Birth control may sound like an open and shut case -- you're sexually active now so obviously you would love to control your chance of giving birth. But before you decide to pop the pill, consider a few of these risks. And don't worry, we have a bunch of benefits to ease your mind too.

-Birth control increases your blood pressure, which can increase your chance of more blood clotting. The chance of this is relatively low and is even lower if there is no history of it in your family.

-Because of the increased amounts of Estrogen, you might experience a mood swing or two. While this is more of a risk for the folks around you, you can talk to your doctor about it and the two of you can work out a brand of birth control that is a better balance for you.

-If you're a smoker, taking birth control can increase your risk of a heart attack. For us, this risk is also a benefit -- we say anything that encourages you to put out the ciggs is a good thing.


-The pill is often prescribed to non-sexually active teens to moderate their period cycles. Girls with irregular periods or severe cramps are often prescribed a low dose of birth control to help them get regular. Keep in mind -- if you have a situation like this and would like to use birth control to prevent pregnancy, you will need a higher dosage so talk to your doctor before you start having sex.

-Ovarian cysts form during ovulation -- which the pill keeps regulated -- thus decreasing your chance of developing cysts.

-The best part -- the pill can help clear up your skin. Excess hair and pimples are caused by testosterone and androgens, which are suppressed by the estrogen found in oral contraceptives. Sounds clean and clear and under (birth) control to us.

Remember, taking the pill is just one form of birth control and this doesn't mean the guy doesn't need to wear a condom. He may try to make an excuse, like saying it feels better without, but the pill cannot protect you from STDs -- only condoms and abstinence lower your risks.