THE FEAR OF CONTRACEPTIVES: For any woman seeking to use contraceptives there is always anxiety and fear of the side effects that might be associated with such. However, a visit to the hospital is always assuring, the healthcare workers will always tell you that contraceptive pose no serious side effects. The common side effects are easily disputed as myths whenever a client tries to make a closer enquiry.
Why then do people fear contraceptive that much? Here are some the serious side effects that you may never be told in hospital.
- EXCESSIVE BLEEDING
This is a side effect mostly experienced by clients using hormonal contraceptives. Hormonal contraceptive contain synthetic progesterone and/or estrogen which are reproductive hormones found in women. Normally they regulate the normal menstrual cycle in women. These contraceptives prevent pregnancy by interfering with the normal levels of these hormones in the body and hence disrupting the menstrual cycle. Therefore, women using this contraceptive are likely to experience abnormal bleeding this include bleeding between periods, heavy and prolonged menstruation. The amount of blood lost through this can be considerable leading to anemia.
- WEIGHT GAIN
This is another common side effect among women using progesterone based contraceptives. These contraceptive come in the form of either implants or injectables. Most women who commence using these contraceptives rampantly add massive amounts of weight than can even suddenly distort their looks. The rate at which the weight is gained is alarming and very disturbing to the women, unluckily the weight cannot be shade as fast as it was gained.
- PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE
This is mostly seen in women who use intrauterine copper devices (IUCD). The foreign objects introduced to the uterus that guarantees contraception for up to 12 years is not free of side effects. It is a mode of choice for many women who do not meet the criteria of using hormonal contraception like the plus sized women and those clients who have conditions with hypertension. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) happens when the infection of the fallopian tubes gets infected and they become inflamed. The foreign object attracts acts as reservoir for many microorganisms that increase the risk of such infections. This conditions presents with frequent lower back pains and lower abdominal pains.
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Hormonal contraceptives have also been seen to cause high blood pressure among women who were not previously hypertensive. That is why women with hypertension are not allowed to use these contraceptives. Unfortunately, the only advice and healthcare provider will ever give you concerning this is to frequently monitor your blood pressure.
- ECTOPIC PREGNANCY
Ectopic pregnancy happens when the fertilized egg in a woman’s uterus implants in the wrong place majorly the fallopian tubes. The use of emergency pills (e pills/ morning after pills) is common among young unmarried woman. This has been found to increase the chances of ectopic pregnancies among young women. This is because emergency pills work by many mechanisms one of them being reduction of fallopian tube motility to reduce the chances of the of fertilization. In the case where the e pills are taken close or on the ovulation period, there a high chance the egg is already fertilized. The reduction in tubal motility increases the resistance for the fertilized egg to move to the right place for implantation leading to an ectopic pregnancy.
(The writer of this article, Vivian Nyansarora is a medical expert and a graduate from the University of Nairobi.)