A few months after I started using the ring, a form of hormonal birth control that goes inside your vagina and gets replaced each month, a friend told me that I looked "bustier." I was a bit alarmed by her directness, but I think she was right: I wear slightly smaller bras now that I'm off it. When I first went on the ring, all my doctor told me about it was that it could increase my risk for blood clots. What else, I wondered, are doctors not telling us about the potential side effects of hormonal birth control?
"Hormonal methods of birth control cause certain side effects due to their influence on your body’s chemistry,"Ann Mullen, Director of Health Education at Cycle Technologies, tells Bustle. "These methods include the pill, the ring, the hormonal IUD, the implant (in your arm), and the birth control shot. The body’s natural response to the synthetic hormones can be similar to when you are pregnant, so you might feel nausea, bloating, or swollen or tender breasts. Other side effects include headache or migraine, break-through bleeding, loss of periods, and mood swings."
To be clear, this doesn't mean you are likely to experience these side effects after going on birth control. But if you do notice any of them after you start, there could be a connection there, and it's worth talking to your doctor if you don't like the effects you're experiencing or notice anything out of the ordinary. Here are a few possible side effects of hormonal birth control that you may not have been told about.