If You’re Under 16 Years Old
Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
If you’re under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist will not tell your parents as long as they believe you fully understand the information you’re given and your decisions.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16. They’ll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they will not make you.
The only time that a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you’re at risk of harm, such as abuse. The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.
Youre Not 100% Protected From Pregnancy Yet
This one is especially important for sexually active women: Dont stop using protection your first month on birth control, because you can still get pregnant! Opting for back-up protection is your best and safest bet. During your first month, there is still a chance that you ovulated before starting the first pill, so there could still be an egg ready for fertilization. After your first month, the hormones in the active pills should prevent you from ovulating altogether. Always use a backup method, and check out Planned Parenthood for more information about what options are available to you.
Number : Whats An Abnormal Period On Birth Control
When the National Institutes of Health talks about vaginal bleeding, they say that women who take birth control pills may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or breakthrough bleeding. So are they saying that abnormal bleeding is normal when youre on the pill? Well, to a degree. They follow by saying that breakthrough bleeding should go away on its own, but you should talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Here are some symptoms of abnormal vaginal bleeding to watch for:
Bleeding or spotting between periods
Bleeding after sex
Heavy periods, which could mean passing large clots, needing to change your pad/tampon in the night, soaking through your pad/tampon every hour for 2 to 3 hours in a row
Bleeding for more days than usual or more than 7 days
Its a good idea to keep a record of these symptoms if you have them. You should note the dates when these symptoms start and end and how many pads/tampons youre soaking through if the bleeding is heavy. Jotting down these notes will be a godsend when you seek medical advice.
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Dont Worry If You Spot
Intermittent spotting and a little irregular bleeding are very common in women who are first starting the birth control pill. The reason weve singled out this particular side effect is because if it catches you off guard, it can be very alarming. It will take a few months for your period to develop a pattern though, so theres no need to worry if youre spotting in between for the first few months.
This also means you may not start your period on the firstday of your sugar pills, but rather with one of the later ones in the week.Depending on which pill youre taking, you may even skip menstruation duringthe first month or so altogether. The only time you need to contact your doctorabout irregular bleeding is if its excessive or especially abnormal.
How Effective Is The Pill
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , minipills and combination pills have eight percent failure rates with typical use. This means that eight out of 100 women will get pregnant while using the pill. This mostly happens if someone forgets to take the pill regularly. When used as directed, the pill has a failure rate of less than one percent.
The minipills must be taken within the same three-hour window every day to avoid getting pregnant.
The combination pills offer slightly more flexibility. Try to take them at the same hour every day. If you miss an active pill, take it as soon as you remember even if it means taking two active pills in the same day.
If youve missed two or more consecutive hormonal pills , use backup contraception such as condoms or avoid sex until youve taken the pills for seven consecutive days.
If youre wondering how to use birth control pills properly, there are several simple steps to follow:
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How It Prevents Pregnancy
The pill prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month . It also:
- thickens the mucus in the neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to penetrate the womb and reach an egg
- thins the lining of the womb, so there is less chance of a fertilised egg implanting into the womb and being able to grow
The pill is over 99% effective if used correctly. Other methods of contraception are better at preventing pregnancy, such as the IUD, IUS, implant and injection.
There are many different brands of pill, made up of 3 main types:
How Long Does It Take For Your Period To Regulate After Starting Birth Control
When you stop taking the pill, it can take some time for your body to start producing these hormones again. Menstrual periods typically resume within three months after you stop taking the pill. But if you took the pill to regulate your menstrual cycles, it may take several months before your period comes back.
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Can You Start Taking The Pill Anytime Or Does It Have To Be The First Day Of Your Period
Can you start going on the pill on the second day? I dont know when my first day officially started. It was light last night, but my heavy flow started today. I am picking up my birth control pill prescription today and I wanted to know if I would have to wait for another month to get started or not.
You can start taking birth control pills as soon as you get them any day of the week, and anytime during your menstrual cycle. But when youll be protected from pregnancy depends on when you start and the kind of pill youre using. You may need to use a backup birth control method for up to 7 days.
There are 2 types of birth control pills . Combination pills have the hormones estrogen and progestin these are the most common types of birth control pills. If you start taking combination pills within 5 days after your period starts, youll be protected from pregnancy right away. If you start combination pills any other time, you need to take the pill for 7 days before youre protected from pregnancy. Use another method of birth control like a condom if you have penis-in-vagina sex during your first week on the pill.
So theres no need to wait for the first day of your period to start taking your birth control pills you can start whenever you like! At the longest, youll only have to wait seven days for the pills to start being effective.
Starting After The 5th Day Of Your Cycle
You will not be protected from pregnancy straight away and will need additional contraception until you have taken the pill for 7 days.
If you start the pill after the 5th day of your cycle, make sure you have not put yourself at risk of pregnancy since your last period. If you’re worried you’re pregnant when you start the pill, take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after the last time you had unprotected sex.
How Do I Change To A Different Pill
If you want advice about changing your contraceptive pill, you can visit a GP, contraceptive nurse , or sexual health clinic.
