Combination Birth Control Pills
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Combo birth control pills must be taken every day, at the same time. They contain Ethinyl estradiol and one of the following types of progestin: norethindrone, norethindrone acetate, ethynodiol diacetate, levonorgestrel, norgestrel, desogestrel, norgestimate, or drospirenone. Each of these progestins has its own profile based on its progestational, estrogenic, and androgenic effects on your body. There is also a new combination birth control pill called Nataziathis is the only pill that contains estradiol valerate and the progestin, dienogest. Combination birth control pills are also categorized as monophasic, biphasic or triphasicthis is based on how the hormones are distributed over the weeks in each pill pack. There are also extended cycle combination pills.
How Effective Is The Birth Control Shot
When used perfectly, the birth control shot effectiveness is more than 99%, meaning less than 1 out of every 100 people who use it will get pregnant each year. But when it comes to real life, the shot is about 94% effective, because sometimes people forget to get their shots on time. So, in reality, about 6 out of every 100 shot users will get pregnant each year.
The better you are about getting your shot on time, the better it will work. But theres a very small chance that you could still get pregnant, even if you always get the shot on time.
If effectiveness is the most important thing to you when picking what birth control to use, you might want to check out IUDs and the implant. Theyre the most effective kinds of birth control. But if you decide the shot is right for you, make sure you always get your follow-up shots on time.
How Can I Get The Birth Control Shot
You can visit a clinic to get the shot or a prescription for it and talk with a healthcare provider about whether it is right for you. You will then need to visit a clinic every 11-14 weeks to get your shots.
- Lighter or no periods over time most people stop bleeding completely
- Improved menstrual symptoms for some users
- You only need to remember to get the shot every 3 months
- You have complete control over the method and no one can interfere with its effectiveness
- May possibly treat and decrease pain associated with endometriosis
- Reduced risk of uterine cancer and ovarian cancer
- A good choice for people who cannot use estrogen
- Unpredictable bleeding is common especially during the first year of use, including spotting, prolonged bleeding or no bleeding. This often improves over time.
- You need to plan ahead to return every 11-14 weeks for injections
- Side effects may include weight gain, headaches, breast tenderness and mood changes
- Side effects from the shot may continue for 6 or more months after you have stopped using it
- When you stop using the shot, there may be a delay in return to fertility , but some people get pregnant right away
- No protection against sexually transmitted infections
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Common Side Effects Include Spotting And Weight Gain
Common side effects of the birth control shot include:
- Weakness and fatigue
Many women also don’t get their period while taking the shots. And, after one year, about 50% of women have no bleeding, Braaten explains. But, that’s perfectly normal and safe.
“The reason why people don’t get a period is because the lining of the uterus that normally has to shed does not build up when you have that hormonal influence from the shot,” Braaten says. “You don’t bleed because there’s just nothing to come out.”
How Can I Get Free Or Low
Under the Affordable Care Act , most insurance plans cover FDA-approved prescription birth control for women, such as the pill, IUDs, and female sterilization, at no additional cost to you. This also includes birth control counseling.
- If you have insurance, check with your insurance provider to find out what is included in your plan.
- If you have Medicaid, your insurance covers birth control. This includes birth control prescriptions and visits to your doctor related to birth control. Programs vary between states, so check with your state’s Medicaid program to learn what your benefits are.
- If you don’t have insurance, don’t panic. Family planning clinics may provide some birth control methods for free or at low cost. Call your local clinic or enter your ZIP code in this clinic finder tool to learn more.
For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov.
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Does Breastfeeding Prevent Pregnancy
Breastfeeding can be a short-term method of birth control in very specific situations. The risk of pregnancy is less than 2 in 100 if all three of these describe you:1
- You have a baby who is less than 6 months old
- You exclusively breastfeed, meaning that you only feed your baby your breastmilk all of the time
- You have not gotten a period after childbirth
Talk to your doctor about birth control if you do not want to get pregnant while nursing.
Are There Any Depo Shot Side Effects
Most common side effects associated with Depo-Provera go away after two or three months of beginning the shot, but here are a few to keep in mind:
- Irregular bleeding
If you experience heavy vaginal bleeding, severe migraine with aura, an allergic reaction, and/or severe depression, contact your healthcare provider for medical advice immediately.
Depo-Provera may increase your risk of certain cancers and ectopic pregnancy, and it shouldnt be used by anyone who has or has had breast cancer.
