Benefits Of Birth Control
Prescription birth control uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. There are some positive side effects of hormonal birth control besides avoiding an unplanned pregnancy. Women usually have less severe menstrual cramps, fewer migraine headaches related to menstrual cycles, and often experience clearer skin. All of these are related to hormonal effects on the body.
The downside of birth control
There are also some not so great side effects and spotting in the first few months is one of those. No woman likes to experience spotting. It can be embarrassing if not prepared for and is an annoyance at the very least.
A couple reasons for spotting
When a woman begins using hormonal birth control there are some adjustments the body must make to the hormones being added. Pregnancy is prevented by increasing the levels of the hormones estrogen and progestin which keeps an egg from being released by the ovary. Progestin also affects the lining of the uterus which may cause it to bleed slightly between normal cycles until levels are regulated.
Spotting can also be caused by not taking birth control regularly or taking other medications that interfere with it. Although not as common, infections can also cause spotting due to irritation of the uterus. Spotting can also occur with implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.
Save some embarrassment, prevent spotting
After starting new birth control spotting should be watched and a physician contacted if it is persistent, excessive, associated with pain or fever, or if there’s a possibility of pregnancy. There are several simple things that can be done to prevent spotting on birth control
- Establish a routine and take the pill at close to the same time every day (or same day each week for the patch)
- Continue taking the birth control for at least 6 months to allow it to regulate hormone levels
- Don’t skip the pill-free week. Skipping that week (or days) can cause a disruption in the normal cycle and breakthrough bleeding
- Talk with the doctor about any other medications that may interfere with the effectiveness of the birth control medication
- Be prepared. Wearing a thin pad is usually the safest way to avoid embarrassment over breakthrough bleeding
Hormonal birth control pills are an effective and convenient way to prevent pregnancy. Breakthrough bleeding is one of the negative effects but should resolve within the first few months. Most women taking birth control pills find the positive benefits of birth control outweigh the negative ones.