Hormone-based birth control comes in numerous forms, including pills, intrauterine devices, patches, shots, implants, and vaginal rings. How it affects you depends on what method you use, as no two women react to hormone changes the same way. Learn about changes you may experience on birth control before discussing options with your gynecologist.
How Birth Control Impacts the Body
1. Mood Changes
Many women feel extra emotional during their first few weeks on birth control because of the hormonal changes they are experiencing. These changes are similar to premenstrual syndrome symptoms and can include extreme irritation or sadness. Gynecologists recommend keeping a journal to track your mood changes so you can make an OB-GYN appointment if symptoms worsen. Mood changes can also affect sexual desire.
2. Lighter Menstrual Flow
As birth control hormones change your menstruation, you may experience significantly lighter periods, particularly during the first month or two. Some women even skip their periods for the first few months as their hormones level out. It takes the body about three months to fully adjust to its new routine.
3. Nausea & Headaches
Headaches and nausea may occur during the body’s adjustment phase; however, these symptoms typically don’t last more than three months. Sore breasts are another common issue. If any of these symptoms last longer than three months, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist.
4. Clearer Skin & Less Severe Cramps
As your cycle regulates, you may notice clearer skin or fewer period cramps. Some teenagers with severe acne and bad cramps take birth control pills exclusively for these reasons. And since adult acne is a problem for many, birth control pills provide a lasting clear skin solution.
5. Bleeding Between Periods
Bleeding or spotting between periods can also occur during the inaugural months on birth control and is completely normal. As with the other potential side effects on this list, consult your gynecologist if the bleeding appears severe or lasts longer than three months.
If you believe hormonal birth control is right for you, make an appointment with Greece Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLP. The privately-owned gynecology center provides women throughout Rochester, NY, and the surrounding areas with a full range of OB-GYN services, including robotic surgery and family planning. Evening hours are available for your convenience. Call (585) 225-6680 to schedule your appointment or visit the website for a comprehensive list of their services.