What are the side effects of birth control?

When you look at the packaging, it has common side effects such as nausea, headaches, weight gain, decreased libido, and increased risk of blood clots, to name a few. What it doesn’t say is that it causes inflammation in our intestines disrupting our microbiome and increasing the risk of development of GI disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s, and Ulcerative Colitis.


Studies have shown that birth control increases a marker of inflammation in the body called CRP three times the normal amount. This marker is commonly elevated in autoimmune disorders. In fact, there are studies which show there is a link between developing autoimmune disorders such as MS, Lupus, RA, in addition to those GI disorders I just mentioned.

A study in the New England Journal also revealed increased risk of breast cancer in women who took hormonal contraceptives. Estrogen is synthetically made, so it is not natural and similar to the estrogen our body makes.

Birth control also increases sex hormone binding globulin which decreases our testosterone affecting our libido, sleep, fertility, and energy.

Lastly, birth control causes depletion of vital nutrients such as Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Vit C, Vit E, and B vitamins such as B2, B6, folate, and B12.

If you are taking hormonal contraceptives and would like to discontinue, follow up with a functional medicine practitioner because there are protocols to help regulate your hormones, detox your body, and supplement depleted nutrients as you to prepare to stop taking it. If you are contemplating taking birth control, look at the risk vs benefit especially if you have a family history of these disorders and talk to your provider about non-hormonal birth control options. Please share if you have had any side effects from birth control and any questions you may have. Be Radiant!