How does birth control affect your body?

Do you know what’s sexier than having actual sex? Being responsible enough to use birth control, of course! But have you ever wondered how these tiny pills, patches, and devices actually work their magic? And more importantly, do they have any side effects on your precious body? Fear not my fellow sexually active beings because we will be diving into the world of birth control and its effect on our bodies.

The Basics

Before we get started, let me break down a few things that are important to understand about birth control:

  • Birth Control – also known as contraception or family planning is used to prevent pregnancy.
  • Hormones – most forms of birth control contain hormones such as estrogen and progestin which regulate ovulation (the release of eggs from the ovaries).
  • Non-hormonal methods – Barrier methods like condoms block sperm from reaching the egg while Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) interfere with fertilization.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about all those ridiculous rumors you might have heard about how birth control affects your body.

Your Menstrual Cycle

Let’s start off by addressing one thing clearly: Birth Control was created to put a pause button on getting pregnant; which includes disrupting our natural hormonal balance. That being said…

Irregular bleeding

One thing Hormonal Birth Control can do is alter our menstrual cycles in strange ways. Some women may experience breakthrough vaginal bleeding outside their normal period schedule during the first couple months after starting BC (this sounds wonderful/ so glad I’m not a woman). This tends to lighten up over time but doesn’t exactly make for good bed sheets at times.

No Mo’ Periods

Here come some potentially relieving news for those Dreadful Monthly Marys among us: taking various types of Hormonal BC could potentially put an end to all of that glorious extra laundry. Or, it could cause you to experience more flow than before (woohoo!)

Your Hormones

Our bodies are complicated and often sensitive, So when we interfere with them using birth control, it sometimes leads to changes in our emotional states.

Mood Swings

Hormonal Birth Control containing progestin is known for causing mood swings or even depression (if your spirit animal is Eeyore this might not be the best option for you). Some studies have found longer-acting methods like the Depo-Provera Shot increased a woman’s risk of developing Depression over time. Yikes.

Protecting Yourself From PMS

On the bright side: Estrogen-progestin combo pills can actually reduce symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) like cramps, bloating and headaches (although life seems cruelly unbalanced at times since they also create it).


The whole point of Birth Control/methods is obviously ovulation interference so let’s chat about what different types do:

Synthetic Hormones & Egg Development

Combination BC pills affect hormone levels regulated by the body’s Hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis by suppressing Luteinizing Hormone which stimulates egg development. Preventing Ovulation entirely from starting leaves sperm without any “work” opportunities (Didn’t think I would use quotation marks there did ya?)

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods as mentioned earlier prevent sperm from entering into contact with eggs altogether thus preventing pregnancy entirely.

If used properly every time couples may only have 2% (or less) chance against conception annually.” That being said bad days still exist where condoms break/ Ugh

Sexual Health

While some forms of BC can pretty much guarantee no babies popping up anytime soon (!), others don’t provide you with protection from any sexually transmitted infections (STI)s.

Additional Barrier Methods

Extra barrier BC methods like Condoms help provide additional STI prevention in addition to pregnancy protection.

Female Sterilization

Although not always 100% guaranteed, Bilateral Tubal litigation is one such Permanent sterilization process that might prevent both unwanted STDs and babies down the line indefinitely.

Your Sexual Experience

Many people who start using birth control might do so because of their desire to be responsible about sexual intimacy without worrying too much about unexpected pregnancies. Here are some potential side effects regarding said “playtime”:

Increased Vaginal Lubrication.

Some women will become more wet down there as synthetic hormones alter vaginal secretion patterns.( ) which can lead to a great payoff when attempting stimulation… Winky-face emoji ..however, Birth Control pills containing anti-androgenic progestin may decrease sex drive or cause vaginal dryness instead (Sad Face Emoji).

Blood Clotting Danger?

While very rare, it’s worth mentioning Blood clot formation risks associated with hormonal birth control for those with pre-existing medical issues that contribute towards this phenomena. Symptoms include leg swelling/pain, chest tightness/shortness of breath or severe headaches among other things…so stay informed!


So there you have it folks! These tiny little pills can actually pack quite a punch when it comes to messing up Mother Nature’s precious balance but ultimately; most BR options will take good care of your fertility needs if used correctly each time.! Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll even get male-centric BC options too huh? For now though until then remember: No matter what all those Hormonal Billboards on TV say: your personality doesn’t HAVE TO change every time your prescription does (mic drop).

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