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Which Birth Control Has The Lowest Hormones

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What Are The Types Of Birth Control

Debunking top myths about birth control pills | GMA Digital

Before you choose a method, you should discuss birth control with your partner and your healthcare provider. Birth control methods are only effective if you use them properly. Make sure that you understand how to use the method you choose.

Birth control methods include:

  • Barrier methods: Barrier methods block sperm from getting into your uterus. You use a barrier method each time you have sex.
  • Hormonal medication and devices: These methods use hormones to prevent ovulation or change the conditions in your uterus and cervix. There are some hormonal medications that require daily use and others that your provider inserts into your arm or your uterus .
  • Sterilization: Surgery to permanently prevent pregnancy is sterilization. There are male and female sterilization methods.
  • Fertility awareness: Fertility awareness uses natural methods to prevent pregnancy. This is also called natural family planning.
  • Emergency contraception: Emergency contraception provides protection against pregnancy if your birth control fails. You can think of this like your last safety net against pregnancy.
  • Abstinence: Refraining from sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hormonal Contraceptives

The biggest advantage of hormonal contraceptives is their reliability: Studies have shown that only about 1 out of 1,000 women get pregnant per cycle if they take the pill or use a contraceptive skin patch or vaginal ring properly.

Hormonal contraceptives can also relieve period pain, and often lead to lighter periods. If a teenage girl or woman has acne, the hormones may improve her skin too.

The potential disadvantages include side effects such as headaches, nausea, sore breasts and vaginal yeast infections . The hormones can also cause spotting between periods or lead to mood swings, and may reduce womens sexual desire.

And there is a small risk of blood clots forming . This risk is higher in women over the age of 40, as well as in women who smoke, are very overweight, or have a higher risk of vascular disease in their family.

Third- and fourth-generation birth control pills appear to increase the risk of thrombosis more than older first- and second-generation pills do . It is estimated that thrombosis occurs within one year in

  • about 9 to 12 out of 10,000 women who regularly take a birth control pill containing desogestrel, gestodene or drospirenone.
  • about 5 to 7 out of 10,000 women who regularly take a birth control pill containing levonorgestrel or norgestimate.

For comparison, thrombosis occurs in about 2 out of 10,000 women who arent on the pill.

How To Choose A Birth Control Pill

Talk with your doctor if youre trying to decide between types of birth control. Each type of pill is effective, but your options may change based on your personal health history, your lifestyle, and the results you need.

Before visiting your doctor, it may be helpful to have an idea of which type of birth control pill sounds right for you.

Consider if you are comfortable using a combination pill that includes mostly active pills or if youd like to use minipills, which are progestin-only pills.

Minipills can be helpful if you arent able to consume estrogen. You may or may not have a period on this type of birth control pill, which is another important aspect to consider.

Weigh the risks and benefits of the two different pill types. Once youve made a decision about the type of pill you want, your doctor may have a brand or two they may recommend. However, just because one brand works for someone else doesnt mean it will work for you. Its not uncommon for people to change the types or doses of birth control pills several times before finding an option that works best for them.

Whether you decide to take the combination pill or the minipill, take time to adjust to it and determine how your body reacts. Most doctors recommend giving a particular pill 3 months before you switch to another pill.

Tell your doctor if you have side effects that interfere with your daily activities or become problematic. They may recommend that you switch pills.

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How Does Birth Control Work

Each form of birth control works slightly different. Some of the ways it works include:

  • Preventing sperm from reaching an egg.
  • Preventing your ovary from releasing an egg.
  • Damaging sperm so it cant swim to an egg.
  • Thickening your cervical mucus so sperm cant swim through it.
  • Changing the thickness of your uterine lining so an egg cant implant.

Is Low Dose Birth Control And The Mini

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Short answer: no. The mini pill is another form of oral contraceptive. Unlike low dose combination pills, mini-pills contain progestin only. There is no estrogen in them.

The primary way progestin only pills work is by thickening cervical mucus and thinning the uterine wall. Occasionally they prevent ovulation, according to the Mayo Clinic, but thats generally attributed to the estrogen in combination pills.

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How Hormonal Birth Control Works

Birth control pills that use estrogen and progestin will affect your bodyâs hormones. Your body makes estrogen, while progestin is a man-made version of the hormone progesterone, which your body makes as well.

To keep your body from an actual pregnancy, these pills copy what your body would do if you were pregnant. When you conceive, your body releases different levels of estrogen and progesterone. This happens in a similar way when you give your body these hormones through the birth control pill.

Estrogen and progestin will stop or slow down ovulation . Theyâll also make the mucus in your cervix thicker to stop sperm, and cause the lining of your uterus to thin so a fertilized egg is less likely to implant. All of these things will help to keep you from an unplanned pregnancy.

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Amount Of Hormones In Low Dose Pills

The most commonly used combination birth control pills contain between 30-35 micrograms of estrogen.

