For women who do not want to get pregnant, birth control provides a method that allows them to remain sexually active without the constant stress and worry that an unplanned pregnancy might occur. While the benefits of birth control have been enjoyed by millions of women throughout the world, there are also several risks associated with birth control use. Understanding these risks will help you make an informed decision about whether to use birth control and which one to choose.
Birth Control Pill
Birth control pills increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots. If you smoke and are over 35 years old, that risk increases significantly.
According to the Mayo Clinic you also have a higher chance of developing cervical cancer and liver cancer if you take birth control pills.
As you age, birth control pills can cause your blood pressure to increase. The Mayo Clinic recommends switching to another birth control method if your blood pressure begins to climb.
There are several risks connected to using the Depo-Provera injection for birth control. The injection is usually given every 90 days. It can cause a loss of bone density, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also increase your risk of developing depression. Women have also reported getting stomachaches, headaches and fatigue while on the shots.
There is some evidence that Depo Provera can interfere with liver functioning; therefore, it is important to report any jaundice or yellowing of the eyes to your doctor.
An IUD can increase the seriousness of any pelvic infection and, in turn, render you infertile; therefore, the American Pregnancy Association recommends that you evaluate your risk of infection when deciding whether to have an IUD implanted as a birth control choice.