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How Do I Minimize the Side Effects of Birth Control?

Birth control containing hormones can cause a number of side effects at first until your body adjusts to the medication. This process usually takes about three months. During that time, here are some of the side effects you might experience as well as how to stop them.


Most women only experience a small amount of nausea, but to prevent or lessen severe nausea:

  • Stick to light and plain foods, such as crackers or bread.
  • Consume cold liquids to soothe your stomach.
  • Avoid spicy, sweet, or fried foods.
  • Drink ginger ale or ginger tea.
  • Skip big meals and instead eat smaller meals throughout the day.


To prevent or lessen headaches:

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  • Take over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Avoid overpowering stimuli, such as loud noises or bright lights.
  • Reduce stress and other headache triggers.

Breast Tenderness

To prevent or lessen breast tenderness:

  • Reduce your caffeine intake.
  • Eat less salt.
  • Wear a supportive bra.

Mood Swings

To prevent or lessen mood swings:

  • Reduce the amount of stress in your life.
  • Practice meditative activities, such as yoga or deep breathing.
  • Maintain an active social life and an emotional support group.

Decreased Sex Drive

To prevent or lessen decreased sex drive:

  • Maintain an active relationship with your partner.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Reduce stress in your life as much as possible.


To prevent or lessen acne:

  • Maintain a strict skincare regimen.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Avoid processed or sugary foods.
  • Use prescription acne creams to reduce breakouts.

If these side effects aren’t getting better after about three months, the birth control you’re on just might not be right for your body. Talk with a Nurx™ healthcare professional to find out if another method of contraception might be a better fit for your needs.

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