What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing Birth Control
Think about things like convenience, cost, and efficacy. Consider what is most important to you as you choose your birth control method.
Lifestyle: Are you OK with remembering to replace a patch or ring? Or would you rather use a form of birth control that lasts longer?
Hormones: Are you sensitive to hormones or want to avoid them? Or are you looking for a hormonal birth control that will help with painful periods?
Cost: Do you have insurance or want to avoid a large upfront cost?
When Should I See My Doctor About Irregular Bleeding
Since every womans body reacts differently to these birth control methods, it can be hard to know when irregular bleeding is abnormal. You should see your doctor if you experience abnormal bleeding:
- And are pregnant
- And have a lot of pain during your period
- After intercourse
- And you have been using the same method of birth control for more than three months
- That is unexpected
- And you are younger than 8 years old or have no other signs of puberty and have vaginal bleeding
You should also see your doctor if you are taking a combined contraceptive pill and your periods have stopped completely during the week of placebo pills, although in many cases this can be normal.
There are treatments available for irregular bleeding that can help, or your doctor may recommend changes to your birth control method.
How Do You Get It
A doctor or a nurse practitioner must prescribe the Pill. They’ll ask about a girl’s health and family medical history, and will do an exam, which may include a pelvic exam. If the doctor or NP prescribes birth control pills, they’ll explain when to begin taking the Pill and what to do if pills are missed.
The doctor or NP might want to do a blood pressure check a few months later and make sure there are no other problems. After that, girls who are having sex should get routine exams every 6 months to a year, or as recommended.
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How Are Very Low
Very-low-dose birth control pills are usually started on the first Sunday after your period starts. If youre perimenopausal but you arent having regular periods, you can probably take a hormone called medroxyprogesterone acetate to start your period. These pills are taken for 21 days in a row and then not taken for seven days. During the seven days without medicine, your period will start. Seven days later , youll start taking the very-low-dose oral contraceptives for another cycle .
Which Type Of Contraception Is Best For Me
There are many things to think about when choosing which method of contraception is right for you.
Consider the following when making your contraceptive choice:
- Is it easy to use?
- How effective is it?
- Does it protect against STIs?
- What is the cost?
Some options arent suitable for everyone. Some types of hormonal contraception are not recommended for people with a history of blood clots or other health problems like migraines or high blood pressure.
The type of contraception you use is your choice. Your GP or local family planning clinic can give you more information and suggestions about which options might be right for you.
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When To See A Doctor In Person
Visit your gynecologist regularly if you have endometriosis. This way, theyre able to monitor both the severity of your symptoms and the condition itself. If your method of birth control is not helping your symptoms or its causing others that are affecting your quality of life, your gynecologist can work with you to find another option.
Is It Ok To Not Get Your Period On Birth Control
Certain forms of contraception make a womans periods less frequent or very lightor eliminate them altogether. This is completely safe, says Amanda Lendler, MSN, CNM, a Yale certified nurse-midwife.
During a womans monthly menstruation cycle, her uterus creates a lining to prepare for pregnancy. Hormonal birth control may decrease the lining built up during a menstrual cycle, leaving little or no uterine lining to shed each month, Lendler explains. That means there is little or nothing to bleed each month, and theres no harm in that.
At the end of the day, Lendler and her colleagues urge women to talk to their provider about any questions they may have about contraception.
Birth control is not one-size-fits-all, Dr. Stanwood says. We focus on what each patient wants and share our expertise to help her find what is best for her.
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Signs Of Abnormally Heavy Periods
About 1 in 5 women is living with abnormally heavy periods, but many women dont seek treatment. You might be experiencing abnormally heavy menstrual periods if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Periods lasting longer than seven days
- Passing blood clots larger than a quarter
- Needing to change pads or tampons every hour
- Needing to change pads or tampons during the night
- Missing out on daily activities due to period symptoms
These are all signs of heavy periods. Experiencing heavy bleeding can drain your energy, cause symptoms of anemia, and make you miss out on activities because youre tired or uncomfortable.
Talk to Dr. Sejour about your periods to find out if your menstrual cycle might be abnormal. If youve tried other methods of controlling your period, or you dont want to use hormones, an IUD, or other method, endometrial ablation might be a good option for you.
There are many birth control options available to teenagers for pregnancy prevention, avoiding sexually transmitted diseases , and managing monthly cycles and hormones. For sexually active teens, healthcare providers typically prescribe implants and intrauterine devices first because of their effectiveness and reliability.
