But not all side effects are helpful. It is very rare for side effects to be life-threatening, but they can have a big impact on our quality of life. Many women will go back to their doctor time and time again due to concerns about side-effects like irregular (or constant) bleeding, weight gain, headaches, nausea, or
Women often need contraception for over 30 years. Side effects aren’t a passing issue to be dismissed as "gossip", they can cause major distress and unpleasantness. One of the most alarming articles that I have seen recently is a case study about a 24 year old woman who used injectable contraception for seven years and developed vaginal problems. Her case might be an extreme example, but as the author says “This side effect may become increasingly more common as we see more long-term use of DMPA [injectable contraception]”.
Whether you’ve had side effects or not, I recommend you sign the AllTrials petition – which is about improving the quality of healthcare by ensuring that doctors and the rest of us have access to drug trial data.
Fertility awareness is a reliable method of contraception with no side effects. It means you get to know your body and when you are fertile. It’s not a perfect method (what is?). You have to abstain or use condoms, or your imagination, for at least 8 days each month. You also need to invest some time in learning it properly. The failure rate is high for those that don’t know what they’re doing, but with specialist support fertility awareness is over 99% effective (as good as the pill), and it means you’ll not need to worry about side effects from your contraception again. You’ll be the one in charge of your fertility.