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What are the Side Effects of The Pill?

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Updated July 05, 2004

Question: What are the Side Effects of The Pill?
Answer: While the majority of girls and women who use the birth control pill experience no side effects, some women experience side effects such as:

  • bleeding between periods
  • weight gain
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • headaches
  • mood changes
  • blood clots (usually occur only in women over 35 who smoke)

Most of these side effects improve after 3 months on the Pill, if they don't your health care provider may prescribe a different oral contraceptive which may work better for you with less side effects. Other side effects of the birth control pill that make most women happy are:

  • lighter periods
  • milder menstrual cramps
  • improved acne
  • protection against certains types of breast disease, ovarian cysts, anemia, and uterine cancer.

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