Health Family Work

What are common side effects of combined pills?

Irregular bleeding or spotting (bleeding at other times than your normal monthly bleeding). Combined pills often make your monthly bleeding shorter and lighter. It is also normal to sometimes skip your monthly bleeding. This is the most common side effect of combined birth control pills. To reduce spotting, be extra careful to take the pill at the same time every day. If the spotting continues, talk with a health worker to see if changing doses of progestin or estrogen will help.
If your monthly bleeding does not come at the normal time and you have missed some pills, continue to take your pills but see a health worker to find out if you are pregnant.

Nausea, the feeling that you want to throw up, usually goes away after 1 or 2 months. If it bothers you, try taking the pills with food or at another time of day. Some women find that taking the pill just before going to sleep at night helps.

Mild headaches in the first few months are common. A mild pain medicine should help. If the headache is severe or comes with blurred eyesight, this could be a serious warning sign.

If you are bothered by any body changes after starting birth control pills, talk to a health worker. She might suggest a different pill.

If you are given a new medicine while on the pill, ask your health worker if you should use a barrier method or not have sex while taking the medicine. Some antibiotics and other medicines make the pill less effective.