Women's Health Clinic
Facts About the Pill
I heard the pill makes you gain weight and causes cancer.
My doctor told me that’s not true. She told me the pill has health benefits. It lessens the risk of two kinds of cancer and helps regulate my periods with less cramping.
You May Have Heard...
The Truth Is...
The pill will make me gain weight. The pill does not make you fat. Lack of exercise and overeating cause weight gain. Most women who take the pill do not experience a change in weight.
The pill causes birth defects. The pill does not cause birth defects or affect the health of future children.
The pill will affect my ability to become pregnant even after I stop taking it. The pill will not hurt a woman’s future ability to become pregnant.
The pill will stop my growth and development. The pill does not stunt growth and development.
I need to stop taking the pill every so often to give my body a "rest". The pill does not need to be stopped to allow the body to take a break.
It’s dangerous to use the pill while breastfeeding. Pill use is safe while breastfeeding, but should begin after milk production is firmly established.
The pill causes blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. Healthy, nonsmoking women who take the pill have no increased risk of heart attack or stroke. There may be a small increase in the risk of blood clots, but this risk is less than during pregnancy.
The pill causes cancer. Pill use lessens the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Some evidence suggests that long-term pill use increases the risk of cervical cancer; however, this is not proven. All women should have regular Pap smears to screen for cervical abnormalities.
The pill causes breast cancer. Worldwide data indicate that the pill does not increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer over her lifetime.
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 Last Modified 12/19/14