Get The Most Out Of That Little Pill
Birth control pills have been around for decades, and they do a lot more than just prevent pregnancy. Millions of women use birth control pills to help manage painful period symptoms and other conditions. And with several formulas available, finding the right contraceptive for you is easier than ever.
Whether youre on the pill and wondering if a different one would be more effective, or this would be your first time, make an appointment with an OB-GYN or certified nurse-midwife to get help selecting the right pill for you.
OB-GYNs and midwives are experts in womens health making them experts in birth control, too. You can also make an appointment with a primary care doctor.
Ready to get on the pill? Were ready to help.
It Can Reduce Migraines
Many women experience a migraine that is tied to their menstrual cycle, a.k.a. a hormone headache, which starts before or during a period and usually happens every month. These migraines are related to a drop in estrogen before the cycle, and that drop of estrogen then induces a migraine, says Dr. Raj Vito Shah. Taking a hormonal birth control pill can help keep estrogen levels consistent throughout the menstrual cycle and ultimately prevent those migraines.
What Are The Types Of Birth Control Pills
There are two different types of birth control pills. Both types contain hormones that prevent pregnancy.
- Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin.
- Progestin-only pills are also called the minipill. Theyre better for some women, such as those who are breastfeeding or have a history of blood clots and strokes and shouldnt take estrogen.
The pill comes in different dosing packets from 21-day pill packs to 90-day pill packs, to even 365 days of active pills. Traditionally, depending on the brand and dose, you take at least three weeks of active pills followed by two to seven days of hormone-free pills. This is called cyclical dosing. Most women have a menstrual period during the inactive pills. Some brands do not provide any inactive pills at all in the pack . With the 21-day packs a woman does not take any pills for a week. During this time, youll have your period, similar to what happens when taking the inactive, hormone-free pills.
Some formulations offer continuous dosing, which means you do not have any inactive pills, and a woman takes an active pill daily. Alternatively, extended cycle dosing is when inactive pills or breaks in the active pill regimen only occur three to four times per year. Skipping the inactive pills prevents menstruation. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best option for you.
Also Check: What Is Dutch Hormone Test
Birth Control Option #: Intrauterine Devices
Intrauterine devices are small devices that are T-shaped made from either copper or plastic inserted into the uterus by a doctor or nurse. Some IUDs release progesterone into the uterus which can make the lining thinner, thus effective against endometriosis and menstrual cramps.
Another type of IUDs release copper into the uterus. The effect of the copper is that it affects the mucus in the cervix, causing a difficult path for sperm to meet the egg. As copper IUDs do not release hormones, they are not used in the treatment of other conditions.
It Can Save You Money On Foundation
Pimples can often be cleared up by contraceptives. The same thing goes for the few stray hairs on your chin. Those two nuisances are often caused by an excess of androgens, a type of hormone , in the body. “When you’re on birth control pills, your liver makes a protein that prohibits testosterone from floating around in your bloodstream, lowering acne and unwanted hair growth,” says Dr. Dweck.
Also Check: Can You Get Testosterone Pills
Clear Up Skin And Prevent Unwanted Hair Growth
Birth control pills can improve acne and hair growth in the midline of your body by reducing the levels of male hormones your ovaries make. If you have higher than normal levels of these hormones, or if youâre sensitive to them, you may start to grow hair above your lip, under your chin, between your breasts, between your belly button and pubic bone, or down your inner thigh. You should see less unwanted hair within 6 months.
The hormones in birth control pills can also help stop acne from forming, but it may take several months to see a difference.
But What About The Positive Side Effects Of Birth Control
Birth control can provide temporary relief for these symptoms due to the fact they are lowering your sex hormones and preventing ovulation .
The problem with this method is it doesnt address the root cause of your issues or symptoms, but rather provides a band-aid approach that exacerbates the problem in the long run .
Don’t Miss: Mthfr And Hormone Replacement Therapy
The Ring Is Convenient
Using the birth control ring is easy and convenient. Its great for people who dont want to deal with taking a pill every day, or who dont want to use birth control that you have to think about right before you have sex.
Depending on how you use it, you only have to think about your ring once or twice a month, when youre inserting and removing it. But always remembering to put a new ring in on time can be hard. Use our birth control reminder app to keep you on schedule.
The ring is birth control you dont have to think about during sex. If you use the ring correctly, youre protected from pregnancy all day, every day. Many people say the ring makes their sex lives better because they dont have to worry about birth control or pregnancy during sex.
