Hormonal birth control is one of the most common contraceptive methods. Hormonal contraceptives are made with artificial (synthesized) hormones, which work with your body to prevent pregnancy. Generally, they suppress ovulation, which makes pregnancy almost impossible. Though hormonal methods are the most widely used, there are some things to consider before you know if they are right for you – and if so, which specific method to choose.
First of all, there are many people who should not use hormonal methods of birth control. This should all be discussed with your doctor, but the risk factors include: anyone who suspects they might already be pregnant, anyone who is breastfeeding, anyone who has active liver disease, anyone over age 35, smokers, anyone with diabetes, anyone with blood clotting problems, and several more. Enlisting the help of a professional will help determine what, if any, risk factors are present for you, and if it is safe for you to begin using hormonal contraceptives.
As with any prescribed medication, there are also many side effects to be aware of. The most common side effects are: weight gain, acne, nausea, dizziness, headaches, depression, vaginal infections, high blood pressure, loss of libido, and blood clots, to name a few. There are also several rare and extremely dangerous side effects that are worth mentioning. Stroke, liver tumors, gallstones, and jaundice are rare but possible side effects of hormonal birth control methods. It is best, as with any medication, to be aware of the potential risks but always discuss them with a doctor before making any decisions.
Hormonal contraceptives are known to be a pretty effective method of birth control. It is no wonder that they are so widely used. Being aware of the risks associated is important when making a decision as to which method is right for you. Whatever option you choose, enlisting the help of a physician to guide you through the process is always recommended. It is important to make the right decision to avoid complications in the future. A little education about your options can help make the process go a lot more smoothly.