How To Take It
The minipill comes in a pack of 28. Unlike combination birth control pills, thereâs no row of inactive, or placebo, pills. Itâs important to take the minipill every day and at the same time each day. Your body clears progestin more quickly than the hormones in combination birth control pills. If you take the minipill more than 3 hours outside of your usual time, it may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. If you miss the 3-hour window, use a condom or don’t have sex for the next 2 days.
If you forget to take a pill, take one as soon as you remember. That may mean you take two pills in one day. Take them a few hours apart. Then take the next pill at your regular time.
When you first start the minipill, take it within 5 days of when your period starts. It takes time for the minipill to work. Use a condom every time you have sex in the first week after you start the minipill.
What You Need To Know About Estrogen
Like progesterone, estrogen is a sex hormone naturally produced in the body and is responsible for developing female sexual characteristics. For example, during puberty, estrogen contributes to the development of mammary ducts. During pregnancy, it supports functions that secrete breast milk.
Estrogen is commonly found in birth control products, such as oral contraceptives and vaginal rings. It is also found in products that treat symptoms during menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and itching.
Some side effects of taking estrogen products include nausea, cramps, headaches, weight gain, and abnormal uterine bleeding.
If youre experiencing any adverse side effects when taking oral contraceptives, make sure to talk to your doctor.
What Are The Benefits Of The Implant
As with any type of birth control method, implants have pros and cons.
- They work. Fewer than 1 in 100 women using an implant will get pregnant each year.
- Easy to use. Unlike some birth control options — like condoms, patches, shots, rings, and pills — the implant works no matter what. You don’t have to worry about using it incorrectly or remembering to replace or take it often.
- Fast reversal. If you want to get pregnant, you can get started on that right after you get the implant taken out.
- Less painful periods. In studies of women using implants, painful periods got better.
- Lighter or no periods. Your period might get shorter, or even stop completely.
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Diaphragm And Cervical Cap
Unintended pregnancy in one year of use: 17% typical use, 16% perfect use .
Diaphragms and cervical caps are barrier methods that are both placed over the cervix and used with spermicide . Cervical caps are smaller than diaphragms and fit tightly around the cervix . Diaphragms stay in place by sitting behind the pubic bone . Diaphragms and cervical caps do not protect against STIs . Both are available in the USA with a prescription.
There is also a one-size-fits-all diaphragm, Caya . A healthcare provider may have you insert Caya during the visit and then perform a pelvic exam to make sure that it was placed in the right position . Water-based spermicide should also be used with Caya .
Hormone Levels During Your Period
You likely know bleeding associated with getting your period is actually the shedding of the lining of a womans uterus. As the bleeding ends, FSH and LH peak above their normal levels, leading to a thickening of the uterine lining and maturing of the egg-containing follicles in the ovary. Meanwhile, estrogen is steadily rising and peaks a few days before ovulation, after which FSH and LH peak once more.
For the next two weeks, levels of progesterone go on the rise to prepare the uterine lining for implantation of an embryo. If no implantation occurs , levels of both estrogen and progesterone drop sharply, triggering menstruation.
Your hormonal cycle is so delicate that simply altering one or two hormones can affect the entire cycle. Increasing your bodys levels of estrogen and progesterone suppresses the need to release FSH and LH, causing the entire sequence of events that lead to ovulation to come to a screeching halt.
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Types Of Birth Control Without Estrogen
Not only are our birth control needs individual, but they also change throughout our fertile lifetimes. With this in mind, weve put together a list of seven birth control options without the hormone estrogen. Whether you cant or dont want to use estrogen, or are looking to go entirely hormone-free, read on to discover our list of 7 types of birth control without estrogen
How To Choose The Right Birth Control Pill For You
With so many combination birth control pills available, how do you know which to use? Most are equally effective, so the best choice for you will likely come down to which is likely to produce no side effects.
The doctor who prescribes your contraceptive will be your ultimate guide, but its always wise to be as informed as possible about any drug you take.
In this guide to making an informed decision about which birth control pill is best for you, youll find a review of the differences between the types of pills, the potential side effects of each, and more.
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How Do I Know If I Should Switch Birth Control
If youre not satisfied with your current birth control pillfor example, due to side effectsits a good idea to discuss better options with your healthcare provider. Hang in there for the first three months to see how your body will do with your current pill. Its also important to discuss any new health conditions or medication history that might affect your current pills safety and effectiveness.
