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What Are the Risks of Birth Control Pills?

The risks associated with birth control pills are rare and vary based on a wide range of factors, including weight, age, medical history, lifestyle choices, and the type of birth control pill you’re taking — combination birth control or progestin-only birth control. The pill is very safe overall, but as with any birth control there are risks. The most common risks include:

Combination and Progestin-Only Birth Control Methods

Combination Birth Control Methods

  • Stroke.
  • Heart attack.
  • Blood clots.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Skin rash (reaction to adhesive on patches).

Progestin-Only Birth Control Methods

  • Irregular bleeding.
  • Ectopic pregnancy (risk is lower than if not using any contraception).
  • Loss of bone density with long-term use of the Depo shot.
  • Injection site bruise or soreness if taking the Depo shot.

Women who smoke and women over 35 are more at risk when using combination birth control pills. Progestin-only pills are often prescribed in these cases. Having a history of clotting disorders, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol can also increase the likelihood of experiencing negative health consequences from birth control, according to MedlinePlus.gov.

Get Birth Control Pills At Home

Birth control pills from Nurx cost as little as $0 with insurance or $15 per month without insurance.

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