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These Side Effects Of Your Birth Control Are Totally Normal, So Stop Worrying

The cool thing about birth control has always been that, when you take it, you're a whole heck of a lot less likely to get pregnant.

And when you're not quite ready to pop out babies anytime soon, it's a pretty damn great resource to have in your life.

But the not-so-cool thing about birth control, in all its many forms, can be the litany of potential side effects that arise when taking it.

The first time I took the pill, for example, the first month or so involved semi-constant boob pain, and major, inexplicable crying spells.

As someone who's already prone to cry many tears of both joy and sorrow, the last thing I ever need in my life is more of those salty waterworks.

But, according to my doctor, it turned out that, even though the pill worked really well for most people, I wasn't the only one out there to report these wild mood swings.

So I decided to find something else that worked better for me.

It's always a smart idea to really keep track of any kind of medication or supplement with your health care provider, but there are definitely side effects of birth control that, while not always pleasant, are totally common, and need not cause any major alarm bells.  

Elite Daily spoke with OBGYN Katherine Wagner, MD about some of the symptoms associated with each type of birth control available to women.

1. The Birth Control Implant

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The rod, about the size of a matchstick, releases progestin and is implanted right in your upper arm.

According to Dr. Wagner, the most common symptom women experience with this type of birth control is irregular spotting.

Annoying, sure, but certainly nothing to keep you up at night. Perhaps it's best to invest in some cheap panties that can handle a little occasional spotting here and there.

2. The Intrauterine Device (IUD)

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Dr. Wagner tells Elite Daily, when it comes to Mirena, the plastic IUD, women are likely to notice a myriad of changes in their menstrual cycle at first.

She explains,

For up to eight weeks at a time, you can have irregular spotting, or light periods, or even no periods at all.

Once and awhile, for some people it affects their mood, and some people get a little bit of acne.

The copper IUD, ParaGard, on the other hand, is associated with a heavy flow, and possibly some bad cramping and lower back pain after it gets inserted — all of which are totally normal.

But Dr. Wagner adds she's only had to “pull” a few of these as a way to relieve the severity of cramps or bleeding.

3. The Birth Control Shot

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It seems like the depo shot, aka Depo-Provera, is most consistently associated with a particularly wide range of symptoms:

Studies have shown people experience weight gain, bone loss, and depression.

Not everyone experiences these things, but studies do show an increased risk.

Dr. Wager adds, though, that the bone loss is reversible, so no need to worry too much about that.

Also, when it comes to getting the depo shot, it's important to note that it may take as long as 10 months for your body to be ready to get pregnant once you stop taking it.

4. The Pill, The Patch, And The Ring

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When discussing side effects, these three forms of birth control can be grouped together, Dr. Wagner says, because they're all “basically just different pathways of uptake for the same thing.”

She continues,

A large number of women actually experience less mood swings than normal, decreased acne, and more manageable periods.

But, of course, some people are sensitive these methods and experience a whole host of side effects, like nausea, moodiness, headaches, and with the combined estrogen and progestin pills, an increase in blood pressure.

Oh, and that feeling of tenderness or pain in your boobs is not uncommon, either.

This symptom has the potential to last for up to 18 months, unfortunately, and it's particularly common with the patch.

Wagner notes the difference between the combined estrogen and progestin pills, explaining that there are lots of ways for a doctor to work with the dosage to find something that works best for you.

Another important thing to note is that women who experience migraines with aura shouldn't take pills with estrogen, as it increases a risk of stroke.

So if you're experiencing any of this stuff, you aren't alone, friends.

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Annakeara Stinson

Staff Writer

Annakeara is a writer and all around barrel of laughs based in Brooklyn.
Annakeara is a writer and all around barrel of laughs based in Brooklyn.

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