You should not have a break between different packs, so you will usually be advised to start the new pill immediately or wait until the day after you take the last of your old pills.
You may also be advised to use alternative methods of contraception during the changeover, as the new pill may take a short time to take effect.
Side Effects And Complications:
You may experience breast tenderness, occasional headaches, nausea, and breakthrough bleeding for the first three months. These side effects are not unusual and should improve with time. If you continue to have breakthrough bleeding or have no periods at all after the first three months, please call the office so we can change your prescription. Your periods may be much lighter and should not be misunderstood as not having a period. If you have any withdrawal bleeding or spotting on the placebo pills, you do not need to call.
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What Do I Do If I Want To Get Pregnant
If you decide you want to get pregnant, just stop taking the pill. No matter what kind of birth control pill youre on, its possible to get pregnant right after you stop taking it. It can take a few months for your period to go back to the cycle you had before you started taking the pill, but you can still get pregnant during that time.
How To Take Every Day Pills
- Take the 1st pill from the section of the packet marked “start”. This will be an active pill.
- Continue to take a pill every day, in the correct order and preferably at the same time each day, until the pack is finished .
- During the 7 days of taking the inactive pills, you will get a bleed.
- Start your next pack of pills after you have finished the 1st pack, whether you are still bleeding or not.
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Birth Control Pills: Medical Uses
Posted under Health Guides. Updated 22 June 2020.
- Besides birth control, there are many medical benefits of birth control pills , the Pill, or hormonal pills).
- Before starting birth control pills, talk to your health care provider about side effects, risks and benefits of the Pill.
- Birth control pills can help irregular periods, PCOS, endometriosis, acne, menstrual cramps, and low estrogen conditions.
Adolescent girls and young women are often prescribed birth control pills for irregular or absent menstrual periods, menstrual cramps, acne, PMS, endometriosis, Primary Ovarian Insufficiency and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome . Girls who are diagnosed with PCOS are often prescribed oral contraceptives to lower their hormone levels and regulate their menstrual periods.
Birth control pills contain one or two types of synthetic female hormones, estrogen and/or progestin. Similar hormones are normally made by the ovaries. There are many different types of oral contraceptive pills.
Are There Benefits To Starting Midcycle
Although theres no health benefit to starting your birth control midcycle, there are some benefits to starting birth control sooner. It mostly comes down to convenience.
Starting right away might make more sense for you if youre more likely to forget your doctors instructions for how to take the pill by the time your next period rolls around. You may even want to skip your next period, which would affect when you start your pills.
If you want to delay or even skip your next period, starting midcycle might make more sense for you, says Fahimeh Sasan, D.O., assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Just know youre not protected immediately and take the necessary precautions.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Birth Control Pills
Most teens have no side effects when taking the oral contraceptive pill. However, its possible to have irregular periods, nausea, headaches, or weight change especially during the first few months. Each type of oral contraceptive pill can affect a young woman differently.
If side effects occur, theyre usually mild and go away in the first three to four months of taking the birth control pill. If you do have side effects, talk with your health care provider. If the side effects are uncomfortable or if they dont go away, your health care provider may switch you to a different kind of birth control pill or a different method.
When Should I Start Taking The Combination Pill
If you plan on using the combination pill, you will be protected from pregnancy immediately if you start your first pill five days after starting your period. If you plan on taking your first combination pill at any point other than five days after the start of your period, there is a chance that you may get pregnant. To prevent this from happening, it is advised to use another method of birth control, for at least seven days after taking your first pill if you plan on being sexually active.
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What If I Forget To Take One Or More Progestin
- If you forget even one progestin-only Pill or are even 3 hours late, take it as soon as you remember and use condoms for at least 2 days.
- Take the next pill at the usual time
- Continue to take the rest of the pills in the pack as you normally wouldat the same time each day! Start the next pack on time. If you have been sexually active within the past 5 days, ask your health care provider if you should take emergency contraception.
What To Do When Starting Birth Control Mid
Birth control doesnt offer immediate protection against pregnancy when its started mid-cycle. Take note of how long your new birth control will take to protect you. Use a back-up contraceptive, such as condoms, during sex while youre waiting for your birth control to take effect. Once youve been taking your birth control for two to seven days, depending on the type, you can stop using your back-up contraception.
It takes longer for some women who start birth control mid-cycle to adjust to the hormones. This can cause irregular bleeding or spotting. If you notice spotting, which can occur for several months after starting birth control mid-cycle, you may want to use panty liners or wear period underwear. It can also cause breast tenderness.
Some women like to start birth control on the first Sunday after the last day of their menstrual cycles. The Sunday Start method should make sure you dont get your period on a weekend, so its a great option if you suffer from cramps or are active on the weekends.
Its also easy for women who started taking the pill with the Sunday Start method to remember theyll need a new pack on the Sunday after their period. Of course, women who take continuous oral contraceptives wont have this frame of reference, as their packs have just 21 pills, not 28.
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