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"How young is too young to take BCP?"
My 16 year old daughter has been having terrible cramps. My sister took birth control pills to control hers, and I was wondering if 16 is too young for a girl to take bcp. Are there any consequences of taking them, especially if you're too young? Benefits?
Birth control pills are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States, and they are generally very safe. However, if you have particular concerns or questions about your daughter's use of birth control pills, please make an appointment to speak with your doctor, so he or she can review your individual concerns. The most common side effects of birth control pills (although these do not affect everyone who takes them) include headache, slight dizziness, nausea, mood changes, and mild weight gain. These side effects are not age-related, so they are not more likely to affect your daughter than anyone else who takes the pill. Other potential side effects include increasing the frequency of migraines in some people who are prone to migraine headaches, and also slightly increasing the risk of forming blood clots. For this reason, it is very important that your daughter not smoke cigarettes while taking the birth control pill, as this increases the risk of forming blood clots further in those who are on the pill. There have been conflicting studies about the risks of developing certain cancers in those who take the birth control pill. Some studies have shown a slightly increased risk in developing breast cancer, although this has not been sufficiently substantiated, and other studies have shown that this risk goes back to normal after discontinuing the pill for 10 years. Other studies have shown that taking birth control pills can actually decrease the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Overall, your daughter is not at an increased risk of experiencing negative effects from the birth control pill compared to those who are older, and it is safe for her to start taking the pill at this age. Just be aware of the side effects mentioned above. It is especially important that she not smoke cigarettes while on the pill. Again, to address your particular concerns regarding starting the birth control pill, I recommend making an appointment for your daughter and you to speak with her doctor.
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