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10 most common birth control pill side effects

10 most common side effects of birth control pills: 

  • Inter-menstrual spotting: vaginal bleeding between your expected periods is experienced by approximately 50% of women using the pill, most commonly within the first 3 months. Generally, this resolves in over 90% of women by their third pill pack. During this time of spotting, the pill is still effective as long as the pill has been taken correctly and none were missed. It is recommended that you contact your medical provider if you experience 5 or more days of bleeding while on your active pills or heavy bleeding for 3 or more days.
  • Nausea: mild nausea when initially starting the pill can occur. However, nausea symptoms usually resolve over a short period of time. One solution is to try taking your pill with food or at bedtime. Seek medical help if the nausea is severe or persistent.
  • Breast tenderness: birth control pills may cause your breasts to enlarge or become tender, which tends to improve after the first few weeks of starting the pill. However, if there is a presence of a lump or the pain is not going away, seek medical help. Reducing caffeine and salt intake can decrease breast tenderness, as can wearing a supportive bra.
  • Headaches: the onset of new headaches should be brought to the attention of your medical provider.
  • Weight gain: despite the failure of clinical studies to reveal that birth control pills cause weight fluctuations, some women do experience some fluid retention, especially in the breast and hip areas.
  • Mood changes: if you are someone who has a history of depression, it is important that this is discussed with your medical provider, some women do experience depression or other emotional changes while taking the pill. It is important to contact your medical provider if you are experiencing mood changes during pill use.
  • Missed periods: there are times when despite proper pill use, a period may be skipped or missed. Several factors can influence this such as outside stress, illness, travel or at times hormonal and or thyroid abnormalities. If a period is missed or is very light while on the pill, take a pregnancy test prior to taking your next pack of pills and call your medical provider if this continues.
  • Decreased libido: the pill can affect your sex drive because of the hormones found in them. However, other outside factors may also cause a decrease in your libido. If this is persistent or bothersome, inform your medical provider.
  • Vaginal discharge: some women may notice changes in vaginal discharge ranging from an overall increase to a decrease in vaginal lubrication with intercourse. Speak with your medical provider if you are concerned that there is the presence of an infection.
  • Visual changes with contact lenses: you should see your ophthalmologist if you are a contact lens wearer and notice some changes in vision or with lens tolerance during pill use.

5 Women's Health Myths Debunked!

"A Pap smear can detect ovarian cancer."

Pap smears are not a reliable way to detect ovarian cancer. In fact, there is no standard screening test for ovarian cancer. If you experience common symptoms such as: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, and urinary urgency-or have a family history, your doctor will test your blood and administer a transvaginal ultrasound.

"A doctor can tell if a woman is a virgin."

Even when using a 10-fold magnification, doctors can not accurately sort virgins from the sexually-active, several studies have reported. It is not as simple as looking for a hole in the hymen because, well there is always a hole in the hymen.

"Some people think the hymen seals off the vagina [until virginity is lost], but that is not true," said Dr. Rachel Vreeman of Indiana University and Carroll's co-author of "Don't Swallow Your Gum." In the rare cases when it is sealed, period blood builds in the uterus and causes several medical problems, she said.

"Women reach their sexual peak at 30."

The specific age that a woman reaches her sexual peak varies individually. While women in their late  20s/early 30s may be more comfortable with their bodies than younger women, people change their sexual response at all stages of their lives.

"A woman cant get pregnant during her period."

While a woman is unlikely to conceive during menstruation, " nothing, when it comes to pregnancy, is impossible," said Aaron of Indiana University and co-author of Don't Swallow Your Gums: Myths, Half-truths and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health" (St. Martins Griffin, 2009).

Once inside a woman, sperm  can wait for an egg for up to a week. Ovulation can occur soon after, or even during, the bleeding phase of a woman's menstrual cycle, giving patient sperm the chance to get lucky. The timing method of birth control doesn't work well, Carroll said, agreeing that couples who practice it are often called: parents.

"You only need to worry about breast cancer if you are older than 40."

While its true that most women who get breast cancer are older than 40, about 5% of all cases occur in women younger than 40, according to Susan G Komen for the Cure - which means early detection is key for all ages, especially for women who may have a mutation of the gene associated with breast cancer, and those with a family history.

Toxic Shock Syndrome & Tampons

Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare, life-thretening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by a group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. 

Toxic shock syndrome historically has been associated primarily with the use of tampons. However, since manufacturers pulled certain type of tampons off the market, the incidence of toxic shock syndrome in menstruating women has declined.

Experts say that the bacteria that causes TSS is already in the body (tampons do not bring it in). Data also has shown that women who get TSS from tampons are more likely to use highly absorbent tampons, leave them in for longer periods of time, and use them even before their period starts. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also found a link between TSS and tampons containing the high-absorbance material polyacrylate rayon (this is no longer used in tampons, which may have contributed to a decreased in TSS cases)

While 50% of TSS cases are linked to tampon use, with men and women can develop it from sinusitis, burns, and respiratory infections after having the flu. 

While it is very rare to get TSS from tampons, it can still happen. TSS symptoms are ver similar to the flu, and they develop quickly. People who contract TSS may experience fever, dizziness, chills, headache, diarrhea, sore throat, muscle aches, red rash that looks like a sunburn on the palms of their hand and soles of their feet. This is why early diagnosis is very important. While its's possible to die due from TSS ( the mortality rate is 2 percent), most people make a full recovery.

Sources: yahoo health, medicinenet

What is a Pap Smear And How To Prepare For It.

What is a Pap Smear?

A pap smear is done to inspect any abnormalities or changes in the cells of the cervix (the lower opening of the uterus). A Pap smear can detect cervical cancer early, while it is still curable. Usually health care providers recommend that women have a Pap smear annually beginning at the age of 18 or within six months of first sexual intercourse.

An abnormal Pap smear result may indicate and infection, a precancerous condition or cancer. However, a Pap smear is just a screening; Its not 100% accurate. It may suggest a precancerous condition when in fact everything is normal. Sometimes it fails to detect cancer when it is there. Further testing through additional Pap smear, colonoscopy, biopsy, or specific STI screening may be necessary to accurately diagnose and properly treat the condition.

How to prepare

  • Schedule the exam for a time when you don't expect to have your period.
  • Do no douche 24 hours before your visit.
  • Use a condom if you have intercourse less than 24 hours before your exam.
  • Write down you questions so you don't forget them.
  • Be prepared to tell your provider the date of your last period and how long it lasted.