You need a prescription from a nurse or doctor to get the ring. But depending on where you live, you might be able to get a prescription online or through a telehealth visit.
If you use NuvaRing, you may be able to pick up several rings at once or have them mailed to you every month. And Annovera is extra convenient because 1 ring lasts for 1 year that means you only need to worry about getting your birth control once a year.
Get On A Regular Sleep Schedule
Our circadian rhythm, our 24-hour internal clock, regulates hormone release cycles, including ACTH and cortisol, as well as most physiological processes in the body. Light and dark cycles, mealtimes, and physical activity help the brain maintain the circadian rhythm.
Your body relies on the pineal gland to produce the hormone melatonin to maintain this 24-hour cycle. Adenosine, a byproduct of metabolism, accumulates in the brain throughout the day. When melatonin levels go up and enough adenosine has accumulated, you become sleepy. As you sleep, adenosine is metabolized and its levels decrease. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, promoting alertness.
Poor sleep habits stress the body. Initial symptoms of lack of sleep include fatigue, memory problems, and irritability. Since sleep replenishes chemicals used by the immune system throughout the day, a lack of sleep adversely weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections.
A regular sleep cycle promotes the release of growth hormones. Growth hormone release peaks during deep sleep. Growth hormone release is reduced due to irregular sleeping habits because you often do not reach deep sleep stages.
Lack of sleep also decreases leptin levels and increases ghrelin levels, which can contribute to weight gain. Researchers have shown that lack of sleep increases cravings for calorie-dense foods high in carbohydrates . Weight gain increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
You May Like: When Will Hormonal Acne Stop
How Does Birth Control Regulate Your Hormones
Around 62% of women aged 20-29, 72% of women aged 30-39 and around 74% of women over 40 use birth control, but how does it affect our hormones? There are different types of birth control options that affect our hormones in different ways, so what are they and what do they do? Read our latest blog post to find out! Link in Bio!
Have you used birth control to regulate your hormones? Let us know in the comments!
Around 62% of women aged 20-29, 72% of women aged 30-39 and around 74% of women over 40 use birth control, but how does it regulate our hormones? There are different types of birth control options that affect our hormones in different ways, so what are they and what do they do? Read this blog post to find out!
It Helps To Manage Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a painful condition that happens when the tissue lining your uterus, called the endometrium, grows in places other than inside your uterus. This tissue bleeds during your period, no matter where its located. When the tissue bleeds in places where blood cant easily get out of your body, it causes pain and inflammation.
Hormonal birth control methods help because they allow you to skip periods. Continuous birth control pills and IUDs are usually good options for managing endometriosis.
30 million Americans 75 percent of those being women. This is partly because hormonal changes are a major trigger for migraines in some people.
Experts think menstrual migraines are linked to a drop in estrogen and progesterone just before your period starts. Hormonal birth control methods that allow you to skip your period, such as a continuous pill, implant, or IUD, can help to avoid this drop.
Also Check: Is It Safe For Kids To Take Melatonin
Chances Of Pregnancy On Birth Control Patch
Birth control patches contain estrogen and progesterone, which are absorbed through the skin, where they have to be applied on a weekly basis. The most common birth control patch brands include XulaneÂ® and Ortho EvraÂ®.
With perfect use, a birth control patch is an effective contraception method . As such, the chances of getting pregnant on the patch are about 1%. Certain factors, such as obesity or current medications, might decrease their effectiveness, while increasing the odds of pregnancy to 9%.
You May Like: Exercises For Hormonal Weight Gain
Help With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome , a common condition among teen girls and young women, is a hormone imbalance in which the ovaries make extra amounts of testosterone. It can cause irregular periods, unwanted hair growth, and acne. Taking birth control pills can improve these symptoms by balancing your hormones, lowering the level of testosterone, and regulating your period.
Read Also: Do Prenatal Vitamins Have Hormones
Why Would The Minipill Be Used
There are a few reasons why your doctor may recommend a progestin-only pill instead of the more-common combination pill. For starters, the minipill contains no estrogen, so this could be a perk if you are sensitive to this hormone. Your physician may prescribe a progestin-only pill for you if you notice that you are sensitive to the estrogen in a combination pill. You may also be prescribed the minipill if you have a family or personal history of blood clots. Lastly, your physician may prescribe the minipill if you are currently breastfeeding, as it is safe to use immediately after giving birth. As always, consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding and looking for the best birth control option for you.