This article discusses birth control options for teens, including benefits, risks, and side effects.
Are You Being Pressured To Have Sex
In a 2019 survey of U.S. high school students, 7% reported that they had been physically forced to have sex when they did not want to. Many more may feel pressured into it. Sex should always be consensual. If anyone is physically forcing, coercing, or pressuring you to have sex with them, seek help from a trusted adult, parent, school counselor, teacher, or healthcare provider. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE or text START to 88788.
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What Types Of Contraception Have Side Effects
Any medicine or medical device can have side effects. Many are unwanted, but some can actually be beneficial.
The hormones used in contraceptive pills, implants, injections and intrauterine devices can have effects that include:
- irregular periods or bleeding between periods
- lighter or skipped periods
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information about any side effects that you should expect due to your contraceptive method.
Tubal Ligation Is Permanent Too
There are permanent birth control options for women, too. Tubal ligation is also known as female sterilization, or having your tubes tied. It involves closing the fallopian tubes to prevent a womans eggs from being fertilized and pregnancy from developing.
Tubal Ligation Pros: Female sterilization is a generally safe form of contraception and doesnt change your hormone levels. Sterilization is also nearly 100 percent effective. It may also lower your risk of having ovarian cancer later.
Tubal Ligation Cons: The operation involves anesthesia, and as surgery, has some associated risks: reactions to the anesthesia, damage to your bladder or bowel, and pelvic pain afterwards, notes the Mayo Clinic.
This birth control method is permanent, so you should be sure you dont want more children before opting for this procedure. Like a vasectomy, reversing sterilization is expensive and not guaranteed.
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What Type Of Contraception Is Right For You Right Now
The form of birth control thats right for each person is very personal, and may change down the line. According to Dr. Shah, you are never locked into one form of reversible birth control and can always switch to another. Its your healthcare providers job to help you navigate each one and advise on how it might apply to your lifestyle, goals, and needs.
Its about finding the best method for the patient, not a doctor pushing an agenda of what they think is the best one, she says. If you need to change, even after a month, dont feel bad about it. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to find something that folks are comfortable with.
Heres a quick and easy guide to birth control options, including the pros and cons of each.
Would You Prefer Contraception You Do Not Have To Remember Every Day
Not all contraceptives have to be taken every day or each time you have sex.
You do not have to think about some contraceptives for months or years.
These methods need to be inserted by a health professional into your uterus or arm :
The contraceptive injection can be given 1 of 2 ways: either by an intramuscular injection into the buttock, or as a subcutaneous injection into the thigh or abdomen.
This is given every 8 weeks or every 12 weeks, depending on the type.
The subcutaneous injection can be given by a health professional, or you can be shown how to inject it yourself.
Other contraceptives that need to be changed or replaced every month or week are:
Other contraceptives used or inserted just before sex are:
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Is It Safe To Stop My Period
There isnt really anyone who couldnt safely have menstrual suppression, Prager says.
Naturally not having a period can sometimes be an indicator of a health issue such as in people who have eating disorders, for example but if you intentionally and safely stop your period, it isnt risky, Prager says.
Pragers logic is this: 200 years ago, for example, women tended to have more children and so spent much more of their life pregnant or breastfeeding .
Modern people with uteruses have many more periods than people did then, she explains.
In some cases, using an IUD, shot or other form of birth control may be safer for someone than using birth control pills. While rare, birth control pills can increase stroke risk in some people who smoke and are over age 35, have high blood pressure, get migraines with aura, or have a history of stroke or heart disease.
While menstrual suppression isnt dangerous, initiating hormonal birth control can be uncomfortable at first, depending on how your body reacts to the type of birth control youre using. Some people experience mood changes like anxiety and depression, nausea, breast tenderness, migraines, weight fluctuations or other unpleasant symptoms.
For many people, these symptoms will go away within a few months. But some people may need to try a different form of birth control if their symptoms are too bothersome.
On the plus side, there are also benefits to taking birth control and stopping your period, Prager says.
Does The Arm Implant Hurt
Likewise, the arm implant is a quick and easy procedure. Your medical provider will apply a local anesthetic to numb your arm and use a special device to slide the implant under your skin. We slip it through a little hole on the inside part of the arm and it rests under the skin, Dr. Stanwood says. Its kind of like getting blood drawn or getting an IV put in. Getting it removed is similarly very quick. Plus, its very discreet. A woman can feel it if she pushes on it, but its not sticking out.
