What side effects of the pill might I expect? Who should not take the pill?


Common side effects of the pill include irregular vaginal bleeding (especially in the first three months), breast tenderness, weight gain, nausea (take it at night to decrease the chances of nausea), mood changes, decrease in libido (sex drive), blood clots (the risk is still lower than the chance of getting a blood clot in pregnancy), and gallbladder problems.

Who should not take the pill?
The pill is contraindicated in smokers over the age of 35, pregnancy, undiagnosed genital bleeding, breast cancer, liver disease, uterine cancer, a history of blood clots, migranes with neurological manifestations, uncontrolled hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

What are the ages during which I can safely take the pill? The pill must be prescribed by a physician, and after a thorough history and physical, the pill can be taken from the early teenage years straight through to age 54.

Wendy Fried, M.D., FACOG, FACS, is an OB/Gyn with Northern Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC in North Hills, New York

Disclaimer: The information provided in this document is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Only your own physician knows all the important details of your specific medical and personal history and should be the only one to give you advice regarding your own medical care. You should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you have read herein. If you have any questions whatsoever about your medical health or believe you have a medical problem or disease, you should contact your medical doctor or healthcare provider.