Periods and puberty are totally natural, but often totally confusing too. If you’re worried, curious, or questioning something in this area, we’ve got you. Nurse, midwife and all-round puberty expert Shelley is on hand to answer all your burning questions
Today’s question is from a reader who wants to start using contraception.
“I want to go on the pill but I’m worried about the side effects”
Shelley says: The pill has multiple side effects, unfortunately most hormonal contraceptives do. You need to weigh up the risks and benefits, and choose what is right for you. There are two common types of the pill, the “mini” pill, which is just progesterone, and the “combined oral contraceptive pill” which has both oestrogen and progesterone. Some people may not be suitable for the COCP, for example someone with a high risk of developing a blood clot, and would have to go on the mini pill. The mini pill MAY have less side effects, but everyone reacts differently to different medications. It is very important to be very strict in taking your mini pill every single day at the same time or you will be at risk of becoming pregnant.
You will only know how your body reacts if you try it, so discuss with your GP about maybe starting on a low dose pill or the mini pill, and give yourself a few months as a trial period. If this doesn’t work for you, non hormonal methods of contraceptives could be an option, such as the copper coil. Talk to your GP and explain your worries and they will help you to figure out what’s best for you.
For more of Shelley’s expert advice on periods, puberty and body, check out the other questions she’s answered.
If you’ve got a question you want answered, DM us on Insta or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Ask Shelley’.