Number : What’s Normal For A Period On Birth Control
The UK National Health Service says that irregular bleeding, like bleeding between periods, is common when you first start to take hormonal contraception like birth control pills, the patch, or the shot (Depo-Proveraâ¢.
Here are some facts about bleeding irregularities when you take birth control pills:
Overall, birth control pills should decrease how much you bleed.
Irregular bleeding is a common side effect during the first 3 to 6 months of taking the pill. It’s so common that 30-50% of women experience it.
The good news is that irregular bleeding will lessen or go away with time, usually after 3 months, when only 10-30% of women experience unscheduled bleeding.
It may be helpful to describe what bothersome bleeding can look like when you’re on birth control:
Unscheduled bleeding when you’re bleeding between periods or while taking active pills
Number : Male Or Female Condoms
The male condom is used quite a bit: The CDC says that according to 2011 data, about 1 out of 3 men ages 15–44 used a condom the last time they had sex. You can find male or female condoms like FC2 at drugstores or other retail chains.
What is it: Male condoms are thin covers worn over the penis during sex, made of latex rubber or polyurethane. Female condoms fit inside the vagina and have a ring on each end. They are also made of polyurethane.
How it works: Male and female condoms have one job: To be a physical barrier to keep sperm away from the egg. They do this by preventing sperm from getting into the vagina.
The only birth control method that can protect against pregnancy AND sexually transmitted infections
Convenient and affordable to buy
Female condoms can be placed up to 8 hours before sex and are a woman-controlled method
You have to remember to use a condom every time you have sex.
If the condom breaks or tears in any way, this could increase your chances of getting pregnant.
You could experience irritation or a rare allergic reaction to latex.
Managing Menstruation With Hormonal Contraceptives
Menstruation is a normal part of every young womans life. But as their bodies learn to regulate the hormones that control menstruation, adolescents commonly experience irregular periods, heavy bleeding and painful cramps. It can take several years after a girl’s first period for her body to settle into a pattern of regular menstrual cycles.
Some adolescents miss school or sit out from sports and other activities because of painful periods. While its important to have a doctor check for underlying medical causes, many menstrual difficulties can be managed with hormonal medications that are commonly also used for preventing pregnancy, such as birth control pills, patches and intrauterine devices. These medications and devices regulate the menstrual cycle by introducing hormones into the body at a steady pace.
Hormonal birth control can alleviate a lot of symptoms of PMS and irregular periods,” says Diane Rubin, clinical research coordinator for the PolicyLab at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia . “Many, many young people use birth control for non-contraceptive benefits.
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Number : Is It Normal To Bleed At All While On Birth Control Pills
The answer is yes; scientists designed the pill so you’d bleed during the placebo week. This was the one feature of combined oral contraceptives that scientists let remain unchanged over the decades.
That said, you will probably have unpredictable bleeding patterns during the first few months of taking any birth control method. The National Institutes of Health says that irregular bleeding can happen when you take hormonal birth control like birth control pills or IUDs.
Here are 3 ways to describe how unpredictable periods can be on birth control pills:
You may have your period on birth control during active pills .
You may have spotting, also called breakthrough bleeding, during the first few months. Doctors say this is the most common symptom when taking any brand.
You may have a missed period on birth control. But that doesn’t automatically mean your pregnant.
This unpredictability is usually not forever. As your body adjusts to birth control pills, you’ll probably just have bleeding during the regularly scheduled programming when you take those “sugar pills” that have no hormones in them. But if you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to check with your health care provider about it.
But get this. It’s not medically necessary for you to have this scheduled week of bleeding. We’ll explain more later.
Recap: Your Period On Birth Control
We get it: We’ve been taught that getting your period is a natural sign of femininity and means that everything is working normally for having babies. But the truth is that having your period on birth control is not the same thing as natural menstruation. Instead, it’s a different beast altogether.
*Editor’s Note: If you’re having irregular periods or spotting and you’re NOT taking birth control, then you should follow up with your doctor.
You should know that:
Changes to your periods are typical when you’re taking birth control pills. Make sure you’re taking your pills as directed.
Unless you have other concerning symptoms, not having your period while taking the placebo birth control pills does not automatically mean you’re pregnant. However, you can check with your doctor if you’re unsure.
