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Birth control pills come in two types, combined oral contraceptives, and progesterone-only forms. Progesterone-only pills are not used very often as they are reserved for special circumstances. Therefore the combined pills will be the focus of this discussion.
All combined pills have the same estrogen in them, just at different doses. The progesterone in them has many versions so that if someone has side effects, they can be tailored to any problem. They work by not allowing ovulation from the estrogen component and stabilization of the lining of the uterus by the progesterone component.
These side effects are a reason to contact your doctor as soon as possible:
High blood pressure can be a cause of headaches, but most of the time there are no symptoms.
Overall most women who take the pill do just fine and the pill has a few other benefits:
This is a list of side effects both common and possibly annoying but not serious and a section on possible serious and rare side effects.
Of course, any questions can be and should be discussed with your doctor.
Author: Shannon Hudson MD
Sarah Adamic, NP
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
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