Who shouldnt take birth control?
You have any of the following risk factors, it is not recommended that you take any combination birth control as it can increase your chance of experiencing blood clots, strokes, and heart attack.
- You are over 35 years of age and smoke.
- You are scheduled to have surgery that will reduce your mobility for extended periods.
- You have a history of heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism.
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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.
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+ Birth Control Withdrawal Detox Protocol
While I firmly believe in the philosophy of focusing on what you can add into your diet and lifestyle to help yourself feel better it should be noted eliminating the following can really help offset symptoms and rebalance your hormones.
If possible I recommend trying to avoid
- + Estrogen Mimickers or Xenoestrogens Most commonly found in BPA , household cleaners, contaminated drinking water, medications and soy
- + Alcohol It impairs the livers ability to process estrogen effectively
- + Antibiotics These disrupt your gut flora and can cause estrogen to be recirculated in the body
As well as adding in
- + Cruciferous Vegetables See nutrition section above
- + Your Fave Sweat Method When we sweat we excrete toxins naturally and safely through our skin. Add in exercise or try out an infrared sauna
How Effective Is The Pill
The pill has the potential to be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if you take it without fail meaning you dont forget to take the pill for even a day or two. However, taking the pill perfectly can be difficult, which is why nine out of 100 women who use the pill will have an unintended pregnancy every year. The pill is most reliable when you take it consistently at the same time each day. Being consistent helps keep hormone levels from fluctuating.
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Birth Control Implant Removal
Taking out the implant is quick and simple. Donât try to do it yourself. Your doctor needs to remove it. While youâre in the office theyâll:
- Clean the area to prevent infection
- Give you a shot with medicine to numb the site
- Make a small cut at the top of the implant and remove it
It could take as long as 20 minutes if thereâs a lot of scar tissue in the area. If the doctor canât easily find the implant, they might take an X-ray to locate it.
Your arm might be sore after the implant comes out. Youâll need to:
- Wear a bandage for 48 hours
- Keep the area dry for 24 hours
Types Of Progestin In Combination Pills
Combination birth control pills contain different types of progestin, and manufacturers express the dosage in milligrams or mcg.
Some progestins can cause increased water and salt retention, which leads to bloating.
And some progestins act as androgens, a group of hormones that play a role in sexual health. High levels of androgens can play a role in acne and excess hair growth.This may be concerning for someone who wants to use a birth control pill to help reduce acne, excess hair growth, or both.
Different types of progestin vary in how androgenic they are. Currently, however, no data indicates that any pill is more effective than another at addressing acne or excess hair.
Some people may prefer to use a birth control pill that contains the progestin desogestrel. According limited evidence , it may help reduce excess hair growth and acne somewhat better than other options.
Combination birth control pills that contain desogestrel include:
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Does Phexxi Have Any Side Effects Or Risks
According to the FDA, the following symptoms or conditions are listed as potential side effects of using Phexxi:
- Vaginal burning
- Pain when you pee
- Vulvovaginal pain
Phexxi isnât perfect, and experts are particularly concerned about the 86% effectiveness. âIt doesnât give ideal contraception, so if you are going to be having frequent intercourse-and particularly if you are a young fertile woman-I would suggest speaking with your health care provider to get a more effective contraceptive,â Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School, tells Health.
There are non-hormonal birth control options that are more effective, Dr. Minkin says, like the Paragard IUD, which uses copper instead of hormones. âIt gives them 99% effective contraception, has no hormones, and lasts for at least 10 years,â she says.
The side effects can also make Phexxi a less-than-ideal choice for some women. âWomen prone to urinary tract infections or recurrent yeast infections should definitely check in with their doctor,â Dr. Wider says.
Overall though, Phexxi adds one more birth control option to the table for women, which is never a bad thing. âItâs a great addition for women who are seeking non-hormonal methods,â Dr. Wider says. And when more options are available, more women may use them to prevent pregnancy. As Dr. Levitt says: âAnything is better than nothing.â
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How Do Birth Control Pills Deplete Nutrients
Women go on the pill for many different reasons, beyond just preventing pregnancy. It breaks my heart to hear of teenage girls going on it just for acne and perimenopausal women going on it in their mid to late 40s for hot flashes and mood swingsbut synthetic hormones in menopause do much more harm than good.
