By Veronica U.-K. & Mattea McDonald What does being on the pill mean?

Ask your doctor, if this method of contraception is best for you. Some women may not react well to hormonal birth control and may experience extreme side effects. But have no fear, there are many methods of birth control!

Breast tenderness or swelling–common side effects. These side effects should eventually go away once your body adjusts to the sudden hormonal change.

Clotting is a possibility. Consult your physician, as this symptom may become worse or continue.

Depression–some women can experience severe depression when starting a new hormonal birth control method. However, others may notice that their depression is alleviated or treated when the birth control is added to your daily regimen.

Effectiveness? Only 99.9% effective and only when taken exactly as directed.

Find the best fit for you! Yes, we’re speaking generically about ‘the pill’, but truthfully, there are many different types of the pill! It’s important that you discuss with your doctor any medications you’re currently taking, any health issues you’re currently dealing with, or any concerns you have with going on birth control.

Get an emergency plan in place. There’s no embarrassment for having a plan B (or maybe even, literally, Plan B). Mistakes happen, sometimes your birth control doesn’t work or the condom breaks. Protect yourself from an unintended pregnancy. If you are 17 or older, you don’t need a prescription for emergency contraception (usually called Plan B-One Step or Next Choice.

Hormones such as progesterone and estrogen work to inhibit the body’s natural cyclical hormones to prevent pregnancy.

Irregular periods? See ya! Forget worrying about when Aunt Flo is coming to town! She’ll never be a random visitor again.

Justification for using birth control? Safety. Every woman has the right to protect her body.

Keep another form of birth control on hand, as stated, it’s not a guarantee to prevent pregnancy!

Lowered libido–another common side effect. If this is a concern to you or your libido does not return to normal, contact your physician and ask if there is another form of birth control that you can try.

Mood changes–common side effect. These should even out and your mood should return to normal after the first month of taking the pill. If it doesn’t return to normal or you begin to see signs and symptoms of depression or begin to have suicidal thoughts, contact your physician immediately.

Negative pregnancy tests. (Hopefully!)

Ovulating?–not anymore!

Placebo pills will take the place of the pills, during your period.

Quit smoking. If you’re planning to start taking birth control pills, you should know the risks of smoking while on them. If you smoke while taking an oral contraceptive, you have an increased chance of developing blood clots, heart disease, and even having a stroke. Talk to your doctor about your birth control options, if you’re a smoker, as well as possible cessation options.

Refills should be called in right before or during your period to ensure you do not miss a day!

Spotting may occur, especially in the first few months. Spotting may also occur, if a pill is missed by more than 24 hours.

Time–Be sure to take it at the same time! But if you miss it, just take it ASAP, or the next one, the next time you are scheduled to.

Uteran lining is changed to prevent the attachment of the egg, along the uterine wall.

Vaginal mucus may also be thickened to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.

Weight gain–helllooo water weight!

X-out any ‘detox teas’ or ‘weight-loss teas’ as these may render your birth control useless, if it’s an oral contraceptive due to a faster flushing of your system. Using these teas may not allow the birth control hormones to absorb into your system. Ask your doctor if this is something you should be concerned with when it comes to your type of birth control.

Your new buddy, the pill, has actually been shown to reduce your chance of developing ovarian and endometrial cancers, as well as a reduced risk of developing endometriosis.

Zero protection against STD’s. Birth control pills as well as IUD’s do not provide any protection against the contraction of STD’s. Make sure you use condoms in order to keep those nasty infections away! Don’t forget to get tested regularly!

Did we miss anything? Comment below! Don’t forget to follow Mattea!