ZocdocAnswersWhat are the health risks involved with birth control?

Question

What are the health risks involved with birth control?

I'm 29 years old and have never taken birth control. But now I have a steady boyfriend and I would like to stop using condoms with him. Are there any health risks involved with birth control at my age? Is it ever too late to start taking it?

Answer

Hormonal birth control is a very effective birth control method with very few side effects, most of which are considered acceptable given the benefits of this type of birth control. There are very few reasons in which someone like yourself would not be able to be on hormonal birth control. The first reason is if you have had a blood clot in the past that required treatment with a blood thinner. Birth control pills can make your blood thicker, meaning that if you were at risk for a blood clot the pills can increase that risk. The second reason is if you have a gene that puts you at high risk for breast cancer. People with this gene should stay away from these hormones. Finally, if you smoke, then birth control pills may not be the right thing for you. Right now, we only withhold birth control pills for women that smoke and are over the age of 35. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or OBGYN, whoever you see for your feminine health. You can discuss your goals for birth control and which method is best for you. Keep in mind that there are many different methods that are very effective.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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