One of the most sensitive topics that you can ever discuss with your child is about sexual health. For some parents, it's awkward to start the talk about the birds and the bees, but if you know better you would take it upon yourself to open up this matter so you can have the peace of mind knowing that your child is equipped with correct knowledge.
Birth Control Pills are among the touchiest subjects to talk about. If your daughter has started taking oral contraceptive pills or is planning to do so, here are some of the things that you need to know.
Are Pills Only For Contraception?
Birth control is not the only purpose of oral contraceptive pills. These can also be prescribed for:
- endometriosis (cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body)
- irregular menstrual periods
- for hormone replacement therapy
Do Pills Have Health Benefits?
Yes, they have. Apart from providing treatment for the above mentioned conditions, these can also:
- lower risk of anemia
- protect against pelvic inflammatory disease
- reduce risk of pregnancy outside the uterus
Does the Pill Cause Cancer?
No, it doesn't. In fact, the pill has been found to protect against some forms of cancer like those that involve the ovaries and the lining of the uterus. A woman is 50 percent less likely to get cancer of the ovaries or uterus if she is taking birth control pills. Contrary to a popular perception, the pill doesn't increase the risk of breast cancer, as many health experts say.
Does It Cause Birth Defects?
No, there is no increase in birth defects for women taking birth control pill and do not smoke. If your daughter smokes, it's a must to encourage her to quit the habit. Smokers can still take pills but it would be best not to.
Does It Have Side Effects?
Yes, it has. Common side effects include:
- breast tenderness and enlargement
- bleeding and spotting
- nausea and vomiting
- low sex drive
How Long is it Safe For My Daughter To Take Birth Control Pills?
It is safe for your daughter to take birth control pills for years for whatever purpose serves her right, whether it's for regulation of menstrual cycles, treatment of acne, or for use as birth control.
How Do I Talk to My Child About Birth Control Pills?
The answer would vary depending on the mother-daughter relationship you have with your child. Of course, it would be best to cut to the chase and talk directly to her about it. Start the conversation by asking her if she's on the pill or if she's planning to take it.
Don't encourage lying by giving the impression that doing that is wrong. If she becomes scared on the onset, she'll find it difficult to open up with you. Don't force the issue if your daughter is not ready to talk about it. Assure her that you're there for her if she needs any help or advice.
It would also be great if you can provide important information that your daughter must know about the pill. You can say something like, "If you don't want to talk about it, it's fine but you should know that the health benefits of the pill include... and the side effects are...". This way, you are getting her equipped with the information without forcing her to open up. She will talk to you when she's ready.