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What If Im Late Getting My Birth Control Shot
If you get your shot late, you may not be protected from pregnancy but it depends on how late you are. You can get your follow-up shots as early as 10 weeks after your last shot, or as late as 15 weeks after your last shot. But, if you get your shot more than 15 weeks after your last shot, youll need to use another method of birth control, like a condom, for the first week after getting your shot.
If you have vaginal sex without using a condom more than 15 weeks after your last shot, you should use emergency contraception. You may also need to take a pregnancy test before getting your next shot. The best way to prevent pregnancy while using the shot? Make sure you always get your shot on time, every time.
Can You Switch From The Pill To The Shot Or Vice Versa
Yes, you can switch. If you want to stop taking the pill and change to the shot, youll need to get your first shot 7 days before stopping the pill. Plus, youll need to make sure you finish your current pill back before making the change.
Going from the shot to the pill is a little simpler. Youll just need to ensure the first pill is taken at least 15 weeks after your last shot was administered.
Alternatively, you can use a backup method, like condoms, instead of overlapping the two.
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What Are The Disadvantages Of The Depo Shot
These are the more serious concerns to weigh when youre considering Depo-Provera, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .
- Fertility: It may take up to several months for your menstrual cycle to return to its normal schedule, and it could significantly delay your ability to conceive up to 18 months after your last shot.
- Sexually transmitted diseases: The birth control shot doesnt protect against STDs, so condoms and other barrier methods are still required for safer sex.
- Loss of bone density: You and your healthcare provider discuss your risk factor for osteoporosis beforehand. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended that Depo-Provera not be used longer than two years because some patients do experience loss of bone mineral density, which may be significant. The FDA label states that bone loss is greater with a longer duration of use and may not be completely reversible. Patients are encouraged to take vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone loss. Ask your healthcare provider what dose you should take.
- Scheduling: If its difficult to get to your healthcare providers office or if youre prone to forgetting appointments, you might want to opt for a birth control method that you can take yourself, like birth control pills or hormonal patches, or more long-term methods like the IUD.
What Is The Depo
Depo-Provera is a birth control method that you can get as a shot. You might hear people call it a contraceptive injection or birth control shot. Itâs a manmade hormone, medroxyprogesterone, which is similar to the natural hormone progesterone.
You get the shot in your arm or buttock. If you get your shot at the doctorâs office, your clinician will inject Depo-Provera deep into your muscle or under your skin. You have to get it every 12 weeks to get full protection.
After your first injection, doctors recommend that you use a back-up birth control method for 7 days.
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How Well Does The Birth Control Shot Work To Prevent Pregnancy
The birth control shot is an effective birth control method. Over the course of a year, about 6 out of 100 typical couples who use the birth control shot will have an accidental pregnancy. The chance of getting pregnant increases if a girl waits longer than 3 months to get her next shot.
In general, how well each type of birth control method works depends on a lot of things. These include whether a person has any health conditions or is taking any medicines that might affect its use. It also depends on whether the method is convenient and whether the person remembers to use it correctly all of the time.
What Are The Different Types Of Birth Control
Women can choose from many different types of birth control methods. These include, in order of most effective to least effective at preventing pregnancy:
- Female and male sterilization Birth control that prevents pregnancy for the rest of your life through surgery or a medical procedure.
- Long-acting reversible contraceptives or “LARC” methods Birth control your doctor inserts one time and you do not have to remember to use birth control every day or month. LARCs last for 3 to 10 years, depending on the method.
- Short-acting hormonal methods Birth control your doctor prescribes that you remember to take every day or month. The shot requires you to get a shot from your doctor every 3 months.
- Barrier methods Birth control you use each time you have sex.
- Natural rhythm methods Not using a type of birth control but instead avoiding sex and/or using birth control only on the days when you are most fertile . An ovulation home test kit or a fertility monitor can help you find your most fertile days.
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How Do I Make The Shot Work Best For Me
To get the shots full birth control powers, you have to remember to get a new shot every 12-13 weeks. Thats about every 3 months, or 4 times a year. Most of the time, a doctor or a nurse must give you the shot. So you have to make an appointment at a health center, and then remember to go to the appointment. But you also may be able to get a supply of shots at the health center to bring home and give yourself. You can use our birth control app to keep track of when you need to get your next shot, and any upcoming shot appointments.