Once you stop using birth control, then your periods should go back to normal, and your chances of getting pregnant will return to normal.
As always, if you have bothersome irregular bleeding, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. There may be a way to change your method, or they can let you know if it’s something that will go away anytime soon. It’s super helpful to track what’s going so you can present that to your doctor. Believe us, they like data, so record the dates it’s happening and what it looks/feels like. You’ve got this!
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Birth Control For Managing Cramps
Hormonal birth control is;easy to use;and;effective;at preventing pregnancy.;Certain;birth control;methods can provide;non-contraceptive benefits;as well.
Some;hormonal contraceptives;have been shown to lower the pain associated with dysmenorrhea. The following is a list of the;prescription birth control methods that have been shown to be helpful in relieving some bad menstrual cramp pain:
- Combination birth control pills:;Containing both estrogen and progestin, these pills help relieve bad menstrual cramps by blocking prostaglandin production.
- NuvaRing:;NuvaRing works like combination pills to ease menstrual cramps.
- Nexplanon:;This progestin-only implant appears to reduce dysmenorrhea in most women.
- Mirena IUD: While there’s not much data supporting it, this IUD;may reduce or eliminate monthly periods for many women, which should theoretically make menstrual cramps less likely.
- The Patch:The contraceptive patch also works like combination birth control pills and can help to decrease menstrual pain.
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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More Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects are rare with the non-hormonal barrier method of birth control, like with the condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap; although allergies can rarely occur, especially if latex is present. Toxic shock syndrome may rarely occur with the contraceptive sponge.
Serious side effects with the copper IUD may include: pelvic inflammatory disease , uterine perforation, ectopic pregnancy, and IUD expulsion.;
Other warnings and side effects may occur with the use of non-hormonal birth control. It is important to review the specific consumer information for your birth control choice. Discuss these serious side effects with your healthcare provider. Tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you take, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin and herbal supplements.
How Soon After Removing A Copper Iud Can You Get Pregnant
The amount of time it takes to get pregnant after stopping birth control may vary. When it comes to copper IUDs, women can try to conceive immediately after getting the IUD removed. Remember that every womans body is different. Some women can get pregnant right away after its removal, while others take longer.
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How About Natural Forms Of Birth Control
Okay, so this article has spanned the range of effectiveness when it comes to non-hormonal birth control. We’ve talked about the uber-effective ones, like the copper IUD and permanent sterilization. We’ve also talked about the barrier methods. Now come the natural options, which you’ve might have heard of . These are legitimate methods that women use, but know that these are some of the least effective ways to prevent pregnancy.
The withdrawal method. Also known as the “pull and pray” method. This already sounds a bit unreliable, yeah? It’s essentially when the male partner “pulls out” of the woman’s vagina before ejaculation. For couples who use the withdrawal method, about 22 out of 100 women may get pregnant. This number is a guess based on the risk of pregnancy from pre-ejaculate fluid.
Natural family planning method : You might also hear this called a fertility-awareness-based method. As it sounds, this option relies on you know precisely which days you’re most fertile and then avoiding sex on those days. It’s not considered a reliable method but could be the best fit for some couples. It takes a lot of planning every month. The CDC says this method is only about 24% effective, or that out of 100 women who use natural family planning, about 24 may get pregnant.
Hormonal Methods Impact Periods
Periods can be really hard for a woman to deal with. That is especially true if they are very heavy since that can make a person very uncomfortable. In addition, deciding what clothes to wear during that time of the month can be challenging when one has a heavy period as well. But an interesting fact is that the form of birth control that a woman chooses can impact her period in various ways. According to uofmhealth.org, hormonal birth control methods can reduce the bleeding and cramping that women experience while on their periods. It can also stop their periods altogether.
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How To Use The Birth Control Sponge
You can insert the sponge up to 24 hours before you have sex. To do so:
The sponge must stay in place for at least 6 hours after you have sex. But donât leave it in for more than 30 hours total.
To take it out, gently pull on the strap. It may help to bear down with your vaginal muscles. If theyâre too tight to remove it, wait a few minutes and try again.
Check the sponge to make sure that it isnât torn and that there arenât any pieces still in your vagina. Then throw it away in the trash.
