Women's Health Health Center

Sexual Health: Contraception measures are meant to prevent pregnancy in those who are sexually active. Certain types of contraception may cause side effects for some people. Hormonal birth control such as birth control pills, injections, skin patches, vaginal rings and implants work by releasing amounts of hormones into a female's body that interfere with the fertility process by preventing ovulation. This influx of hormones may cause side effects which should be discussed with your doctor before using. Possible symptoms and side effects of hormonal birth control may include weight gain, moodiness or feelings of being ill.

STDs can have a variety possible symptoms. Some common symptoms of STDs include: unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, sores or warts on the genital area, burning while urinating, itching, redness or pain in the genital area and anal itching, soreness or bleeding. Alert your doctor to these symptoms or any other abnormalities in your genital area.

Reproductive Health: Menstruation is the vaginal bleeding that occurs monthly for women after the start of puberty. This monthly "period" may be accompanied by symptoms such as bloating, irritability or moodiness, and abdominal cramps. Pregnancy's most common symptom is the absence of this period. Additional pregnancy symptoms may include: nausea, vomiting (morning sickness), sore breasts or nipples, fatigue, headache, food cravings or aversions, mood swings and frequent urination.

Menopause: A change in your monthly period is normally the first sign of menopause. Your periods may lose their regularity and become shorter or longer than usual. Your period also might become lighter. Hot flashes also are typical of menopause, as they are related to changing levels of estrogen. A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body. Feeling flushed, red blotches on the skin, heavy sweating and cold shivering are all symptoms. Hot flashes may last a few years following menopause. Drier and thinner genital areas, an increase in vaginal or urinary infections, urine leaks, trouble sleeping, increased or decreased interest in sex, mood changes and weight gain are also common during menopause.

Review Date: 
October 1, 2012
Last Updated:
September 4, 2014