You can start using the birth control shot whenever you want. If you get your first shot within the first 7 days after the start of your period, youre protected from pregnancy right away. If you get it at any other time in your cycle, you need to use another form of birth control for the first week after getting the shot.
After your first shot, its all about remembering when to get your follow-up shots. Here are some tips to make sure you stay on top of it:
- Use our birth control reminder app or set an alarm on your phone.
- Add it to whatever calendar you use on a daily basis.
- Ask friends, family members, or your partner to remind you.
Bottom line: do whatever works for you to make sure you get your follow-up shots about every 12-13 weeks.
If youre 2 or more weeks late getting your shot, your doctor or nurse may ask you to take a pregnancy test, or tell you to use emergency contraception if you had vaginal sex in the previous 120 hours .
At A Glance: The Contraceptive Injection
- If used correctly, the contraceptive injection is more than 99% effective.
- It lasts for 8 or 13 weeks so you do not have to think about contraception every day or every time you have sex during this period.
- It’s very useful for women who find it difficult to remember to take a pill at the same time every day.
- It does require you to remember to have a repeat injection before it expires or becomes ineffective.
- It can be useful for women who cannot use contraception that contains oestrogen.
- It’s not affected by other medicines.
- Side effects can include weight gain, headaches, mood swings, breast tenderness and irregular bleeding.
- Your periods may become more irregular, heavier, shorter, lighter or stop altogether.
- It can take up to 1 year for your fertility to return to normal after the injection wears off, so it may not be suitable if you want to have a baby in the near future.
- It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections , so you may need to use condoms as well.
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If You Miss An Injection Or Stop Having The Injections
You need to have the injection every 12 weeks if you want to prevent pregnancy. It can be given up to 2 weeks late, but if you wait any longer than that, it’s best to use condoms until the injection has had time to start working again.
When you stop getting the injection, it can take several months for your periods to return to normal, and even longer to become pregnant.
How Does Birth Control Work
Birth control works to prevent pregnancy in different ways, depending upon the type of birth control you choose:
- Female or male sterilization surgery prevents the sperm from reaching the egg by cutting or damaging the tubes that carry sperm or eggs .
- Long-acting reversible contraceptives or “LARC” methods prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs, prevent sperm from getting to the egg, or make implantation of the egg in the uterus unlikely.
- Short-acting hormonal methods, such as the pill, mini-pill, patch, shot, and vaginal ring, prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs or prevent sperm from getting to the egg.
- Barrier methods, such as condoms, diaphragms, sponge, cervical cap, prevent sperm from getting to the egg.
- Natural rhythm methods involve avoiding sex or using other forms of birth control on the days when you are most fertile .
British Columbia Specific Information
Birth control can help prevent pregnancy. There are many types of birth control available. Speak with your health care provider to help decide which type is right for you and your partner.
Hormone-based birth control contains hormones such as estrogen and progestin. Certain medications may make your hormone-based birth control not work properly or not at all. For more information, see HealthLinkBC File #91a Hormonal Contraception and using other medications at the same time.
Emergency contraception helps to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, or failed birth control. For more information about emergency contraception, see HealthLinkBC File #91b Emergency Contraception .
Birth control cannot prevent sexually transmitted infections , but using a condom will reduce your risk. For more information about birth control and sexual health, visit Options for Sexual Health and Smart Sex Resource. To learn more about STIs, see our HealthLinkBC Files – Sexually Transmitted Infections Series.
You may also call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse or pharmacist. Our nurses are available anytime of the day, every day of the year. Our pharmacists are available every night from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Side Effects Of The Depo
These are the same for both the original version and the at-home one. You might notice:
- Uneven menstrual periods or no periods at all
- Allergic reaction
Changes to your menstrual cycle are the most common side effects. After a year of use, about 50% of women will stop getting their periods. If this happens to you, your period should come back when you stop getting the shots.
Long-term use of Depo-Provera may cause you to lose bone mineral density, which makes you more likely to get osteoporosis. Your chances are higher if you’ve taken the shot for longer than 2 years, especially if osteoporosis runs in your family, if you drink a lot, if you smoke, or if you have other risk factors for the condition.
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How Fast Do They Work
The shot starts to work right away as long as you get it in the first 5 to 7 days of your period. If your doctor decides to start the shot in the middle of your cycle, youâll need to use condoms as a backup method for a week afterward.