7 Essential Details About Hormonal Birth Control - Famasi Africa
Women react to hormones differently and not all brands of birth control are the same. Since they work differently, their effects may also differ.
For years, birth control has been a topic in many discussions, especially between couples focused on planned parenthood and everyone involved in sexual relationships. But just as the debate is unending, so are the misconceptions.
This article will discuss 7 essential things to know about hormonal birth control.
1. Can birth control cause depression?
Some studies have found a link between hormonal contraceptive use and mood changes, while others have declared that such a thing doesn't exist.
Therefore, there's contradictory evidence on whether certain types of contraception can lead to depression. Women who experience premenstrual symptoms have reported an improvement in their moods after using hormonal birth control, while some experience adverse side effects like mood swings, breast tenderness, and headaches.
Although there's no ruling out the possibility, most of the findings are that hormonal birth control doesn't lead to depression. However, the potential is broader in cases where there's an underlying emotional disorder.
2. Can birth control make you lose or gain weight?
Don't believe the hype when it comes to birth control and weight. The most important thing to know is that there's no concrete evidence that birth control causes weight gain or loss.
The only way to know for sure if you'll experience weight changes after starting birth control is to try it for yourself. This is because women react to hormones differently. However, if you gain or lose weight on birth control, it's not all in your head. There are a few reasons this may happen:
- Estrogen and progestin can cause fluid retention, resulting in temporary weight gain.
- Birth control pills might have a minor effect on appetite, but no concrete research proves this. If you notice an increase in your appetite after continuous birth control pills, consider talking to your doctor about switching pills.
- Weight changes due to hormonal birth control are usually minimal (less than 5 lbs), so be aware of other factors that may influence your weight, like diet and exercise.
- Different types of birth control work differently in the body, so their effect on one woman differs from that of another woman.
- Not all brands of birth control are the same — some have higher doses of hormones than others, which can lead to more noticeable side effects like weight changes.
3. Can birth control make you infertile?
The good news is that, no, using birth control does not make you infertile. The drugs in hormone-based birth control do not affect your fertility, and the only way they can have a long-term effect on your ability to get pregnant is if there's damage in your system.
Birth control pills work by preventing ovulation and thickening the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.
4. Can birth control make ADHD worse?
For some people, yes. If you're already taking ADHD medication, adding another medication like birth control can cause adverse side effects or make your symptoms worse. This is because certain types of birth control have been found to impact how well your ADHD medication works.
For example, taking a progestin-only pill may make your ADHD symptoms worse because it competes with the enzymes and proteins in your blood that absorb your ADHD medications.
Taking the combination pill — which has estrogen and progestin — can decrease how much of the active ingredient in your ADHD medication gets absorbed into your system, so it's less effective than usual.
5. How does birth control affect your moods?
Most birth control options are hormone-based, and hormones affect your mood.
They contain estrogen and/or progesterone that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from your ovaries). Because these hormones impact your body in many ways, they can also affect your moods.
If you're taking the pill, you might get upset more quickly or be more anxious or irritable than usual. If your mood isn't affected at all, that's normal, too.
If you have health concerns or an adverse reaction to the pill, it doesn't mean that you're going to be an emotional mess forever (or even while you're using it).
The best thing is to always speak to your Care Specialist for guidance on what to do, and you may consider other non-hormone methods of birth control.
6. Can birth control make your boobs bigger?
The short answer: Yes. The pill can increase breast size in some women because hormone levels rise when you take it. But before you freak out (or rejoice), know that this is temporary.
Once you stop taking the pill, your hormones will return to normal, and your breasts will return to their pre-pill size. It might take a few months for this to happen, though.
If you're someone who experiences period symptoms like breast tenderness, taking some form of birth control can sometimes make this worse. In this case, you should speak with your Care Specialist about the best option(s) to consider before taking hormonal birth control.
7. Can birth control make you tired?
Birth control can cause tiredness in some people, and it varies from person to person. Some people don't experience fatigue, while others feel totally exhausted. That's because hormones like estrogen and progestin are potent chemicals that affect the whole body.
Before you blame your birth control, fatigue could have other causes. For example, you might be getting less sleep than usual, or you could be pushing yourself too hard with work or a busy life. And you may also be sick.
If fatigue is a concern for you, talk to your healthcare provider about switching to another formulation of the pill or another method of birth control altogether.
Conclusively, it's clear that the ever-growing number of options for birth control can be intimidating. However, once you understand how they each work, the pros and cons, and their relationship with pre-existing conditions, it should be easier to decide which one is right for you.
To speak with a Care Specialist from Famasi for free, choose a date and time that works for you here: Get a free consultation.