Can birth control make you tired?
Yes, it turns out birth control can make you tired, and if you’re wondering exactly how those tiny pills, rings, patches, and IUDs do it, we got a doctor to explain the real culprit behind birth control fatigue.
You’re taking the pill and wondering why you feel so tired lately, right?
That’s pretty normal if you ask the likes of science, and that’s because most birth control options currently available on the market now are a combination of estrogen and progesterone, essentially mimicking the effects of pregnancy. Have you ever heard of a pregnant woman being tired? Of course you have, but if goes deeper than just that.
“The hormones typically used in birth control pills are estrogen and progesterone,” explains Efrat Meier MD of Bergenfield Women’s Health in Bergenfield, New Jersey. “Different birth control pills have varying doses of estrogen and different types of progesterone.”
While most women do well on birth control pills, there is a percentage who will experience side effects like headaches and nausea, and Dr. Meier adds that, “While fatigue is a possible side effect, it is less common so if someone is experiencing elevated levels of fatigue, that’s a great reason to reach out to your doctor to discuss it.”
Even Harvard-backed studies have found birth control linked to depression, and fatigue is a well-documented symptom of depression, so it’s worth talking to your doctor if you’re feeling extra tired.
Can birth control make you tired even if it’s not from a pill?
“Fatigue may be linked to progesterone in a birth control pill, if it does not resolve in three months, it is worth discussing alternative options with your doctor, considering a switch to a different birth control pill with a different type of progesterone or discussing other birth control options entirely.”
If your birth control option is hormonal and includes any form of progesterone, the short answer is “yes.” Birth control can make you tired.
What’s the solution to birth control-enhanced fatigue?
“Everyone is different in terms of how she reacts to medication and birth control is no exception. I would say there is not one pill I would avoid if you have concerns about fatigue.” Dr. Meier goes on to add that, “Many women are vitamin D deficient and should make sure they get their daily vitamin D. Other supplements really should be customized per the individual, based on her diet, overall health, and other considerations. You should feel very comfortable talking with your doctor about fatigue. Before taking any supplements, work with your doctor to check on what’s going on and have them help you through it – an OBGYN is always a good place to start and of course, we uniquely understand women’s health needs.”
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