Birth Control Pills To Regulate Period And Acne
My doctor suggested to me that I start on birth control to regulate my menstrual cycle and also to help with my acne problem. I have gone to a dermatologist for four years and my face still breaks out. Do you think that I should try the birth control pill or would the side effects outweigh the benefits? I worry about the weight gain mostly.
Your decision about whether or not to take birth control pills is both a medical and a personal choice. It is important that you speak with a health care provider to voice your concerns and get all the facts. Yes, birth control pills can regulate periods, and some are effective in controlling acne. You may want to consider the following questions: What are the pros and cons of taking birth control pills? How long would you need to take the pill to get the desired effects? Could you try them out to see if you experience any positive or negative effect? Other factors to consider are your age, whether or not you are having sex, and whether or not you are a smoker.
Remember, you do not have to make a decision in a jiffy. Make sure that you communicate with your health care provider and get all the information you need in order to make a carefully caculated decision.
Read Also: Should I Get My Hormones Tested
You May Like: What’s The Recommended Dosage For Melatonin
Team Up With A Practitioner
Sometimes it takes a little targeted support from someone who has experience helping women like you.free online training to address this common health concern.chat with you in a strategy sessionNow you tell me, whats worked for you to help balance your hormones after coming off birth control? Share your experience in the comments!
How Does The Pill Prevent Pregnancy
When taken every day at the same time of day, birth control pills are most effective at regulating your menstrual cycle.
Combination birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone and help to prevent ovulation. Without ovulation, theres no egg to be fertilized. The hormones also help thicken cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to get into your uterus.
The progesterone-only pill, or minipill, helps to prevent pregnancy by:
- thickening cervical mucus
- thinning the lining of the uterus
- suppressing ovulation
However, it doesnt consistently suppress ovulation as the combination pill does. To be most effective, the minipill should be taken at the same time every day.
Use a backup birth control method for at least the first week of using the pill. Talk with your doctor about what precautions are necessary when starting the pill, to be on the safe side.
Up to 13 out of 100 women on the minipill become pregnant. The minipill isnt as effective as the combination pill in helping to prevent pregnancy.
With the combination pill, approximately 9 out of 100 women using it will have an accidental pregnancy. When taking the pill, its effectiveness can depend on:
- whether its taken every day around the same time
- other medications or supplements you might be taking
- certain medical conditions that interfere with the medication
Also Check: Foods That Help With Hormone Imbalance
Effectiveness Of Emergency Contraception
The effectiveness of the morning after pill varies depending on how quickly you take it after having unprotected sex. For example, if you take Plan B One-Step within 24 hours, it is about 95% effective, however if taken within three days of unprotected sex, the morning after pill can reduce the chance of pregnancy by 75-89%
Read Also: Period Blood Stains On Sheets
Does Birth Control Affect Infertility 4 Facts You Need To Know
A popular belief is that birth control can have long-term effects on fertility. This is not true. One large study evaluated women who had been using birth control for 7 years. After stopping birth control, 21% of these women were able to get pregnant within the first month, and almost 80% were able to conceive within a year. So why does the myth persist that birth control affects fertility?
Read Also: How Often Can You Give Child Melatonin
Things To Keep In Mind When Taking Birth Control Pills
- Keep another form of birth control, like spermicidal foam and condoms, on hand in case you forget to take a pill.
- Carry your pills with you if you dont always sleep at the same place.
- Take your pill at the same time every day.
- Get your refills soon after you start the last prescription. Dont wait until the last minute.
- Birth control pills are medications. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist you are on the pill if you see them for any reason.
What Does It Mean For Women
Its painful to have to reject what has come to be seen as the ticket to female freedom and independence from unwanted pregnancies. Birth control pills were a hard-fought female victory at the time, needed to achieve parity with males.
But the truth must be told, no matter how painful it is at first to hear. To be vibrant, healthy women we can no longer be chained to the technology and drugs designed decades ago at a time when the hormonal functions of women were not understood. Women are amazing rhythmic creatures and require the beautiful dance of their hormones to be healthy. No woman should have a baby she doesnt want. But knowingly putting synthetic hormones that disrupt the endocrine system into her body, destroying that rhythm and destroying fertility by removing hormones and replacing them with toxins, is simply not a reasonable option. Sadly, fertility and the health of females are one and the same thing. We must accept reality and then work to design effective contraceptives, or more natural ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies, which do not slowly destroy the female body by replacing vital hormones and rhythms with chemical endocrine disruptors. Effective contraceptives are surely needed, but sacrificing female health is not an option – not now AND not ever!
You May Like: What Kind Of Doctor Specializes In Hormones