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What are birth control side effects?

Birth control side effects are different depending on which method you use.

Some common side effects of hormonal birth control (the pill/patch/ring, the shot, the implant and hormonal IUDs) include:

Certain hormonal birth control methods can make your periods lighter and shorter, and also reduce cramping. Your period may even go away completely with hormonal IUDs (like Mirena, Skyla, and Liletta), the implant, or the shot (Depo-Provera).

The pill, ring, patch, implant, and hormonal IUD can slightly increase your risk of breast cancer, but they also decrease your risk of both ovarian and endometrial cancers.

The copper IUD (Paragard) doesn’t have hormones. It may cause heavier periods and more cramps. Other non-hormonal options, like condoms, diaphragms, and spermicide don’t have any side effects — just make sure you aren’t allergic to the material (like latex) that they’re made of.

Like snowflakes, we’re all unique. That means everyone responds to each type of birth control differently. So it’s important to talk with your doctor or nurse about finding the right method for you. And be patient — it might take a few tries to find the best birth control for you. Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center to get started.

-Emily at Planned Parenthood