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Headaches and weight gain:
As long as you take it at the same time every day, the pill is an extremely reliable method of contraception. However, it doesn't suit everyone. Even though 'mini-pills' are much better-tolerated by the body, most brands of pill can cause side-effects ranging from heavy legs and headaches, to incompatibility with smoking and weight gain.

"Even though my doctor explained at length that if we found the right dosage for me, the pill wouldn't make me put on weight, I've put on loads. I'm constantly hungry and devour the contents of the fridge as soon as I get home from work," says Carol.
"The pill gave me awful migraines," adds Carla. "I've tried loads of different ones and some are better than others, although my doctor has told me the headaches are nothing to do with the pill. It must be though, whenever I stop taking it, they vanish!"

Loss of libido:
The pill works so well because it affects ovulation. Some women say that they haven't reach their usual sexual peak during ovulation since going on the pill. "Since I started taking it, my sex drive has gone right down, "says Natalie. "I used be raring to go during ovulation, but now I'm the same right through my cycle."

Doctors have put this down to the psychological effect of taking the pill: it's such an effective method, that on a certain level, we feel robbed of our ability to reproduce, which can have a negative effect on desire.

So it is a physical problem, or a psychological one? The pill is still a prescription drug, so it isn't completely risk-free.

The pill and AIDS:
The pill's main advantage hasn't helped the fight against AIDS: the fear of an unwanted pregnancy pales into insignificance beside the fear of contracting a life-threatening disease. Make sure you use condoms alongside it with every new partner.






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