AS a Gynaecologist, I do contraception counselling of couples on a regular basis.

Oral contraceptive pills are a mainstay of this counselling.

I would like to share one fact with you. When I prescribe these hormonal contraceptive pills, couples ask me this question very often….“ARE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS SAFE?” 

The discussion I am about to open ,may open many eyes.

Believe me if I say that they don’t even know what they are asking.

They have got no clue what they want to know. 

Let me explain.

“ARE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS SAFE?”  When this question is asked, actually they are asking these following series of questions.

Q 1 ) Will birth control pills have side effects on my body?

Q 2 ) When I want to become pregnant in future will I face any difficulty as I am taking birth control pills now?

Q 3) Gynaecologist says that these pills will keep you safe. What safety do these provide?

Q 4 ) How effective are these pills in preventing unwanted pregnancy ?

Wouldn’t you agree that this is complete set of questions.

If I answer them in detail, all queries will vanish.

Now, let us deal with each question systematically. 

A 1 ) “Golden rule”-“Like all medicines -oral contraceptive pills can also have side effects. Although not ‘EVERYONE’ gets them.

What does this mean- 

1) A ‘FEW’ users will get ‘SOME’ side effects. 

2) But ‘All’ will get side effects-that’s ‘Not’ going to happen.

3) One user will get ‘All’ the side effects-that’s also ‘Not’ going to happen.

Doesn’t it put the mind to some relief.

“Platinum Rule”

“Start the birth control pills on the advice of your Gynaecologist or Doctor, after a check-up & consultation.”

As these pills are ‘Over The Counter’ ( OTC ) drugs, a woman may procure them on her own and start eating. Even if you have started taking them on your own, it is advisable that you seek a Gynaecologist’s advise within 3 months of starting these tablets. 

Now, let us categorize the type of side effects-

1 ) Common Side Effects

As the name suggests, this category of side effects is most common, transitory and easily treatable. 

They may subside on their own.

Some common medicines will also cure them.

You can also ask your Gynaecologist’s advise

They are: – 




Breast tenderness 

Mood changes 

A bit of weight gain 

2 ) Uncommon Side Effects

If you experience any of these symptoms, you must contact your Gynaecologist immediately and take treatment. 



Fluid retention 

3 ) Rare Side Effects

You must stop the birth control pills immediately & contact your Gynaecologist at earliest. 


Deep vein thrombosis

(Disclaimer:-The list of side effects that I have given above include some of the side effects but not all of side effects as including all side effects is beyond the scope of this article. As a safeguard, you should be in touch with your Gynaecologist regularly) 

A 2 ) Suppose ,you are taking these birth control pills & now you wish to conceive, all you need to do is complete the current packet that is going on and stop taking the tablets afterwards.

Many women will experience ‘Rebound Fertility ‘after that.

What does that mean….See, the mechanism of action of birth control pills is by suppressing the ovulation in that menstrual cycle. 

When a woman takes the pills for a number of cycles, there are many eggs that lie in suppressed stage in the ovary. 

Now, as soon as the pills are withdrawn, many follicles ovulate in next couple of menstrual cycle. With this scenario, the chances of fertility actually increase for the woman who has just stopped taking pills. Interesting…yess. 

A 3 ) Now, these birth control pills contribute to safety of health in many ways 

Menstrual cycle becomes regular & comes on time 

Blood loss is considerably less  

Menstrual pain & cramps are much less 

Recent medical literature suggests that birth control pills provide some protection in future to the woman who is taking them ,against cancer of ovary, cancer of endometrium ( lining of uterus ), benign ( Non-Cancerous ) breast tumors, ovarian cysts. 

A 4 ) If taken regularly, on time & as instructed by your Gynaecologist, birth control pills are almost 100% effective in providing protection against unwanted pregnancy. 

So, my dear friends and readers of this article, I hope this question-“ARE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS SAFE?” Is now sufficiently & adequately answered.