Which Birth Control is Best for My Health?


         There are many options when deciding on what birth control to take. Your health is essential, so it's critical to understand the possible side effects before you begin. While your doctor may recommend the type of birth control you should take, it is always good to do your own research. A Pregnancy Resource Center, like the Family Life Center, can offer evidence-based education so you can decide what is best for YOU.

        Hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill, certain IUDs, the vaginal ring, Depo-Provera shot, contraceptive patch, or implants, as well as copper IUD's, are possible types of birth control (MFMER, 1998-2021, #1). Natural Womanhood (2021) shares the following side effects from these types of contraceptives:

Some other side effects resulting from these types of birth control include:

  • Rashes
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Migraines
  • Mood changes, including depression
  • Aggravation of varicose veins
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (pain, cramps, bloating)
  • Spotting
  • Vaginitis (yeast infection)
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Water retention
  • Vision impairment
  • Liver malfunction (jaundice) (Natural Womanhood, 2021)

     Some women rely on Emergency Contraception, but it is not recommended to be a primary birth control method (MFMER, 1998-2021, #3). Side effects of Emergency Contraception include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstruation (MFMER, 1998-2021, #3)

       Women who take emergency contraception should contact their health care provider "if you have bleeding or spotting that lasts longer than a week or develop severe lower abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking the morning-after pill. … These can indicate a miscarriage or that the fertilized egg has implanted outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy)" (MFMER, 1998-2021, #3).

      Another possible contraceptive is a barrier method, such as a condom. A risk for barrier methods is that women may suffer from preeclampsia, a severe illness during childbirth. Studies have shown that "Preeclampsia risk decreased significantly with increasing vaginal exposure to paternal semen …" (Elsevier, March 2014). With barrier methods, a woman's body may have an immune response increasing the risk of preeclampsia because she hasn't been exposed to her partner's sperm before the pregnancy.

      So if birth control can be bad for your health, then what should you do? If you aren't ready to have a child right now, would you consider avoiding sex until you can commit to a permanent relationship, such as marriage? Also, there are natural, healthy forms of birth control. Have you heard of Fertility Awareness Methods? Fertility Care? Natural Family Planning? There are Fertility Care Practitioners that can help you. A great resource is St. Clare Fertility Care Services (Kate Pruemer, FCP, 217-821-1840).

     Family Life Center does not refer for or dispense Birth Control. We offer evidence-based educational material on various birth control types, how they work, and their risks, as well as a nurse consultation if you'd like to learn more. We are concerned about the potential health risks of birth control that might affect you. Please schedule an appointment with us to learn more! Call us at 217-342-5433. We highly recommend visiting the website naturalwomanhood.org or FertilityCare.org to learn more on related topics.


1.Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), Birth Control Options: Things to Consider, 1998-2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/birth-control/in-depth/birth-control-options/art-20045571

2.Natural Womanhood, Birth Control Side Effects, 2021, https://naturalwomanhood.org/topic/birth-control-side-effects/Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), Morning After Pill, 1998-2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730

3.Elsevier Ireland Ltd., Science Direct, Journal of Reproductive Immunology, March 2014, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165037813000867

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Thursday, 09 December 2021

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Disclaimer: The Family Life Center is a faith-based 501(3)(c) organization established in 1995. All of our services are confidential and free of charge. Family Life Center does not perform or refer for abortions. We do not offer annual exams, birth control devices, mid-life services, mammograms or breast screenings, invitro fertilization services, pre or postnatal care, treatment of infertility or treatment of reproductive tract infections. You will receive a referral list of local physicians for your continued reproductive healthcare needs. The information on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice. 

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