7 Things You Didn’t Know About Birth Control Pills

Hopefully you know the basics of birth control pills thanks to Sex Ed, reading up about them, and maybe even using them. But, there is a lot to know about them. There’s always new research coming out. Sometimes, different manufacturers produce new pills with a different ratio of hormones that can change things. What’s more, I doubt that you’ve scanned all the fine print in that little information book about birth control pills.

There’s always more to learn. The more we know, the great understanding we have of the subject to help us make the best decisions. Take a gander at seven interesting things to know about birth control pills.

They Can Impact Your Sense Of Smell

Don't worry, birth control pills aren't going to change your sense of smell so won't enjoy the scent of freshly cut flowers or pizza just out of the oven. It has to do with the scent of a partner. ABC News pointed out a study about how women who aren't on the pill have a heightened sense of smell before ovulating, when they're at their most fertile. But, women on the pill didn't have the sensitivity. It's thought this could impact the partners people choose, but that is obviously a very complicated thing with many variables.

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There's A Mini Pill

No, the mini pill isn't just an easier-to-swallow form of traditional birth control pills. The full name of the mini pill is the progestogen-only pill. It's different from other birth control pills because it only contains progestogen which means it does not have estrogen. This can be beneficial to some people who experience side effects with the mixed hormone birth control pills.

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Male Birth Control Pills Are Still Being Developed

Male contraceptives have been in development for some time, but they're a far ways away from being what birth control pills are for women. Basically, studies have failed because the pills came with side effects dudes couldn't handle. As of May 2018, researchers deemed we were *one step closer* to getting a male birth control pill to the market. A pill is being developed which lowers testosterone and other hormone levels responsible for sperm production without any serious side effects. We'll believe it when we see it.

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Birth Control Pills Are Thought To Reduce Users Chances Of Getting Some Cancers

Being on birth control pills is thought to reduce some cancers, but could increase the chances of others. Cancer.org reported that *studies have provided consistent evidence that the risks of breast and cervical cancers are increased in women who use oral contraceptives, whereas the risks of endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers are reduced.* Cancer.org points out these are observational studies so more research is needed to clearly establish a link.

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It Can Pollute Our Water

Birth control pills have many benefits, but one of the negatives things about them is they can impact our water and even affect wildlife. Live Science reports that women on the Pill excrete synthetic hormones. These end up in the water which can impact other people, animals, plants, etc.

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You Don't Really Need The Placebo Week

You know the week of pills you take when you get your period, aka the placebos that keep you in the habit of taking a pill every day? You actually don't need those.  Women's Health reports that the placebo week was built into the birth control pill cycle because researchers thought women would think it's *unnatural* not to get their periods. It's really unnecessary because birth control pills stop the uterine lining from building up, so there's no need to *shed* it with menstruating.

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Birth Control Pills Do Not Make You Gain Weight

Some people do not want to take birth control pills because they grow worried that the pills will make them put on weight. It's something that we've heard a lot about. But, there are a lot of studies that dispel this idea. Some show that the increase in *weight* has to do with an increase in fluid retention in the body. This normally goes away one to two months after starting pills. Others say that people are gaining a bit of weight, but it has nothing to do with the pills. Let's not forget the fact that even if you do gain a few pounds after going on the pills, it would be nothing compared to what you'd gain if you got pregnant.

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What fact surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments!


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