8 Unexpected Signs Your Birth Control Isn’t Right For You & What You Should Do
Birth control offers a lot of benefits, from preventing unwanted pregnancies to even regulating hormones and menstrual cycles. Unfortunately, when the birth control pill you're using isn't right for you, it can do the exact opposite. I took one brand of birth control pills for 10 years before I realized they weren't working for me anymore. When my insurance stopped covering the brand I had been using, I switched brands, and after a few months, found that the new pill made me feel like a different person. I had horrible mood swings and depressive episodes I had never had before. For a while, I didn't know what was happening to me, and honestly, it was a little terrifying. Eventually, I realized it was the new birth control pills and went off of it — and then everything got better. This is common — some brands work for some women, while others don't.
It can be hard to tell if your birth control isn't right for you, because many of the side effects of that can be confused with other things. I, for example, didn't know that a birth control pill could make someone feel depressed until my doctor explained that it could. It's really important to know how to tell if you need to switch things up.
If you read this and end up thinking your birth control isn't working for you, don't stress — you have options. There are a few different methods you can try out there (like another brand of pills, the Nuvaring, an IUD, etc.), so just talk to your doctor to figure out what might be a better fit for you. You might find that you need to experiment a little bit before finding the right method, but the process is worth it. You shouldn't have to suffer bad side effects for anything! Here are a few unexpected ways to tell if your birth control isn't right for you:
1. You Experience Chest Pain
You've probably already heard that birth control pills can lead to blood clots. It's definitely a risk to keep in mind. If a blood clot starts in the legs, it can travel up to the lungs, and that can cause intense chest pain that will feel worse when you take a breath. If you're feeling that, definitely see a doctor.
2. Your Brain Feels Foggy
Do you feel easily distracted, kind of confused, and like you can't really focus on anything? It could actually be your birth control pill. Researchers recently found that women who were on the Pill had a better emotional recall of events, but had a tough time remembering the details. They believe it's because all of the hormones, which can actually make you feel like you have "pregnancy brain." If you're having trouble remembering things, talk to your gyno about it.
3. You Can Never Remember To Take It
Taking the birth control pill is a big commitment. You have to remember to take it every single day at the same time, which means also remembering to keep it on you at all times. Doing so is the way to make the Pill the most effective.
Some people don't have an issue with this, but if you can never seem to remember to take the Pill, you might want to consider switching to a method that doesn't force you to take it every single day, like the IUD.
4. You Feel Depressed
I had a personal experience with this: my birth control started giving me major mood swings, making me feel depressed and anxious, and just taking over my emotions completely. My doctor told me that it was too much estrogen and prescribed me something different. If you feel like your mood is totally out of whack, it could be your birth control.
5. You Have A Lot Of Nausea
Again, the Pill can have serious consequences for your gut health, and can also lead to nausea if it's not really right for you. It could be the combination of hormones in the particular method or brand you're trying. Talk to a doctor to try to switch to a lower dose of hormones. If that doesn't help, you're better off going off the Pill and trying another method.
6. You Were Diagnosed With A New Health Condition
Whenever you get prescribed a new medication, you should always let a doctor know that you're using birth control in case it could increase your chance of blood clots. You should also talk to your gynecologist when you get diagnosed with a new health condition. One doctor told INSIDER that "certain types of migraines, lupus, or uncontrollable high blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke risk for people on the Pill."
7. You Want More Control Over Your Period
There are a lot of negative side effects to the Pill, but one of the advantages of taking it is that it gives you more control over your period. On the Pill, you can skip your period when you want to, and it also helps make it a lot more regular. If you want to have more control over your cycle, you're better off changing your method to the Pill.
8. You Get A Lot Of Headaches
Birth control shouldn't be giving you constant headaches. Personal story: when I went off my birth control because of mood changes, I switched to a lower dose. That one gave me bad headaches, and my doctor told me it could be a sign of the potential for blood clotting. Talk to your doctor if you notice very bad headaches all the time.