Should I Take A Break From My Birth Control Pills Just To Be Safe
Sure, why not? Experts say theres no need, but if it makes you feel better to experience one or two natural cycles, after being on birth control pills for years, then go for it. But just remember, if you arent taking birth control pills, youll need to use another form of contraception if you want to avoid pregnancy.
Painful Intercourse Sometimes Caused By Dryness
Low-dose birth control pills may be linked to chronic pelvic pain and uncomfortable intercourse, according to Peña-Robles. This may be due to the dip in estrogen, which can lead to sexual side effects such as low libido, , and painful intimacy, she says. Report pelvic pain to your doctor right away in order to rule out conditions like endometriosis and fibroids. If you experience painful intercourse, talk with your doctor about other birth control options.
What Are The Benefits Of Combination Pills
You have less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant if you use them exactly as directed. That means taking your pill every day. Their effects are easy to reverse, too. When you want to get pregnant, stop taking them. Itâs possible to get pregnant right away.
Usually, if you miss two of these pills in a row, youâll need to use backup birth control for a week.
Combo pills have benefits beyond birth control.
- They help regulate your period and lessen cramping.
- They can lower your risk of certain cancers.
- They might clear your acne.
- Two brands are approved to treat a severe form of premenstrual syndrome.
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When To See A Medical Provider
Speak with your doctor about the risks and advantages of birth control.
Your age, medical history, and preferences will be factors to discuss when deciding on a method of birth control thats right for you.
If you have birth control side effects that last more than 2-3 months, consider switching to another method of contraception.
Risk Factors To Consider
Birth control pills are powerful drugs that require a prescription. A healthcare professional should only prescribe them if your medical history and current health suggest theyll be safe and effective. If youre healthy, you should be able to take birth control pills with few side effects or problems.
If youve already tried birth control pills and experienced unpleasant side effects, talk with a doctor about your experiences.
Try to remember what type of pill you took previously. Chances are a different type of pill may allow you to use birth control pills without experiencing your earlier side effects.
There are many different types of birth control pills. If you experience any side effects, talk to a doctor about your symptoms. They can help you find an alternative that may be better for you.
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Who Can Take Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills can be taken safely by most women. They are not recommended, though, for those over age 35 who smoke. If you don’t smoke, you can use hormonal contraceptives until menopause. You shouldnât take hormonal contraceptives if you have had:
There are other conditions that may raise your level of risk that comes with taking birth control pills. If youâre not sure if youâre affected by one of these conditions, ask your doctor. Also, tell them if you have a first-degree relative who has had blood clots in the legs or lungs.
Why You Should Not Go On Birth Control
According to the Food and Drug Administration , the effects of continuously raised estrogen levels in the female body due to taking birth control pills may include an increased risk of breast cancer, blood clotting, migraines, liver problems, increased blood pressure, weight gain, and spotting between periods.
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The Mechanisms Behind Hormonal Birth Control
The ovaries naturally produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are typically considered the female sex hormones because they appear in higher quantities in females.
When the body experiences higher than average amounts of estrogen and progesterone, it does not release an egg. Hormonal birth control uses this finding to prevent pregnancy. By increasing the amount of estrogen and progesterone in the body, the body does not release eggs which then means that there is nothing for sperm to fertilize.
Additionally, progesterone on its own can alter the cervical mucus, making it thick and sticky, which creates a barrier that is harder for sperm to pass on its way to the uterus.
Are There Side Effects Of Birth Control Pills
There are side effects of birth control pills, although most are not serious. Side effects include:
- Swelling or aching in the legs and thighs
Birth control pills that have drospirenone, including Yaz and Yasmin, have been investigated by the FDA because of the possibility that they cause a higher risk for blood clots. Drospirenone is a human-made version of the hormone progesterone. Other brands with drospirenone include Beyaz, Gianvi, Loryna, Ocella, Safyral, Syeda, and Zarah.
The results of the investigation are inconsistent. Some studies showed a higher risk, but others didnÃ¢t. The drugs are still available. A summary of the findings is on the packaging label. If youÃ¢re taking a pill with drospirenone, talk with your doctor about your risk.
The pill is not linked with an overall increased risk of cancer. Its use was tied to a lower risk of colorectal, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. A higher risk of breast and cervical cancers was seen in current and recent birth control pill users, but the risk went away within 5 years.
