Pop a birth control pill and your baby-maker isn't the only thing that's getting the treatment. That's because each of those little pills contains hormones and changes the hormones in your body, says Toni Stern, M.D., Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Coney Island Hospital.
While some are good, some less than ideal and others downright dangerous, possible side effects are just that: possible. Everybody is different and responds to each birth control pill formulation in a different way. "Oral contraceptives (OC's) have been around for 50 years. They've undergone many improvements, including decreasing the amounts of hormones put into the pills and using different forms of progesterones," says Wendy C. Wilcox, M.D. Vice Chairperson of the North Bronx Healthcare Network Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "All that makes them safer." The drugs' concentration, type and hormonal blend also impact your body's reaction.
"Birth control can be very beneficial, and not just in terms of preventing pregnancy," Dr. Stern says. "But you must be proactive about it." Talk to your doctor about these more common (and any other) possible side effects as well as any other medications (supplements count!) you're taking. If you have any problems with your OC, your doctor can often prescribe you a different dosage or formulation. The simple switch might be all it takes to find your perfect pill and get your whole body in tiptop shape.