Can contraceptives affect your period?

Choma did you know that birth control can change your menstrual cycle? This is because most forms of birth control contain different hormones that affect your body’s natural hormones. Here are just a few changes that you may experience if you use hormonal contraceptives.

What are contraceptives?

A contraceptive’s anything that’s used to prevent a woman from falling pregnant. Condoms are referred to as barrier contraceptives, since they physically block the male’s sperm from reaching the female’s egg.

Hormonal contraceptives are methods that rely on hormones to prevent pregnancy. Examples of hormonal contraceptives are the pill, the injection, the patch and the implant.

Side effects birth control can have on your period

Irregular bleeding/ spotting: if you’re on the pill or contraceptive implant, you may experience spotting (light vaginal bleeding between periods) and irregularities in your cycle. This means that your cycle might change or you may miss your period altogether.

Heavy or lighter bleeding: most forms of hormonal birth control, as well as the IUD, affects how heavy or light your period may be, especially in the first few months. If your period gets very heavy, though, make sure you see your healthcare provider.

No period: a lot of women on the injection stop getting their period after the first few months of starting this contraceptive. Some women on the implant also experience this and it isn’t usually a cause for concern, but if it’s accompanied by other symptoms like bloating, headaches and nausea, then you should speak to your doctor.

Painful periods: contraceptives like the IUD, implant and the pill can make your menstrual cramps more painful than usual. This usually happens in the first few months of use, but if it persists then you should speak to a healthcare professional and consider doing exercise and using heating pads to treat the pain.

Other side effects of hormonal contraceptives include mood swings, weight gain or weight loss, as well as acne and pimples.

It’s important to educate yourself about the different effects of contraceptives, especially of you’re thinking about getting started on them, Choma. Contraceptives are an effective way of preventing pregnancy, but it’s important to note that the only contraceptive that prevents HIV infection is a condom. I still advise you to use condoms every time you have sex, even if you’re on birth control.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).