Contraceptive side-effects

What are contraceptive side-effects?

Side effects of contraception are common. They can be annoying and often debilitating. There are many options to ameliorate symptoms and you should see your GP or a specialist.


Common contraceptive side-effects include break-through bleeding (inter-menstrual bleeding), nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, mood changes and reduced libido.

How we can help

If you think you may have contraceptive side-effects and would like to talk to us about how we can help, please feel free to contact us. You can also request an appointment online.

Further information


Break-through bleeding

This is spotting or bleeding that occurs between periods while on hormonal contraception, or whilst pregnant. It is more common when you've missed a pill, or have vomiting or diarrhoea. It is relatively common in the first six months after a mirena is placed, or with a copper IUD. Other causes include genital tract infections, cervical ectropion, or as part of early pregnancy. Find out more