The Pill has been blamed for a lot over the years, from making us fat to giving us cancer, but it’s important to weigh up the risks and decipher fact from fiction before you commit.
Is the contraceptive pill safe?
On the whole, the contraceptive pill is very safe, however it can increase your risk of certain health concerns, which is important to consider.
What health concerns does The Pill increase your risk for?
Naturally, when you alter the hormones in your body, you alter the risks of certain diseases, so it’s crucial to assess your current risk by having a consultation with a doctor before going on The Pill.
The contraceptive pill may increase your risk of:
• Cardiovascular issues: combination pills increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects like heart attack, stroke, and blood clots.
• According to renowned British charity Cancer Research, the combined contraceptive pill can slightly increase your risk of breast cancer.
• The combined pill may also slightly increase the risk of cervical cancer.
• The Pill may increase the risk of blood clots and thrombosis.
What are the side effects of The Pill?
Aside from the increased risk of disease, The Pill is sometimes considered “bad” for you because of its possible side effects.
These symptoms will vary from woman to woman, but in most cases people won’t experience any negative side effects that are out of the ordinary.
Some of the side effects that may affect you include:
• Breast tenderness.
• Intermenstrual spotting.
• Weight changes.
• Mood changes.
• Decreased libido.
Who should avoid taking The Pill?
The Pill is not right for everyone. There could be multiple reasons why you should avoid taking The Pill, including if you have specific health conditions that put you at a higher risk.
Your doctor will discuss these with you as they vary from person to person, but some of the main reasons The Pill might not be right for you are:
• You have high blood pressure.
• You have a history of blood clots.
• You’re a smoker over the age of 35.
• You get headaches with an aura.
• You have a history, or family history, of breast cancer.
What is "Aura?"
An aura is a warning sign of migraine that can last about 20 minutes. Most of the time, auras consist of visual symptoms, like flashing lights, zigzaging lines, or blind spots in your vision.
So is The Pill bad for you?
Generally speaking, The Pill is very, very safe. For the vast majority of people The Pill can be a safe, effective form of contraception. For a small minority of women, however, an alternative contraception may be considered safer.
Most people on The Pill won’t have any issues at all, but if you are concerned about something, it’s always best to speak to a doctor for advice.