Emergency contraceptives, popularly known as Birth Control Pills, have numerous side effects, which are unfortunately known to few.
Birth control is a measure taken against unwanted pregnancy and the most common way is the use of birth control pills which are 98% successful. Birth control pills work by preventing ovulation. No egg is produced, so there is nothing for the sperm to fertilize. Pregnancy cannot occur.
One of the biggest benefits for teenager to use birth control is preventing unwanted pregnancy. Most teenagers aren’t old enough or mature enough to handle the responsibility of parenthood, so birth control reduces the chances of getting pregnant
Apart from the benefits, below are the most common observed side effects of birth control pills on teenagers.
- A massive new study says the contraceptive pills is linked to depression—and teenagers are most at risk
- Enlargement and tenderness of breast, and lumps in the breast. Formation of cysts in the breast and in some cases, breast cancer.
- Irregular periods and bleeding/spotting in between periods. Sometimes very heavy vaginal bleeding during periods. This condition however, appears only in a few teenagers.
- Nausea and sometimes vomiting is also very common.
- Headaches that might lead to migraine.
- Issues related to eyes such as vision change, vision loss, blood clot in the eyes, and blurred vision.
- A decrease in sex drive and reduced satisfaction in sex.
- Weight gain in some.
- High blood pressure (BP).
- Issues related to the lower body such as cramps and swelling in the legs, pain in the calf.
- Issues related to lungs such as blood in cough, chest pain, and shortened breath.
- Jaundice, change in the colour of urine, abdominal pain. Liver cancer is also an extreme side effect of birth control pills when used by teenagers.
- Rashes, itching on the body.
- Rare occurrences of heart attacks, and cervical cancer.
- If one already has problems such as diabetes, hypertension, high BP, then consumption of pills may increase the rate of heart stroke.
- Dizziness and mood swings.
- Vaginal infection.
- Skin pigmentation and skin irritation.
- Smoking also increases the risk of cancer in teenagers.
- Incurable infection of acne yeast.
- Bacterial infections.
- Weakened immune system.
The worst among the side effects include, miscarriages during pregnancy and infertility.Thousands of infertility cases are reported annually,which are as a result of excessive usage of pregnancy control pills.
Birth control pills contain two kinds of hormones namely, estrogen and progesterone. Pills with estrogen contain ethinylestradiol but there is a variation in dosage. Some progestin are thought to have androgenic activity while others have anti-androgenic effects. So a dose of estrogen or progesterone determines which kind of side effects the pill will cause. Estrogen content affects menstrual bleeding and high content of it will result in high risk of blood clots. Androgenic progestin increases acne and anti-androgenic progestin on the other hand reduces them.
It is always advisable to consult your doctor before consuming such pills and if you are suffering from any ailment then make sure that the birth control pill does not worsen the situation. .
NB- Remember, the pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).