What are Birth Control Side Effects? One of the important things to realize when you start any new prescription medication is that you could experience side effects as your body adjusts. Interested to know what are birth control side effects most commonly? There are several but you likely will not experience them long term, if at all. If any side effect or symptom does not subside within a reasonable amount of time or is becoming bothersome, contact your physician and pharmacist right away. That being said, some of the most common birth control side effects include – spotting (bleeding between periods), nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, missed periods, lower libido, discharge and visual changes in contact lenses. Of course, these are potential side effects and you may not notice any of these things. How Effective is Birth Control? The question to address next is how effective is birth control? It makes sense that this is one of the most frequently asked questions…after all, why would you want to take something that isn’t effective? There are two main types of birth control – the mini pill which contains only a progestin and the combination pill which contains both a progesterone and an estrogen. The efficacy rates between the two differ. If you are asking ‘how effective is birth control?’ and you are referring the combination pill, the answer is up to 99.9% when taken correctly. For the mini pill, the effectiveness is slightly lower at a range of 87-99% effective, depending on the type. The main thing to keep in mind if that you play a large role in how effective your birth control will be. You need to follow the directions for use completely in order to get the most from your birth control. How Much is Birth Control? If we look at the topic of how much is birth control, there is no hard and fast answer. Some birth control types have generics, or equivalent off-brand medications, which are less expensive. Others are still covered under manufacturer’s patents and may cost a bit more. There are also programs that allow sliding scale payments for low income women. This is commonly seen at places like Planned Parenthood for example. Whether or not you have health insurance will be another factor that controls how much is birth control and what out of pocket expense you can expect. With all these factors aside, the typical range for birth control is $0 to $50.