Birth control pills (formally known as combined oral contraceptive pills or COCPs) are some of the most popular and most widely used contraceptive methods. They have been in use in the United States in the 1960s, which means that they’ve been around for almost 60 years. Currently, birth control pills are used by millions of women not just in the U.S. but also around the world, and they’re prescribed not only to those who want to avoid getting pregnant but also to those who have endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and other medical conditions.
A lot of women swear by birth control pills, but there also those who are skeptical of their effectiveness or believe that they shouldn’t be used at all. To know which side of this argument you should be on, take a look at the pros and cons of birth control pills.
List of Pros of the Birth Control Pill
1. It’s an effective contraception method.
The best thing about the birth control pill is that it simply works. If you take it properly (meaning you take it on time and don’t miss any dosage), the pill can be effective up to 99.9 percent and have a failure rate of only 0.3 percent. If you don’t take it properly, the failure rate can rise up to 9 percent, which is better than other forms of contraception.
2. It can help clear up acne.
Sometimes, women develop acne when they have too much testosterone. Birth control pills can fix this problem by lowering testosterone levels in the body and, in the process, helping you have clearer and smoother skin.
3. It doesn’t require surgery.
Unlike IUDs, tubal ligation, and hormonal implants, birth control pills don’t require you to go through surgery, so you won’t have to experience the pain and health risks that are associated with surgical procedures. The effect of the pills are also reversible so, once you’re ready to get pregnant, the only thing you should do is to stop taking them.
List of Cons of the Birth Control Pill
1. It comes with several side effects.
Just like other hormonal contraceptives, birth control pills come with a range of side effects, such as nausea, headaches, and breast pain and tenderness. It can also bring about more serious health problems, such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and even stroke.
2. It doesn’t prevent STDs.
Since birth control pills don’t create a physical barrier between you and your partner, they can’t keep you away from HIV and other kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. You’ll still need to use a male condom, a female condom, or a dental dam to stay away from STDs.
3. It can cause libido issues.
Many women have reported that they’ve lost their appetite for sex when taking birth control pills. Some experts think that this happens because the pills lower the body’s levels of testosterone, which plays a huge role in libido. If you find that your sex drive has taken a dive, talk with your doctor and see if you can switch to a different pill.
4. It can be inconvenient.
Like many people nowadays, you most likely have a busy schedule and find it hard to remember to take your pill on time every single day. As a result, you might end up skipping doses, which makes the pill less effective.
Keep these pros and cons in mind to decide if birth control pills are the right choice for you or not.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.