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Handling Side Effects

Women have different reactions to oral contraceptives. Some initially feel some minor discomfort, while others experience no side-effects whatsoever. But studies have shown that most women feel better after a month of taking the Pill, compared to before they started.

If you do experience some side-effects, give your body time to adjust and keep taking Mercilon if you can. There’s a good chance the symptoms will soon disappear.

Here’s how you can manage some of the possible side-effects:

Teenagers and slim women may experience some nausea. This is caused by the estrogen in the Pill. It usually disappears after one or two months. In the meantime, taking the Pill at bedtime or with food may help lessen the nausea.

Weight Gain
Clinical studies consistently show that women do not gain weight when using low-dose contraceptives such as Mercilon. Normal age-related weight increases occur as a result of falling metabolism rates as women get older, and are also due to less active lifestyles.

Some women lose a little weight when taking oral contraceptives, most stay the same weight, and some may gain a little. This may be due to temporary fluid retention / bloating, which may occur. This can be managed with a combination of a reduced-salt diet and aerobic exercise.

Breast Tenderness
The estrogen in Mercilon can cause some women to experience breast tenderness. Again, this should improve within a few months. In the meantime, lowering caffeine intake from coffee, tea, chocolates and soft drinks can help relieve the discomfort.

Breakthrough Bleeding
For most women, Mercilon will make their periods lighter, shorter and more regular. Breakthrough bleeding or spotting may still occur in the first few months, usually due to one of two reasons. The first is that your body is still adjusting to the hormone levels in the Pill. In this case, the bleeding will stop after a couple of months.

Missing pills or taking them at different times every day can also cause breakthrough bleeding. So can smoking while you’re on the Pill, or taking another medication. Sticking to a daily routine is your best option.

A study of 509 women taking Mercilon showed that the rate of breakthrough bleeding dropped dramatically to just 9.4 per cent after six cycles.

In either case, speak to your doctor if you’re concerned, or if the bleeding continues after three or four months.

Mood Changes
You don’t have to be on the Pill to experience mood changes during your menstrual cycle. Mercilon can help reduce mood swings. Some women experience improved mood but others may continue to experience them. Speak to your doctor if you would like some help.

Missing One or More Periods
If you have not skipped any pills and there is no risk of pregnancy, you should not worry if you miss a period. That happens in about five per cent of all pill cycles. This is known as amenorrhea, and it’s generally not something to be concerned about. If you are concerned, speak to your doctor.

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