The way hormonal birth control pills or injections work is by intentionally disrupting your bodys hormone levels. They typically contain both synthetic estrogen and progestin . These impact your ovulation, cervical mucus, and uterine lining to prevent pregnancybut these hormones have other repercussions.
This is because estrogen and progesterone are sex hormones, yes, but they also impact nutrient absorption and metabolism, as well as many other processes in your body.
Studies find that birth control continually causes side effects like headaches, mood swings, weight gain, breast tenderness, bloating, nausea, decreased sex drive, blood clots, and cervical cancerand clearly not all these things only have to do with your uterus and ovaries!
Birth control doesnt stay limited to this one area of your bodyit impacts every system, and it changes how the chemistry in your body works, especially when it comes to absorbing nutrients.
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Estrogen Dominance And Birth Control Pills
Natural hormone balance is the foundation of a womans emotional and physical health. During a womans natural menstrual cycle her estrogen levels rise and fall at different times of the month. The pill disrupts this cycle altogether keeping estrogen levels high all month.
Continuously elevated levels of estrogen can overload the liver, which cant perform its essential function of detoxification. As a result, these unhealthy estrogen metabolites go back into your bloodstream and get circulated in your body quickly leading to Estrogen Dominance
ED from the pill also leads to too much estradiol , also known as an aggressive estrogen, compared to estriol , which is the protective estrogen. This imbalance can be behind tender breasts, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, fibroids, endometriosis, breast, and ovarian cysts, and even breast and ovarian cancer.
High estrogen levels can also cause a rise thyroid binding globulin, which binds up thyroid hormones making less available to do its work in your body. ED has also been linked to the development of thyroid nodules and cancer.
To learn more about estrogen dominance and what you can do to reduce it, read my other blog post on the topic.
How Are Birth Control Pills Packaged
You get a set of pills packaged in a thin case. Pill packs containing regular birth control pills have either 21 or 28 pills. Twenty-one-day pill packs contain 21 active pills. Twenty-eight-day pill packs contain 21 active pills and seven inactive pills. The pill packs are marked with the days of the week to remind you to take a pill every day. The seven inactive pills in the 28-day pill pack are added so youâre reminded to start a new pill pack after 28 days.
Some newer pills have only two inactive pills or even none. It’s important to always take all the pills to be sure youâre protected from getting pregnant.
A package of extended-cycle Seasonale contains 84 active pink tablets and seven inactive white pills. With Seasonique and LoSeasonique, the last seven pills contain estrogen only.
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Which Birth Control Works Best
People often have a misconception that all birth control methods are the same in terms of protection. But thats not true. Some work better than others, Dr. Stanwood says. I tell patients that, aside from permanent sterilization , what gives the most protection is an intrauterine device or the arm implant, both of which have a less than 1% risk of pregnancy in a year.
An IUD is a small, soft, flexible piece of plastic shaped like a “T”it is inserted into your uterus, via your cervix, by your doctor. There are several brands , all of which release the hormone progestin, which changes the cervix and uterus to prevent sperm from getting through to an egg. These hormonal IUDs protect against pregnancy for three to seven years, depending on which one a woman chooses. Another type of IUD is hormone-free and instead uses a copper coil, which also changes the cervix and uterus to prevent sperm from getting through to an egg, and it can be used for up to 12 years.
The arm implant, sold under the brand Nexplanon, is a rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin of your upper, inner arm. It releases progestin and prevents pregnancy for up to five years by stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucus.
High Versus Low Dose Birth Control Pills
It can be confusing to understand the difference between high and low dose birth control pills and determine which might best fit your needs. Both high and low dose hormonal contraceptives are beneficial forms of birth control, and each has benefits and risks.
Its always best to consult with your physician to choose the birth control pill that will be best suited for your medical history and lifestyle.
Theres no one option that fits all as everyone has different factors that impact what birth control would be best for them. The truth is that certain pills might make hormones fluctuate in a way that is uncomfortable for a woman.
There are other types of birth control, but the truth is that using birth control pills as advised is the safest option to prevent pregnancy, other than abstinence.
Dont be afraid to ask embarrassing or tough questions to your doctor as you should not be uninformed about anything you will be putting into your body. Read on to learn more about high versus low dose pills.
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