How Millions Of Women Suffer From Birth Control Pills

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By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

How safe are birth control pills really? The pills do allow women to manage certain dangerous conditions such as dysmenorrhoea and other non-menstrual pelvic pain. But, there is an element of trouble that comes with it. Some say that birth pills are not as useful to women as they are prescribed. The problem lies with the number of side effects these pills bring with themselves. In certain situations, the side effects can also reduce one’s quality of life. Now, no one would want to go through that on a regular basis. So- it remains to be seen if something better comes to the pharmaceutical market. 

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Birth Control Pills and Contraceptive Methods Come With A Lot of Baggage

Several side effects have been traditionally associated with birth control pills. Sometimes, women have to deal with bloating, irregular bleeding, and headaches. But, these aren’t all the side effects. In some situations, it can get pretty dire. Women can often suffer from high blood pressure, stroke, and blood clots. There have been studies that have found a direct link between an increased risk of depression and birth control pills. Such pills can often affect the estrogen level of the individual- thereby reducing one’s sexual desire and libido. 

Read: Understanding The Process Of Birth, Life And Death 

In fact, most women stop using birth control pills due to the side effects. As a result, one can see the chronological decline in the use of contraceptive pills in the United Kingdom. In 2015, around 45% of women used a contraceptive pill. On the other hand, 2019 saw just 39%. One could stake a claim that there are other forms of contraceptives that could work. And there lies the unsaid problem. It isn’t just the birth control pill that needs to be fixed. In fact, long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs and implants come with their own set of issues. They are riddled with so many problems, that only 12% of women use it. 

Contraceptive Methods Need To Be Worked Upon To Make Them Totally Safe

Just like birth control pills, IUDs can cause side effects like missing periods, nausea, and hair loss. In certain situations, they can cause headaches and decreased libido. Even IUDs that are non-hormonal come with their own set of problems.  They can lead to longer menstrual cycles and heavier periods- amongst everything else. This had led to women removing them before their work is done. Some women have also reported experiencing pain when the IUD was set inside them. 

Goes without saying, looking for a contraceptive that works properly is a time-consuming process. And this is partly due to clinicians not having access to detailed or large-scale data. If they did, it would help them predict which method would serve the best. The presence of side effects when birth control pills are consumed do differ- from individual to individual. Sometimes it can depend on one’s genetics, but usually, they are quite sensitive to hormonal changes. 

Read: Contraceptive Jewelry Could Be The Next Trend In Birth Control 

We need to agree that there is a requirement for improvement in birth control pills. Not just that, every form of contraceptive needs to be fixed. And while most of us agree on this point- not much has been done to alleviate the pain. For example, between 2017 and 2020, there were just 23 industry-funded clinical trials. In retrospect, there were close to 600 trials for cardiovascular drugs. Now, we are not denying the importance of the latter- but the former needs to be worked upon as well.

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