Their effectiveness can’t be disputed — they’re up to 99% effective, when used perfectly — but neither can their side-effects.
A team of researchers based out of Sweden looked at 340 women between the ages of 18 and 35 and determined that those who were given combined contraceptive pills reported a negative impact on their overall well-being.
“We do not want women to stop using oral contraceptives due to our results but if a woman is worried about negative influence on mood and life quality she should discuss this with a doctor,” stated the lead author of the study, Angelica Hirschberg, to The Independent. “There may be better alternatives for her.”
Combination birth control pills are made up of two hormones which are the catalyst behind a woman’s changing hormone levels. In many cases these changes are what cause side effects like dizziness, nausea, cramping or persistent headaches.
According to Planned Parenthood, the overall negative side-effects should mitigate after 2 or 3 months of continuous use.
The study, which was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, compared women who were given the birth control pill against those who were given placebos. While those who were given birth control pills did report a lower quality of life, they did not have have an increased risk of depression.
The researchers stated that while the results supported the belief that birth control can impact a woman’s every day life negatively, it should not be removed from the running as a viable birth control option, unless discussed with a medical professional.