Abstinence Alas Is The Only Foolproof Method
Ever considered ceasing sexual activity altogether? Practicing abstinence is one birth control option that cant fail. Some people practice periodic abstinence, Newmann says.
Abstinence Pros:;Totally refraining from sex is the only foolproof way to prevent pregnancy.
Abstinence Cons:;Refraining from sex is certainly not feasible for everyone nor is it easy. Were all human beings and we all have a sex drive, Newmann says. If abstinence is your only plan, you should always have a backup contraception on hand, such as condoms.
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Fertility Awareness May Work For Committed Couples
Know your cycle well? All you may need to do is use a barrier method, such as a condom, during the days that youre fertile. Preventing pregnancy through fertility awareness can be done by tracking your cycle on a calendar, monitoring your cervical mucus, and taking your body temperature.
Fertility Awareness Pros:;You can forget about prescriptions, devices, and taking hormones with this natural birth control approach.
Fertility Awareness Cons:;Youll need to make a strong commitment to monitor your cycle. Even with careful attention, theres still a large margin of error because women can ovulate on a different day of every cycle, Newmann says. And because sperm can stay alive for up to six days after sex, you have to use a barrier method for six days before you ovulate. The failure rate for using a combined method of checking your body temperature, monitoring cervical mucus, and watching the calendar is high, about 25 percent, Newmann says.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Copper Iud
The benefits of using a copper IUD are numerous for women. First and foremost, its a long-term form of birth control. Because there are no pills to remember or condoms to put on before sex, many women appreciate the freedom of using an IUD for birth control. There are many other benefits to using a copper IUD.
- It can remain in place for up to 10 years and can be removed at any time if you decide you want to become pregnant.
- Its safe to use while breastfeeding following childbirth.
- It doesnt carry the same risk of side effects that other hormonal forms of birth control do, including hormonal IUDs.
- If needed, the copper IUD can be used as emergency contraception if its inserted within five days of having unprotected sex.
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Types Of Birth Control
Generally, there are five categories of birth control methods. Each method works in a different way, like preventing sperm from getting to an egg or discouraging your body from releasing eggs. But every contraceptive technique has the same primary goal of helping you avoid unwanted pregnancy.
One thing to note before we dive in: Birth control and sexually transmitted infection prevention arent the same thing. Only condoms protect against STIs when used correctly. If STI prevention matters to you, youll want to use condoms in combination with another method.
Frequently Asked Questions Expand All
You can start using this method for the first time at any point during your menstrual cycle. But you and your obstetriciangynecologist or other health care professional should be reasonably sure you are not pregnant. Follow these directions:
If you start taking the pills within the first 5 days after the start of your menstrual period, no additional birth control method is needed.
If you start taking the pills more than 5 days after the start of your period, you need to use an additional birth control method or avoid sexual intercourse for the next 2 days.
If you are switching from another form of birth control, simply stop using the other method at the same time you start the progestin-only pills. If it has been more than 5 days since your period started, use an additional birth control method or avoid sex for the next 2 days.
If you are switching from an intrauterine device , you have a few options. You can wait until you have been taking the pills for at least 2 days to have the IUD removed. You can use another form of birth control or avoid sex for the 2 days before removing the IUD and starting the pills. Or you can use emergency contraception at the time of IUD removal.
Certain medications may interfere with the effectiveness of the progestin-only pill. These medications include
rifampin, a drug used to treat certain infections
some drugs used to prevent seizures
It stops ovulation.
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Condoms Keep You Safe In More Ways Than One
Theres a reason that condoms are a birth control mainstay: Theyre the only option that not only prevents pregnancy, but diseases and infections, too. If there is any risk your sexual partner could pass on an STD;, condoms are a must.
Today there are both male and female condoms to choose from, though male condoms are by far the most popular. A spermicide foam, cream, jelly, or film can be used with barrier methods like condoms. But spermicide alone only prevents pregnancy for about 71 percent of women.
Condom Cons:;Male condoms are only about 82 percent effective for preventing pregnancy, and female condoms 79 percent effective. Because of the high failure rate, Newmann suggests using condoms with another form of birth control. Some women also complain that female condoms are awkward to place and can create funny sounds.