A birth control packet on a yellow and pink background

Understanding Birth
Control and Its Side Effects

By Lizzie De La Cruz
July 28, 2022

With concerns about access to birth control on the rise, it’s important to know that it’s safe, efficient, and private to order birth control online. Let’s review some of your available options and the possible side effects of hormonal contraception.

How birth control works

Pregnancy occurs when an egg released from the ovary (the organ that holds eggs) is fertilized by sperm. The fertilized egg attaches to the inside of the womb (uterus), where it develops into a baby. Hormones in the body control the release of the egg from the ovary and prepare the body to accept the fertilized egg.

Hormonal contraceptives (the pill, the patch, and the vaginal ring) all contain a small amount of human-made estrogen and progestin hormones. These hormones inhibit your body's natural hormones to prevent pregnancy, typically by preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs. This means that sperm never have the opportunity to fertilize an egg and an embryo can’t develop.

Hormonal contraceptives can also thicken cervical mucus (the mucus that covers the cervix) to make it difficult for the sperm to travel through the cervix and find an egg.

Types of birth control pills

When ordering birth control online, it’s important to know that there are two main types of birth control options. Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin, which is a synthetic form of the natural hormone progesterone. The “mini-pill” contains progestin-only. The mini-pill requires that you take a pill at the exact same time every day for it to be as effective as possible—there’s not a lot of room for error. That’s one reason many people opt for the combination pill that allows for a bit more wiggle room, even though you still need to take a pill every day.

Side effects of birth control pills

According to the Guttmacher Institute, of the 62% of women who use contraception, 25.9% use oral contraceptives, 10.9% use IUDs, 4.5% use an injectable hormone treatment, and 2% use a vaginal ring. When taken correctly, “the pill” is up to 99.9% effective. Birth control pills work by preventing the body from producing an egg, which means that there is nothing for sperm to fertilize, and pregnancy cannot occur.

Side effects are common, but usually mild, and vary from person to person. They include:

  • Nausea, especially when someone starts using birth control pills—taking the pill with food or at bedtime may help.
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement.
  • Headaches.
  • Spotting, or breakthrough bleeding—the most common side effect. It happens because the body is adjusting to changing levels of hormones, and the uterus is adjusting to having a thinner lining.
  • Missed periods.
  • Mood changes—hormones play an important role in your mood and emotions. Changes in hormone levels, which taking the pill may cause, can affect your mood.

It's important to know when ordering birth control online that most of the common side effects fade or usually go away after 2 or 3 months.

Birth control pills can also help with irregular, painful, or heavy periods, endometriosis, acne, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For the many who order birth control online, it’s important to know that while side effects don’t happen all the time and to everyone, there are common side effects to birth control.

Packet of Errin birth control pills on a pink background

Errin® Birth Control (generic)

Similar to: Camila, Deblitane, Heather, Incassia, Jencycla, Jolivette, Lyza, Nor-QD, Nora-BE, Norlyda, Norlyroc, Ortho Micronor, Sharobel and Tulana

Starting at $5.00

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Azurette Birth Control Packet

Azurette ® Birth Control (generic)

Similar to: Volnea, Viorele, Simliya, Pimtrea, Mircette, Kimidess, Kariva and Bekyree

Starting at $5.00

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Yaz® Birth Control (generic)

Similar to: Gianvi, Jasmiel, Lo-Zumandimine, Loryna, Nikki, Vestura

Starting at $5.00

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