You may have seen the stories about celebrity Hailey Bieber in the news lately. She had a “mini-stroke” due to a small blood clot in her brain. Medically this is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Hailey has been speaking out and thinks her birth control pills and a heart condition have contributed to the TIA. Don’t let this scare you into throwing out your birth control pills.
Before you ever make any changes to your medication you should speak with the healthcare provider who prescribes it to you. It is important to know that there are side effects and risks to any medication and you should discuss these with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication. Some of the possible side effects of birth control pills include:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Skin changes
- Vaginal spotting between periods
- Breast soreness
- Menstrual flow changes
- Blood Clots
- High blood pressure
Birth control pills contain hormones. You take one pill every day. It is a very common form of birth control because of its safety, low costs, and effectiveness. There are two types of birth control pills, combination pills that contain both estrogen and progestin or progestin-only pills. The medication works by stopping your ovulation. It is important to know that the pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The pill should be taken every day at the same time, this will increase its effectiveness. If used perfectly the pill is about 99% effective. If not taken at the same time every day or pills are missed then it is estimated to be 91% effective. If you don’t feel comfortable or have hesitations about using birth control pills, there are many other birth control options.
One of your best resources for information on all forms of birth control is your OB-GYN provider. They can review your medical history, discuss your concerns, and make recommendations on what would be your best options. Each form of birth control has pros and cons. Deciding which birth control option is an individual decision and your OB-GYN provider is the best person to give you all the needed information and guide you.
Birth control pills: The pill: Contraceptive Pills. Planned Parenthood. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2022