Can Birth Control Make You Tired?

There are numerous benefits that can come with taking birth control, such as combating acne and regulating periods. However, as with most kinds of medicine, some users experience undesired side effects, one being fatigue.

When it comes to taking birth control, there are various factors to consider, including its potential effects on the body. Fatigue and tiredness are symptoms reported by some individuals using birth control methods. And, while the connection between birth control and fatigue may exist, it is essential to delve deeper into the topic to understand the underlying factors and potential causes.

In this article, we are going to explore the relationship between birth control and fatigue, examining different contraceptive methods and their potential impact on energy levels. By gaining a comprehensive understanding, you can make informed decisions about your birth control choices and effectively manage any associated symptoms.

Table of Contents

Tiredness and Birth Control

When we discuss birth control, we are referring to methods such as vaginal rings, subdermal implants, and, of course, pills. Some users have reported feelings of fatigue when using these birth control methods, with experts believing the side effects are down to the hormones present in the contraception

It has been found that opting for non-hormonal or low-hormone birth control options may be associated with reduced fatigue. Moreover, higher hormone doses in birth control pills and Depo-Provera (the 3-month shot) are more likely to cause fatigue due to their association with elevated blood hormone levels.

Is Fatigue a Common Side Effect?

You may not have heard about tiredness as being a side effect of birth control. This is because it is not all that common. It may also be because research into the side effects of hormonal contraceptives remains sparse. 

In terms of research into tiredness and sleep, this is especially true, though there have been some studies. However, the research that has been completed has resulted in conflicting findings. 

A survey of 2,000 women discovered that those taking birth control pills and other forms of contraception reported having more insomnia symptoms, as well as higher levels of fatigue during the day. The survey also found that those using progestogen-only contraception methods were not sleeping as much as those on a combination of other contraception. 

In 2010, a study was undertaken and found contrasting results. In this particular study, experts found that there was a lower percentage of birth control users waking up during the night. 

Furthermore, a 2013 study found a link between hormonal contraception and a better quality of sleep. The quality or efficiency of someone’s sleep is measured by the time spent sleeping against the time the person is in bed. The higher the efficiency, the better quality of sleep the individual gets. 

Finding Out Whether Fatigue is Linked to Birth Control

Experts have discovered that temporary fatigue, rather than prolonged tiredness, is commonly experienced as a result of using birth control.

Typically, if fatigue persists for over three months, it is likely due to another cause. If this is the case, you should consult with your doctor.

Fatigue caused by birth control can actually be more noticeable in the mornings and can be accompanied by cravings for salt and sugar. This type of fatigue is sometimes referred to as “adrenal fatigue”, but is currently not universally acknowledged by all medical professionals.

It is crucial to investigate all possible causes of fatigue before attributing it solely to hormonal birth control. Therefore, visit a healthcare professional if feelings of fatigue persist for more than a few weeks or months. 

What to do if Fatigue is Because of Birth Control?

There are multiple theories behind why hormonal birth control may induce fatigue. One theory suggests that fatigue may be a symptom of another condition triggered by birth control, such as depression. However, the precise relationship between hormonal contraception and depression remains incompletely understood and further research is required.

A comprehensive study conducted in 2016 indicated a correlation between the initial diagnosis of depression and the first use of antidepressants with hormonal birth control. Yet, a review of studies exploring the impact of hormonal contraception on mood, published in the same year, characterized the research in this area as “limited.”

Another theory proposed by some experts suggests that birth control pills can reduce the level of testosterone in the bloodstream, which may subsequently lead to fatigue.

Another theory suggests fatigue could arise from an individual’s unique response to the hormones in their chosen contraception. The basal ganglia, a region of the brain responsible for fatigue, may be influenced by birth control hormones in certain users.

Furthermore, the concept of nutrient deficiencies as the underlying cause of fatigue is also considered. Studies have found that hormonal birth control can deplete levels of zinc, folate, and magnesium, as well as vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, and C, all of which play significant roles in energy production.

However, there is currently insufficient data to definitively determine the exact reasons why some users of hormonal birth control experience fatigue.

How to Manage Fatigue?

In some cases, side effects of birth control will resolve on their own. A person may require a few weeks or even a few months for the symptoms to diminish as the body adjusts to the contraceptive method.

During this adjustment period, it is important to prioritize certain self-care practices. Ensuring an adequate amount of sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, and staying hydrated are recommended steps. 

It is also recommended to have an adequate supply of vitamins B-5, B-6, B-12, and C in your diet, along with magnesium. These help support the body during this transitional phase.

How Can DrHouse Help You?

DrHouse is a telehealth platform, that allows you to connect with an online doctor whenever you need to. We offer an on-demand doctor service, so you can get medical advice and treatment from anywhere, anytime.

If you have any questions or concerns about fatigue and birth control pills, our doctors are here to help with all of your medical needs and provide you with the best care. Also, if you need a new prescription for birth control pills or a refill, our doctors can write those prescriptions online. So, don’t wait any longer and start an appointment with DrHouse today!

In Summary

Whilst more research is required into the association of fatigue with hormonal birth control, some evidence seems to suggest that individuals taking different forms of contraception are more at risk of feeling tired and suffering from insomnia. 

Diagnosing fatigue can take time, as doctors will likely examine all possible causes before blaming it on birth control. If you feel something isn’t right, visit your doctor for further help. 


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Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

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