Most combination pills are well tolerated and have few side effects. However, especially in the first three months of use, symptoms such as headache, breast tenderness, spotting and nausea may occur. Some women also report an increased appetite and weight gain, as well as mood swings. In addition, it is also possible that by taking the pill, the female libido is reduced.
Serious side effects are rare
In rare cases, taking the pill may also result in more serious side effects. These include, for example, the occurrence of thrombosis, which in the worst case can lead to life-threatening embolism. However, such side effects usually only occur in combination with certain risk factors. These include overweight, smoking, diabetes, hypertension and blood vessel disorders.
If such risk factors are present, the attending physician will decide on a case-by-case basis whether the patient can be prescribed a combination pill or not. Nursing mothers and women with estrogen intolerance should not take a combination pill. In most cases, in such cases, a mini pill is used instead.
However, the mini pill also has side effects. These are relatively similar to the side effects of the combination pill: Among other things, headaches, nausea, bleeding as well as weight and mood fluctuations can occur here as well.
What serious side effects are still possible?
Especially when taking the combination pill increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke from the age of 35 years. Similar to thrombosis, smoking, obesity and hypertension are additional risk factors.
A general connection between the pill and the development of cancer does not seem to exist according to the current state of knowledge. The contraceptive pill is suspected, however, to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. This risk is expected to decline again after the pill is discontinued within about five years.
Also in the discussion is a connection with the development of cervical cancer. While some studies suggest that long-term use of the pill increases the risk of developing this cancer, there is also evidence that the pill protects against the development of cervix and ovarian cancer. The exact connections are not yet clear.
Positive side effects of the pill
However, the pill can not only have negative side effects but also have a positive effect on our body. For example, the intake eliminates fluctuations in the cycle. In addition, the menstrual period is usually shorter and weaker.
Often the intake improves the appearance of the skin - that is why the pill is also prescribed for young girls who are struggling with an impure skin. In addition, the pill can also protect against the development of breast or ovarian cysts.
The contraceptive pill is generally suitable for all women of childbearing potential, but in certain circumstances it is not recommended to take the pill. Contraindications include:
- an existing pregnancy
- severe liver damage
- an increased risk for or a previous or existing thrombosis
- an increased risk of or a previous or existing heart attack or stroke
- Metabolic diseases like diabetes
- high blood pressure
- regular cigarette consumption (especially in women over 35 years)