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Side Effects Of The Combined Pill
Although the combined pill suits most women, like all medications it can cause some side effects, such as:
But some people experience more severe side effects like increased risk of blood clots, stroke and liver disorders. But these are rare. If you do experience side effects on the combined pill, a low dose pill such as Gedarel 20 might be a contraceptive option for you. These types of contraceptive pill contain both oestrogen and progestogen, but with a lower dose of oestrogen compared to the regular combined pill. This means that oestrogen-related side effects are often reduced. If youre over 35 and a smoker, you experience migraines or have a family history of breast cancer, you might be advised not to take the combined pill. It might increase your risk of certain conditions and the mini pill might be a better option.
Find out more about taking the combined pill here.
Do You Forget To Take Your Pill
Many women find that remembering to take the pill around the same time each day can be difficult. Failing to do so can cause spotting and reduce your protection against pregnancy.
You may want to consider long-acting methods of contraception, such as:
- The contraceptive injection
If you are interested in these methods you should see your GP or family planning clinic.
Or you may want to consider other routine types of contraception like the contraceptive patch or a vaginal ring. These are combined contraceptives and work in similar ways to pills, but you dont have to remember them daily.
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Does Starting On Birth Control During Your Period Stop Your Flow Immediately
One question experts get asked a lot is: If I start birth control on my period, will it stop? If taken correctly, there isnt one birth control method that is guaranteed to stop your period at all, let alone immediately. There are some cases where birth control can stop heavy bleeding, though, Lucky Sekhon, MD, ob-gyn and endocrinologist at RMA of New York, Flo Medical Expert, and assistant clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF, but it must be done under the direction of a doctor.
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Other Endometriosis Treatment Options
Another alternative to hormonal birth control for endometriosis is hormone therapy. Hormone therapy can help your body regulate the hormonal changes that affect the progression of the disease.
In more severe cases where birth control hasnt proven to help your endometriosis, your doctor may recommend surgery. A minimally invasive laparoscopy can remove endometrial and scar tissue with a knife, heat, or a laser. Laparotomy can remove endometrial and scar tissue with surgical tools.
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What Is Birth Control
Birth control is how you prevent pregnancy. There are many different types of birth control. Birth control only works when you use it correctly. Take the time to understand how each type of birth control works and how you use it.
If you’re sexually active and don’t want a baby, use birth control. A pregnancy can happen any time you have unprotected sex.
Option #: Hormonal Iuds
Theres a reason why OB/GYNs are obsessed with IUDsthey freaking work. Not only do they have the highest rate of pregnancy prevention , but they also last for years, meaning theres virtually no user error or memory involved. And, for once, youve got tons of options to choose from: either hormonal IUDs, all of which contain the same type of progestin-only hormone called levonorgestrel, or the non-hormonal IUD, which uses copper filament to prevent pregnancy.
Within the hormonal IUD category, youve got four different types on the market: Liletta and Mirena , and Skyla and Kyleena . Theyre all progestin-onlywhich weve already said isnt usually as effective at blocking ovulation and crampsbut because IUDs sit within your uterus, theyre powerhouses for thinning your uterine lining, which, in turn, lessens bleeding and cramps.
Okay, okaybut what about the non-hormonal IUD? Is there a way to curb cramps and prevent pregnancy without flooding your body with hormones? Unfortunately, no. The copper, non-hormonal IUD ) is a huge no-no for dealing with period cramps. With the copper IUD, your period will be crampier and a little bit heavier over time, which is something to keep in mind when choosing your IUD, says Dr. Stoddard. The biggest benefit of the copper IUD is that it protects against pregnancy for a full 10 years, but if youre dealing with severe cramps already, you may not want to take a chance on making them more painful.
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What Are The Potential Side Effects
You cant always predict if youll experience side effects. However, its important to be aware of the potential side effects of the method you choose.
If the side effects feel too uncomfortable or unmanageable for you, you can go off that form of contraception and use another one.
Some forms of hormonal birth control arent suitable for people with certain health conditions. Be sure to tell your physician or other care provider about your full medical history, including any underlying conditions or medications you take, so they can take this into consideration.
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Some Methods Might Require A Pelvic Exam
Some birth control methods require a pelvic exam, including intrauterine devices . These are often prescribed to people with heavy or prolonged periods.
Pelvic exams can be traumatic for survivors of sexual abuse or trigger gender dysphoria in transgender men, so this may affect your decision when reviewing different methods and any associated prerequisites.
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