Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Pill: What You Might Not Know

Even With More Women on Birth Control, Many Don't Hear About the Variety of Side Effects


ABC News Medical Unit

Dec. 18, 2008

Despite nearly 50 years of access to the pill, some women are clueless about side effects that doctors might not bother sharing, and some that are just being discovered.

. . . doctors focus on the major side effects that can pose a health risk: the risk of blood clots among smokers, high blood pressure, and stroke with some migraine headaches, for example.

- Women on the pill may suffer a lackluster sex drive, mood swings, or even extra sinus pressure

- Some women may notice their sinuses are a little stuffier . . . pills do affect the mucus production of the body. That means mucus, whether on the cervix or in the nose, can become thicker.

- The pill may change how women find a man's scent sexually attractive.

- There is evidence that couples that are more MCH similar to each other have more difficulty conceiving, and they have more miscarriages. There is also research that women who marry men with similar MCH genes are more likely to have an affair.

- Patients also report that the pill can affect one's sex life.

- It's also possible for some women, especially if they're Catholics, to have a libido problem. . . . Once they start on the pill, it may reduce their enjoyment in some way out of guilt.

- Because the pill produces a pseudo-pregnant state, some of the side effects of pregnancy are noticed in the pill . . . heartburn, or constipation, or sleep disturbances, either as insomnia or extra sleepiness."

- Weight doesn't change if you take the pill ... but among the individual women, there may be some who gain and some who lose.

- Women over 35 who smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day shouldn't be taking the pill at all.

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