page contents Side effects of combined contraceptive pills | Centre of Balance Hamilton Acupuncture-Chinese Medicine Back Pain Expert & Arthritis Expert

Side effects of combined contraceptive pills

Side effects of combined contraceptive pills

The combined contraceptive pill can cause some side effects. Possible milder side effects include feeling sick, getting headaches, changes in weight, breast tenderness and increase in breast size.[1]

Some women get high blood pressure, feel depressed, or find they have a lower sex drive.[1]

The pill can also cause some more serious side effects. These may sound worrying, but the chance of getting a serious side effect is very small.

It's also worth remembering that the combined contraceptive pill can actually help protect against some kinds of cancer. You're less likely to get cancer of the ovaries or cancer of the womb lining (endometrial cancer) if you're taking the pill.[1]

Blood clots

The pill can increase your risk of getting a blood clot inside one of your blood vessels. If a blood clot forms in a vein deep in your leg, it's called a deep vein thrombosis (a DVT). But the chance of this happening is fairly small.[1]

    * For women who don't take the pill, each year there's about a 5 in 100,000 chance of getting a DVT

    * For women who do take the pill, the chance of getting a DVT is between 15 in 100,000 and 25 in 100,000, depending on the type of pill.

If a DVT travels through your bloodstream into your lungs, it can be very dangerous. But it's very rare for women to die of a DVT because of the pill. Over a year, the risk of dying of a DVT because of the pill is somewhere between 2 in a million and 10 in a million.[2]

If you have a blood clot in a deep vein, you'll probably get pain, swelling, warmth and redness in one of your legs. See a doctor straightaway if you have any of these symptoms.

Cancer of the cervix

Taking the pill for more than five years slightly increases your risk of getting cervical cancer. However, your overall risk of getting cervical cancer is low, whether you take the pill or not.[3]

    * Out of 10,000 women who don't take the pill, doctors would expect to see 38 cases of cervical cancer by the age of 50.

    * Out of 10,000 women who took the pill for five years from the age of 20, doctors would expect to see 40 cases of cervical cancer.

So, that's two extra cases of cancer in 10,000 women taking the pill. When you stop taking the pill, your risk of cervical cancer drops back to normal.[3] About 10 years after you finish taking the pill, your chance of getting cervical cancer is the same as if you'd never taken it.

Going for cervical screening (a smear test) can cut your risk of getting cervical cancer.

A stroke

There's a small risk of having a stroke because of the pill.[4]

  1. *Over a year, a woman not taking the pill has about a 4 in 100,000 chance of having a stroke.
  2. *    * This rises to about 8 or 9 in 100,000 for a woman taking the pill.

Breast cancer

Some studies have found that the pill slightly increases a woman's chance of getting breast cancer.[5] But other studies have found no increase in risk. It's hard to make sense of the different results. It may be that women taking the pill see their doctors more often, so they are more likely to be diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer.[6]

Even if there is a possible, small increase in your risk of breast cancer while you're taking the pill, your risk drops back to normal when you stop taking it.[6]

References

British National Formulary. Combined hormonal contraceptives. Section 7.3.1. British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britian. Also available at http://www.bnf.org (accessed on 18 February 2009).

Drife JO. The third generation pill controversy ("continued"). BMJ. 2001; 323: 119-120.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Drug safety update: volume 1, issue 9, April 2008. Available at http://www.mca.gov.uk/mhra/Publications (accessed on 18 February 2009).

Gillum LA, Mamidipudi SK, Claiborne Johnston S. Ischemic stroke risk with oral contraceptives. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2000; 284: 72-78.

Cancer Research UK. Possible breast cancer risks. August 2008. Available at http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk (accessed on 18 February 2009).

British National Formulary. Hormone antagonists. Section 8.3.4. British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Also available at http://bnf.org (accessed on 18 February 2009).

© BMJ Publishing Group Limited ("BMJ Group") 2009


More article about fertility  treatment  & women’s conditions 


New A real story of our baby 26/12/2012


New Successfully pregnant after acupuncture treatments with IUI in Hamilton 13/12/2012


New Testimonial of first-trimester threatened abortion treatments in Hamilton 26/09/2012


Acupuncture Fertility 12/02/2012


Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: A systematic review 


Fertility and Preconception Massage


Everything about acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments for infertility start in here                         

Treatment During Pregnancy

Menopause                     

PMS(Pre-menstrual syndrome)  

Female Discharge Disorders       

Breast Disorders           

Side effects of combined contraceptive pills

The Ten Commandments of Natural Fertility

Embryo transfers with acupuncture treatment in Centre of Balance

Fertility and Preconception Massage



Call 07 855 7115 now or email usto book you an appoitment today. 


Go to A-Z of Research by Disease/Condition

Go to A-Z Success Stories

Go to A-Z Articles

Go to our blog

Go to all about massage in Hamilton

Go to all about infertility treatment

Go to home page

Call Centre Of Balance and book an appointment on 07-855 7115 now.  or email us now.                                                                                                                                                                                 © Centre of Balance Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Clinic - Hamilton-2014                                                                                                                   Phone: +64 7 855 7115                                                                                                                                                                                                             Email: info@balancetcm.co.nz                                                                                                                                                                                          Address: 27F Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale, 3204, Hamilton, New Zealand.