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 Pills
- Heart attack.
- Blood clots.
- No protection against sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
- Drug interactions that might reduce the birth control pill’s efficacy.
Combination Birth Control Pills
- Increased blood pressure.
Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills
- Loss of libido.
- Loss of bone density.
- Skin rash.
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.