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Birth Control Side Effects

Birth Control Side Effects

Experiencing some spotting and breakthrough bleeding? This is a common side effect of using birth control. Please keep in mind that it can take some time for your body to adjust to the change in hormones. Each person’s experience with birth control may be different. Check out the list of common side effects shown below.

Our medical team suggests sticking to any new birth control for 2 to 3 months before switching brands, unless you have persistent side effects.

Common Side Effects

Some common side effects of combined hormonal birth control are as follows:


Abdominal pain, acne, bloating, breakthrough bleeding, breast tenderness, contact lens intolerance, depression, headache, irregular bleeding, mood changes, nausea, vomiting, weight changes, and yeast infection


All of the side effects related to the pill as listed above, as well as possible vaginal irritation

Please see your primary care provider or reach out to one of our pharmacists for concerns about common side effects. Phone us at (772) 217–4557 M-F 8am to 8pm and Sat 11am to 4pm (ET). You may also text us at 44872 to discuss common side effects.

Our Suggestions

Our medical team suggests sticking to any new birth control for 2 to 3 months before switching brands, unless you have persistent side effects.

Stomach Upset? 

If you feel nauseated after your pill dose, try taking it in the evenings along with food. 

Concerns about Weight Gain?

Weight gain can be a side effect of all hormonal birth control. Ways to help avoid or manage unwanted weight gain are to maintain an active lifestyle of 45 mins. of moderate-intensity physical activity each day, eat a low-fat low-sodium diet, and stay adequately hydrated with water. 


If you seek medical attention for any side effects, please let us know, so we can add this information to your health history.

Serious Side Effects

Although rare, serious side effects may occur. Serious side effects may include stroke, heart attack, and blood clots in the legs or lungs. If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately go to the nearest Emergency Room or call 911.

Remember the ACHESS acronym.

Abdominal pain
severe, upper right side, vomiting, cramping, and weakness

Chest pain
shortness of breath, heart pain, left arm pain, and shoulder pain

especially those that are new, severe, associated with dizziness, fainting, difficulty speaking, numbness or weakness in arms/legs

Eye problems
blurred vision, complete or partial loss of vision

Severe leg pain
swelling, heat, redness or tenderness in leg

Suicidal thoughts
thoughts of hurting oneself or others

Call the National Suicide Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 for free and confidential support, 24/7.


Note that shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, facial swelling, hives/rash, etc. may be anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction. If you experience any of these symptoms, please go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.

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