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What Are The Short
During the first few months of taking birth control pills, the patient can experience a number of temporary symptoms as the body adjusts to the artificial progestin and/or estrogen. The most common symptom is minor bleeding in between periods, called breakthrough bleeding. This occurs most often in women taking the mini-pill, but can also happen if you miss a dose. Breakthrough bleeding tends to stop on its own, but if it continues or is accompanied by other side effects, make sure to report it to your doctor.
Birth control pills can also cause nausea and breast tenderness in some women, which may be reduced by taking the pill at bedtime.
Other short-term side effects can include:
Risks Of Other Forms Of Birth Control
Birth control pills and other forms of birth control are generally considered safe to use long-term but do carry risks that everyone taking them should know.
- Increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack:People who take birth control pills are at a higher risk of developing blood clots or having a stroke or heart attack. Pills with higher doses of estrogen are considered to raise the risk even more.
- Increased risk of some cancers:Some studies have shown that people taking birth control are almost twice as likely to develop breast cancer as people who do not take it. The risk of developing cervical cancer also appears to be higher among people taking birth control pills.
- High blood pressure:Increased blood pressure can occur in people taking birth control pills. Although the increase is typically mild, there have been rare cases where a person’s blood pressure rose to dangerously high levels while they were taking birth control.
- Increased risk of gallbladder disease: Research has shown that taking birth control pills for a long time may increase a person’s risk of developing gallbladder disease by 36%. Taking birth control pills may also increase a person’s risk of developing gallstones.
- Lowered libido: Some research has suggested that people taking birth control may have a lowered libido, though the results of several studies have been conflicting. More research is needed to determine how long-term birth control use affects a person’s sex drive.
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After A Miscarriage Or Abortion
If you have had a miscarriage or abortion, you can start the pill up to 5 days after this and you will be protected from pregnancy straight away. If you start the pill more than 5 days after the miscarriage or abortion, you’ll need to use additional contraception until you have taken the pill for 7 days.
What Risks And Side Effects Are Associated With Birth Control Pills
Most of the time, people who talk about side effects from the pill are referring to the combined pill. This is the most common type of pill, and its also the type that causes the most side effects.
The main risks associated with the combined pill are:
- An increase in your risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer its thought that 10 years after you stop the pill, your risk of these cancers will have returned to normal
The good news is that these risks are very small for the vast majority of women. If your doctor doesnt think youre suitable to take the combined pill, because these risks may be higher for you, they wont prescribe it.
The low-dose pill are also associated with some health risks, but again, the risk is very low.
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What Are Levonorgestrel And Ulipristal
Unlike the other pills, these arenÃ¢t intended for regular birth control. Levonorgestrel and ulipristal acetate can greatly lower your chances of getting pregnant if you had unprotected sex or if youÃ¢re concerned that your usual birth control method didnÃ¢t work.
Levonorgestrel is about 88% effective if you use it as directed. You need to take it as soon as possible within 3 days of having sex.
Ulipristal is about 60% to 70% effective if you use it correctly. You need to take it ASAP within 5 days of having sex.
Supporting The Body While On Hormonal Birth Control
Here’s the deal–I know some women are going to use HBC and I’m okay with that. I used it for seven years, and honestly, you need to do what’s right for you. I don’t want any woman to read this post and feel guilty for being on the pill or having an IUD. This is NOT about being perfect. It’s about YOU and making the best and most informed choice for your body.
I give a few specific recommendations to my clients that choose to continue with hormonal birth control and want to minimize the negative effects and preserve their health.
Supporting Your Body on HBC
- Nutrient Replenishment: since HBC depletes nutrients, you want to make sure you are adding them back in. Here’s how I recommend replenishing them:
- OC Companion by Vitanica contains vitamins C, E, B2, B6, Folate, B12, Zinc, Copper, and other supportive nutrients.
- Magnesium to help replenish that depleted by HBC and also stress.
- Shrimp, oysters, and white fish for selenium
- Organ Complex for a daily multivitamin. This beef liver is also a great option.
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Hormonal Birth Control Pills
One of the most common types of birth control are hormonal birth control pills, or oral contraceptives. There are two types: combination birth control pills and progestin-only birth control pills, or the mini pill. The hormones in these pills taken every day work to prevent pregnancy by either stopping ovulation and/or by thickening cervical mucus and preventing sperm from reaching an egg. If you take them as guided, every day at the exact same time, they have a 99% effectiveness rate.
