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Are Birth Control Pills Really Worth It? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Birth control pills can be expensive and a hassle to take, but they do have one distinct advantage: They prevent one night of sex from turning into a lifetime of parenthood. That benefit seems worth the price of admission.

I mean, you're not ready to be accountable for the health, safety and well-being of a chubby, bald, drooling little human being...at least besides your partner. But the question remains: Are birth control pills actually worth the hassle? The controversies go much deeper than price.

 
Birth Control Pills – The Advantages 
Tired of dealing with the pangs of menstruation? Just take birth control. You'll save a ton of money on diapers, and your partner may even be less afraid of having sex. And despite the common misconception, studies have shown that birth control pills do not cause a woman to gain weight, according to the MayoClinic.

Most notably of all, birth control pills allow you to take control of your reproductive system. You can have a child when you're ready, and not a moment sooner. There are, of course, other means of contraception, most notably condom use, but that's an issue that you'll need to discuss with your partner. 
 
**If you suddenly stop taking birth control pills, you may experience bleeding and vaginal discharge. This is normal.**
 
Birth Control Pills – The Disadvantages 
If you have just started taking the pill, you may be noticing some significant discomfort, and that's putting the issue delicately. Reported side effects of birth control use include breast tenderness, nausea and bleeding.

If you notice other side effects, though, such as splitting headaches, chest pain, vision changes or leg swelling, the MayoClinic recommends that you stop using the pill immediately and speak to your doctor. The “normal” side effects should typically fade away after about three months, but if they do not, that can be problematic as well. 
 
In addition, birth control pills have been shown to reduce sexual sensitivity in some women, even causing orgasm difficulty. I mean, you take the pill so that you can enjoy sex, and as a consequence, you find yourself as stimulated as a dry cactus. It's completely unfair, but it's a commonly reported problem. There are some herbal remedies that can treat the lack of sensitivity, but you may also find it worth your while to consider other forms of contraception if the problem persists. 
 
**According to the MayoClinic, birth control pills won't cause you to gain weight, but they may cause you to retain more water.**
 
So Are They Worth It? 
Women react differently to birth control pills. Some women report no side effects at all, while others experience everything from breast tenderness to mood swings to vaginal dryness. If the use of birth control pills causes you to feel like you're constantly grappling with some strange virus, you may want to kick the habit.

But every woman is different, so you need to determine how the pills impact you. Yes, that answer may sound like a bit of a cop out, but this isn't “I Love Lucy,” and very few things in life are black and white.
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