Danger! Hormonal birth control is unhealthy

Thrombosis is currently the main focus of attention as a side effect of various medications. Hormonal contraceptives such as the birth control pill can also result in thrombosis and other health consequences. But how dangerous is the pill?

Hormonal  contraceptives  are always controversial, but still popular. Stiftung Warentest examined 141 hormonal contraceptive methods, but only recommended 58.

The pill: A common contraceptive

The pill is a contraceptive that is taken orally in tablet form. It is taken once a day, preferably at the same time. The contraceptive can be taken, but it is recommended to take a break from taking the pill (four to seven days, depending on the preparation). Hormone withdrawal bleeding may occur during this break. However, many women confuse this with a normal period.

These side effects can occur when taking the pill:

  • weight gain
  • headache
  • water retention
  • loss of libido
  • Increased risk of thrombosis
  • depressions
  • Feeling of tension in the breasts

Vaginal dryness or  nausea  can also occur in connection with the birth control pill.

In particular, the increased risk of  thrombosis  in the leg veins or a pulmonary embolism depends on the pill preparation: The pill usually consists of a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin.

In connection with thrombosis, the type of progestogen plays a decisive role. Pills that contain a lot of estrogen together with desogestrel, dienogest, drospirenone or gestodene have a higher risk of thrombosis than pills with a different composition.

Alternatives to the birth control pill: Other contraceptives

  • IUDs  – contraceptives with and without hormones:  The IUD is inserted into the uterus and stays there for up to five years. Both the copper in the copper IUD and the progestin in the  hormonal IUD  change the lining of the uterus. This prevents an egg from implanting or being fertilized.
  • Three- month injection:  The hormone in the three-month injection is injected into the butt muscles. There it is stored like a depot and regularly released. The hormone changes the uterine lining and prevents the egg cell from implanting.
  • Implant:  The implant works in a similar way to the three-month injection, but is implanted under the skin as a hormone rod.
  • Vaginal ring and patch:  Both contraceptive methods work in a similar way to the pill. The woman inserts the ring herself into her vagina, where it releases the necessary hormones while the band-aid is on the skin. Both should be removed after 21 days. The risk of thrombosis can even be higher with some preparations than with the pill.

In addition to the listed hormonal contraceptive methods, you can also use condoms, diaphragms or contraceptive apps and measure your body temperature. However, these methods carry a higher risk of pregnancy.

In any case, it is important to clarify contraceptive methods with your partner and to view the topic of contraception as a shared responsibility.

 

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