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:
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Environmental Effects Of The Pill: 79% Of Male Smallmouth Bass In The Potomac Growing Eggs
A later Washington Post article described how scientists said the cause is probably some pollutant created by humans perhaps a farm chemical, or treated sewage, which can contain human hormones or residue from birth-control pills. The later Post article reported that scientists think the problem is caused by a mixture of hormone and hormone-mimicking pollutants and have found negative effects on female fish as well.11
Iain Murray, author of The Really Inconvenient Truths, wrote on National Review Online, By any standard typically used by environmentalists, the pill is a pollutant. It does the same thing, just worse, as other chemicals they call pollution.
Small Risks Might Also Be Balanced By Large Benefits
In addition to the overwhelming effect of contraception and reproductive rights the pill conferred to women, there are numerous non-contraceptive benefits.21 Oral contraceptives provide a noninvasive option for managing the vast spectrum of dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, and perimenopausal and premenstrual symptoms. Rates for hysterectomy done for reasons of uncontrollable bleeding have substantially dropped, deaths have been averted, and lives have been made productive as a consequence of known hormone benefits.16 Hormonal contraceptives are actually protective against ovarian and uterine cancers.21 The overall advantage remains substantial and is considered to far outweigh the risks for most women. It is for this reason that some groups are exploring the possibility of over-the-counter access to the pill in North America, with over-the-counter options similar to emergency contraception .22
The danger of unplanned or unintended pregnancy to women and their babies costs lives, not to mention increases abortion rates, increases complications from illegal abortions, and increases crime, violence, family dysfunction, overpopulation, poverty, and ecological burden.23 Putting total risk into perspective requires considering that family planning is not a luxury and is not a benefit only to women, but to society as a whole.
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The pill has been widely shown to be safe, but as is the case with any drug, it can come with side effects and risks, including an increased risk of blood clots. Its worth noting that hormonal contraceptives are used not just to prevent pregnancy, but treat certain conditions such as hormonal acne, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis, among others. It can also lower the risk for certain types of cancers ovarian in particular when taken long-term.
Still, given how many people take hormonal contraception, the lack of more robust data on side effects is notable, and leads some patients to want to experiment with going hormone-free.
Paula CastaÃ±o, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, said theres a range of reasons that influence whether patients decide to stop taking the pill.
I think is multifactorial, she said. For some women, its a feeling or desire that they want to know what they feel like when theyre not on birth control, for some it is a question about whether there are any health reasons why they should, for some there is concern about whether fertility is affected in any way by long-term contraceptive use. A large factor in deciding to stop taking the pill can be influence from friends and family based on their opinions and experiences, whether or not those are based in medical fact.
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When Do I Start Another Birth Control Pill Pack
Youâll start each new birth control pill pack on the same day of the week that you initially started it. If you are on the 21-day pill pack, start the new pill pack 7 days after you finished the old pill pack. If you are on the 28-day pill pack, begin the new pack after taking the last pill in the old pack.
Start your new pill pack on schedule, whether or not you get your period or are still having your period.
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Birth Control Pills And Ovarian Cancer
Confusingly, oral contraceptives appear to offer protection against other types of cancer, such as ovarian. The chances of a woman who has ever taken birth control pills getting ovarian cancer is 30 to 50% lower than the chances of women who have never taken the pill. And long-term birth control pill use is associated with diminishing odds of ovarian cancer. This is true, too, for women who carry the BRCA I or II mutation, which predisposes them for ovarian as well as breast cancer.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Oral contraceptive pills provide patients with the option to prevent pregnancy. If the patient has medical conditions that put them at increased risk for taking combined OC or progestin OC, the prescriber should inform patients of many alternatives to prevent pregnancy. OCâs are a choice made by the patient and her clinician after adequate counseling of risks and benefits. There are significant non-contraceptive uses of hormonal contraceptives, and these should be considered when counseling the patient about her options. Many OC formulations can provide menstrual regularity, treating both menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea. They can even be utilized to induce amenorrhea for lifestyle considerations.
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Side Effects Of Short
During the first few months of using birth control pills, you may have some minor bleeding between periods. This is called breakthrough bleeding. Its more common if youre taking progestin-only pills.
It typically stops on its own, but report it to a healthcare professional if it happens, along with any other side effects.
Try to take your pill at the same time every day, particularly if you use a progestin-only pill.