Men Shocked to Discover Severe Birth Control Side Effects: 'Rather Get Pregnant'

Two men's reactions to reading the side effects listed for birth control pills has gone viral online and for some has highlighted the lack of awareness around just how much women's bodies go through.

TikTok user @squishxy shared the video two days ago, documenting her and her roommate's boyfriends' shock at discovering the possible side effects of contraceptive pills.

The video comes just months after online discourse focused on the side effects of the contraceptive pill following the reaction to the risk of blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"My roommate and I had our boyfriends read our birth control side effects," she wrote on-screen, with the two men reading from the large printed leaflet given with the pill.

"You're gonna get a stroke?" asked one while reading, visibly concerned.

"What the f**k is angina pectoris," he later asked, as the other male looked at his sheet too. Angina pectoris is chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles, as per the U.K.'s National Health Service site.

The two males appeared comically shocked by every side effect listed and continued to read them out each time. "That's pretty f***ed up bro," said one of the boyfriends.

"This s**t is nuts," agreed the other.

"I'd rather just get pregnant than take this s**t," joked one in a follow-up video.

@squishxy

tiktok pls dont take this one down this is so funny to me 😭💀 #fypシ #MakeItCinematic #girls

♬ original sound - Mia

In just two days, the video, which can be viewed here, has gained over 16 million views and has been filled with comments from women humored by the men's reactions.

"They teamed up to figure out birth control," wrote one viewer.

"They look like two confused dads trying to read a map," noted another.

"That's actually so important to educate your boyfriends about these risks and problems," wrote a TikTok user.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 65.3 percent of women in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 49 were using contraception in 2017-2019, with 14 percent using oral contraceptive pills.

Possible side effects range from minor headaches and bloating to blood clots and strokes, albeit very rare.

Earlier this year, internet-wide conversation focused on the side effects of contraceptive pills after a viral video compared the risk of blood clots with the AstraZeneca vaccine with that of the pill.

At the time, there had been only 37 reported cases of blood clots among the 17 million people in Europe who received the vaccine, but concerns caused some countries to halt the AstraZeneca rollout.

Most European countries continued to use the vaccine again after the European Medicines Agency and World Health Organization ruled that the risk of blood clots were minor and the vaccine was safe to use.

In April the EMA concluded that blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which again ignited comparisons to the risks of contraceptive pills.

According to the U.S. National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA), birth control pills increase the risk of developing a blood clot by around three to four times. The NBCA also reports that 1 in 3,000 women on birth control pills per year will develop a blood clot.

Side effects of birth control pills became a talking point online when women noted that the reaction to the vaccine risk of blood clots was far more dramatic than to widely-accepted birth control, despite the latter's risk being far higher.

Contraceptive pills packets
Stock image of contraceptive pills. Getty Images

Dr. Alok Khorana, the chairman of the NBCA Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, told Newsweek in March that comparing the two is "a little more apples to oranges" situation, with the pill being taken daily whereas the vaccine is a one-time thing, and risks for the pill have been studied at length and is more quantifiable.

It was the online panic caused by the discourse around comparisons between the pill and the vaccine that caused the British Pregnancy Advisory Service to issue a statement on the matter.

"Rightly reassuring the public about the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine must not come at the expense of trust in the most commonly used contraceptive method in the UK.

"Combined hormonal contraceptives are overall very safe for most women to take—the very small increased risk of venous thrombosis (VTE) with use of the combined pill is far lower than the risk for VTE during or after pregnancy.

"We advise that any woman who is concerned about their current method of contraception seeks advice from their GP before discontinuing. An unplanned pregnancy presents a greater risk of VTE than the use of the combined hormonal contraception."

The man in the video may rethink his promise to prefer pregnancy over the contraceptive side effects though, with being pregnant increasing the risk of blood clots five-fold, as per the CDC.