I figure I may as well share my experiences with the birth control pill. I’ve been using for more than a year now and I have never had BAD side effects.
I was prescribed Orthocept, a combination pill, a bit over a year ago. My sex drive did diminish, I started having breakthrough, light bleeding for a week before starting my actual period, and my blood pressure went from being normal to high. My NP was an idiot – she didn’t make the connection when I told her that I had always had normal blood pressure and that I had NEVER had breakthrough bleeding before starting Orthocept.
She blamed the blood pressure on my weight (despite being very active and it was normal before I took the pill…and I had lost 50 pounds in the year since I started taking the pill) and told me that the breakthrough bleeding could be chlamydia or gonorrhea (until she looked at my sex history and decided I wasn’t a prime candidate for that AT ALL. Hahaha).
She prescribed Micronor, a progestin-only pill. If you are overweight, I suggest taking one of those because the risks are lower than they are with pills that contain estrogen (and estrogen can give you high blood pressure). I LOVE IT.
So far, the only side effect I’ve had (I’ve been on Micronor for a few months, so it’s still settling in) is that I had a second period one month that lasted for four days. This is typical the first few months, though, and I have already noticed that my period the past two months has been MUCH lighter than it used to be, cramping is minimal (actually, Orthocept helped me with excessive bleeding and period cramps too. I shudder to think of ever having a ‘normal’ period again!)
Most B/C pills don’t make you stop having a period, especially if they contain estrogen. And a significant portion of women on progestin-only pills also continue to have periods.
I have NEVER gained weight (issues with that are much more common with the implants and injections) from a pill and had no trouble losign while on a pill.
If you have never been great at taking the pill, it’s not the option for you! But for me, I have never missed a pill and the idea that I ‘might’ get pregnant if I’m more than 3 hours late is laughable. I have never been more than an hour late in taking my pills. So, it’s all preference.
Hope this helps anyone else out there who is fearful.