, PMS symptoms often become less severe. Most often, this includes mood swings and fatigue. It can also help women who suffer from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD.

Bad: Possible Breast Tenderness

Birth control has a possibility of causing breast enlargement or tenderness. This symptom usually resolves itself after a few weeks, although anyone with severe pain should seek medical assistance.

(Image via Pinterest)

Good: Fewer Cramps

Cramps are one of the worst symptoms of your period, but birth control does a great job alleviating them. Some women don’t have cramps at all when they have their period or have less painful cramps.

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Increased Appetite

Estrogen and progesterone, the two hormones in birth control, have a habit of making you super hungry. It isn’t unusual for women to want to eat more when they begin taking birth control.

Good: Helps Prevent Ovarian Cysts

Birth control is one of the leading ways to prevent or decrease the size of ovarian cysts. Basically, when you produce an egg, a cyst is formed. Usually, they go away with time, but some can grow large and can be a problem. Birth control keeps an egg from being released and can help cysts go away.

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Occasional Bloating

Bloating really sucks, but it can happen to women that choose birth control. The effects are particularly strong for women that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or other gastrointestinal disorders. Most women feel better within six months.

Good: Reduces Heavy Periods

Birth control medication inhibits the growth of endometrial lining, which sheds during your monthly menstruation. As less lining is shed, you’ll end up with a lighter period. Overall, this means you’ll save money and have a lot less PMS symptoms.  

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Risk of Blood Clots

One of the biggest risks of birth control is an increased risk of blood clots. This risk increases for women that smoke. While scary, only about 7 in 10,000 women experience blood clots. Decreasing other cardiovascular risks, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can decrease your risk.  

(Image via Pinterest)

Good: Decreases Migraines

Three weeks before your period, your estrogen levels drop substantially. This sudden decrease is what brings your period, and migraines often come with it. Women that are on birth control have fewer headaches since the hormones are better controlled.

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Lower Sex Drive

A lower sex drive is another common symptom of the Pill. However, a less common symptom can be an increased sex drive. Each medicine affects everyone differently, and different formulas can change the way your body reacts.

(Image via Pinterest)

Good: Shortens Periods

No one wants their period to last for a full week. Thankfully, birth control can shorten the amount of time you’re actually menstruating. Some women have as few as three or four periods a year with some birth control medications.  

Bad: Changes to Mood

The Pill can seriously alter your mood for the better, but it can also swing the opposite direction. While uncommon, some women can have an increased risk of depression. However, emotional side effects can be alleviated by using a different formulation.  

Good: Reduces Risk of Certain Cancers

Studies have shown that birth control can reduce the risk of cancer. In some cases, it can decrease cancer risk by as much as 30 to 50 percent, like in the case of ovarian cancer. Birth control can also lower instances of endometrial cancer and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Can Cause Brown Spots

Studies have found that taking birth control can increase the risk of a condition called melasma. It sounds scary, but it’s basically when your face breaks out in brown-colored spots. It’s more likely to occur in women who already have a history of the issue, and switching to another type of contraceptive can resolve the issue.

(Image via Pinterest)

Good: Improves Bone Density

Some birth control is known to improve bone density. Considering bone density decreases as we get older, this benefit can be pretty great. Two trials showed an increase in bone density for women that had the Depo-Provera shot combined with estrogen. More research is needed, but this can be good for the future of bone density.

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Increased Weight

Birth control itself doesn’t increase your weight, and that’s an important distinction to make. However, an increased appetite can lead to women gaining a few extra pounds over time. Additionally, fluid retention may occur, especially around the breasts and hips. On average, studies found that women gain around 4.4 pounds over a year.

(Image via Pinterest)

Good: Regulates Periods

It isn’t uncommon for women to have irregular periods. In fact, 70% of women experience irregularities as they age. Birth control is the number one way of regulating menstruation. One of the most common causes of irregular periods is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Since birth control reduces the number of cysts on the ovaries, the period can become regular.

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Possible Spotting

Spotting can occur, but it isn’t very serious. Most women experience breakthrough bleeding with low-dose birth control pills, and it’s caused when the endometrial lining grows thinner. The longer you take the Pill, the less likely you are to experience spotting.

(Image via Pinterest)

Good: Can Treat Anemia

One in five women have iron-deficient anemia, and periods can have a lot to do with that. Naturally, heavy periods only make things worse. Since birth control lessens the amount of time you’re on your period and decreases the flow, it means that it can help treat anemia – or at least keep it from getting a lot worse during that time of the month. We’re not saying it’ll cure it, but it may help.

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Changes in Vision

Studies have shown that birth control pills have been linked to the thickening of the cornea in the eyes. With that being said, the Pill isn’t associated with a higher risk of eye disease. The most common issue is that contact lenses don’t fit as comfortably as before.

(Image via Pinterest)

Good: Treats Women During Menopause

Birth control can do so much more than help younger women. It can also help women who are going through menopause. It can minimize the symptoms with approaching menopause like regulating your periods, lessen hot flashes, and more. This varies from woman to woman, but it’s worth a shot.

(Image via Pinterest)

Bad: Increased Risk of Yeast Infections

It may be wise to invest in a few Monistat packs before you go on the Pill. Doctors think that the link is because of the changes in use of tampons and new patterns. It can upset the body more than you’d think.

(Image via Pinterest)

Good: Less Pain During Intercourse

Since your hormones are better controlled, many women have less pain during intercourse due to more lubrication. This benefit is especially true for women that experienced it prior to going on the Pill.

Bad: Change in Hair Growth

Whether you consider it good or bad, birth control can alter your hair growth. For some women, it could cause unwanted growth, while others will experience decreased hair growth. It depends on the woman and the formula she’s taking.  

Good: Stronger Ligaments

This one is a maybe, but it’s worth mentioning. Some studies have found that oral contraceptives lower incidences of knee injuries. Researchers think it’s because the regulation of estrogen because when it’s too high, it can weaken a woman’s ligaments.

Bad: Risk of High Blood Pressure

Women who take the Pill need to have their blood pressure checked regularly because it can cause an increased risk of hypertension. It doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but it’s something that women need to know before beginning the medication.