We know that the only birth control method free from side-effects, giving 100% protection, is abstinence! Since it is not a practical measure, we invented other birth control methods like condoms, coitus, etc., in the past. With the advancement of medical science, we can now choose from an array of contraceptives. When used correctly, all of them provide about 80-90% protection. But none of them are devoid of side-effects. When it comes to picking a birth control method, having a rough idea about possible consequences can make you more prepared.
Let us explore the options one by one:
These are the least intrusive birth control option available. Nevertheless, people have reported issues while using them. Latex condoms and spermicides induce allergic reactions such as itching, rashes, redness, etc. The only alternative is to switch to another birth control method or to use a condom made of some other material like polyurethane, polyisoprene, etc. Diaphragms and cervical caps sometimes increase the risk of urinary tract infections and toxic shock syndrome in females.
Condoms come in different flavors and textures. The most popular ones happen to be the dotted ones. Do they offer 100% protection? The answer is NO. Condoms can break or might have a tear that you are unaware of.
Moreover, couples who have regular sex prefer a more solid and long-term birth control method.
IUDs are popular long-term contraceptive solutions. These are inserted into the uterus by a medical practitioner and will ideally stay intact for years. Some people feel period-like cramps for the initial few days, which will eventually fade away. The device might also come out accidentally, so you have to check if the strings are in place periodically. Side-effects include nausea, acne, headache, itching, irregular periods with heavy blood flow, increased chances of catching pelvic inflammatory diseases, and ovarian cysts. There are also some rarely reported incidents of puncture of the uterus while inserting IUDs.
As for popular brands of IUD, Kyleena side effects include mood changes, vaginal infection, dryness, and breakthrough bleeding. But, IUDs are more reliable and are best for those couples who want a long-term solution.
Birth Control Pills
Even though it is a popular contraceptive option, it is infamous for its side-effects. Pills can induce nausea, vomiting, headache, acne, spotting between periods, change in menstrual flow, tenderness of breasts, etc. Apart from physical issues, they also induce mood swings leading to anxiety, depression, and anger. Unlike other methods, sudden switching or stoppage of the pills can also cause side-effects such as a change in libido, mood swings, irregular or missed periods, etc.
The morning-after pill is an over-the-counter drug that you take within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Ideally, they are the last resort in cases like a failure of contraceptives, sexual harassment, etc. These pills have synthetic hormones in high-doses intending to prevent unwanted pregnancies and may cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, abdominal pain, tiredness, etc. People often misuse them as a substitute for regular contraceptives. Such long-term use can lead to unhealthy consequences.
Note: Emergency contraceptive pills can also delay the menstrual cycle. Take note of your period date and the date you popped in the pill.
Permanent birth control
Surgical procedures such as tubectomy and vasectomy will permanently prevent pregnancy. These do not cause any side-effects after the recovery, but there will be mild to severe pain, risk of infection, swelling, etc., after the surgery. Also, vasectomy is not exactly fault-proof, and there are reported cases of fertilization post-surgery.
Given above are some of the common side-effects associated with various birth control methods. It doesn’t mean that all contraceptives will cause issues. Being aware of the side-effects will help you choose an option best suited with minimal effects. In the best-case scenario, you may not even face any side-effects!