Contraceptives allow couples to take control of their fertility and decide when they would like to become parents at a time that is right for them. Research suggests that as many as 99 percent of women who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive at some point in their lives. However, despite all the good that comes from birth control, contraceptives still are not without problems. Here are some of the most common side effects of the most popular forms of birth control.

The Pill

The birth control pill is the most popular form of contraceptive, used by an estimated 25 percent of all women who use contraceptives. The pill is up to 99.9 percent effective at preventing unplanned pregnancies, but that doesn’t mean it’s free from side effects. Here is a list of some of the most common side effects of the birth control pill.

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Increased appetite
  • Blood Clots
  • Spotting

Read: Does The Birth Control Pill Cause Depression?

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The IUD is a small flexible piece of plastic that is placed on the cervix. There are both hormonal IUDs which release small doses of progestin levonorgestrel continuously over a five-year period, and non-hormonal forms which are made of copper that act as a natural spermicide. The IUD is highly effective at preventing pregnancy, and unlike the Pill, you do not have to remember to do something each day at a certain time. The side effects of the IUD are very similar to those of the pill.

  • Missed periods
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Bloating


Condoms are a covering for the penis, either made from latex or animal skin, which prevent both pregnancy and the transfer of many STDs. They are the third most popular form of birth control, according to Guttmacher. Although side effects of this non-hormonal birth control are small, they still exist.

  • Latex allergy risk
  • Less effective at preventing pregnancy than hormonal birth control
  • Partners may resist using them


Quite possibly the oldest form of birth control, withdrawal involves taking the penis from the vagina so that a man does not ejaculate inside of a woman. The popularity of withdrawal may surprise some, considering it is possibly the least effective of all birth control methods. Still, it places above injectable birth control, vaginal rings, birth control implants, and patches. What’s more, there are fewer risks because this method is completely natural .Here are the risks associated with withdrawal.

  • Increased pregnancy risk (As many as 28 out of 100 women who practice the withdrawal method for one year will get pregnant.)
  • No protection from sexually transmitted diseases

See Also:

Birth Control Pill May Alter Woman's Brain Structure

Birth Control Apps Increase Access to Contraception