These pills were actually once considered an extremely low dose because original formulations of birth control contained up to 150 micrograms of estrogen.

However, modern low dose and ultra-low-dose formulations of combination birth control pills contain 20 or less micrograms of estrogen.

These pills seem to be just as effective as regular birth control pills but cause fewer side effects from estrogen, such as bloating, tender breasts, and nausea.

Many formulations are available for progestin-only oral contraceptives. One formulation contains 75 mcg of norgestrel. Another has 350 mcg of norethindrone.

In 2019, a dosage of 4 mg of drospirenone was approved as a progestin-only oral contraceptive.

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The Contraceptive Skin Patch

The contraceptive skin patch is about 5 cm by 5 cm in size, and very thin. It can be placed on the womans behind, belly, the outside of her upper arm or anywhere on her upper body with the exception of her breasts. Its important to make sure that it sticks to the skin properly and doesnt rub against clothing too much. Activities like having a shower, a bath or swimming usually dont make it come off. In the first three weeks of the cycle, the patch is replaced once a week. No patch is used in the fourth week. The woman then gets her period. A new patch is stuck onto the skin seven days after removing the old patch. If it is stuck on 24 hours too late, it is no longer a reliable form of contraception.

Just like most birth control pills, the patch contains a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin. Whereas the hormones in the pill enter the bloodstream through the digestive system, the hormones in the skin patch are absorbed by the skin and enter the bloodstream in that way. More estrogen enters the body through the patch, so the patch can have more side effects than the pill and the vaginal ring. Research has shown that women who use the skin patch are more likely to stop using it because of side effects than those who are on the pill.

A Guide To Low Estrogen Birth Control

Health Alert: High dose estrogen birth control

Birth control has been a leading method for preventing pregnancy since its approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 1960.

Low estrogen, or low dose, birth control is a type of hormonal birth control that has a lower dosage of hormones than most other oral contraceptives.

According to the CDC, from 2017-2019, 65.3% of women aged 15-49 years in the United States used contraception, with oral contraceptives being one of the most common methods.

There are many birth control methods available, and each comes with its own set of risks and benefits.

Low estrogen birth control options are often chosen for people who cant take higher doses of hormones due to personal or medical reasons.

Symptoms associated with your menstrual cycle, family history, and certain medical conditions are considered when determining if a low estrogen birth control is the right fit.

There are other low dose birth control pills, but they include hormones other than estrogen.

Some low-dose pills mirror traditional birth control pills and contain both estrogen and progestin , while others may contain only progestin and no estrogen.

In this article, Ill explain how this type of birth control works and then dive deeper into the effectiveness, benefits, risks, and side effects you can typically expect with low estrogen oral contraceptives.

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A Better Option: Natural Family Planning

Did you know that a woman is fertile only one day a month? And that she can only get pregnant maybe 5-6 days out of the month? Did you also know that a womans body provides all of the signals and signs she needs to know when those days are so she can either avoid or achieve pregnancy? And that its just as easy as birth control once you figure out what youre doing? Its true, and its called Natural Family Planning.

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Types Of Nonhormonal Birth Control

Your chances of getting pregnant in a given year vary widely depending on the birth control method, from less than 1 in 100 for copper T IUDs to more than 1 in 4 for spermicides.

Barrier methods

  • What is it? A saucer-shaped silicone cup that you put into your to block from entering your womb. You must be fitted for a diaphragm at first by your doctor.
  • How well does it work? If you use the diaphragm correctly and add spermicide, you have a 6% chance of getting pregnant after a yearâs use. But the odds double if you donât always use it or donât use it exactly right, the way a typical person does.
  • Pros and cons. You can carry your diaphragm and put it in just before you have sex. Itâs reusable for 12 months. If you decide you want to start a family, stop using it. A diaphragm wonât protect you from STDs. You have to leave it in for at least 8 hours after sex. You also may be more likely to get vaginal or urinary tract infections. Learn about the best ways to prevent a UTI.

Cervical cap


Copper IUD


Vaginal gel

Male condom

Female condom

Surgical methods


Behavioral methods

Outercourse and the pull-out method

Natural family planning

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Where Do You Get A Diaphragm

You need a prescription to get one, so see your doctor or other health care professional. A traditional diaphragm requires fitting the Caya, a newer type, is a one-size-fits-most .

Youâll have to replace it at least every 2 years or more often if your diaphragm gets damaged. You may need a different size if you get pregnant, have pelvic surgery, or gain or lose more than 15 pounds.

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How Birth Control Methods Affect Your Hormones Period And Fertility

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September 11, 2019 By Robyn

Reproductive health is a touchy subject because it is so personal, intimate and vulnerable. Politics and religion are also involved. This post is not meant to be a sociopolitical or religious conversation, or a position on womens rights or feminism, nor am I trying to tell you what to do with your own reproductive health. My goal is to simply educate. Its your right to know all your options so you can make a decision that is right for YOU. I hope this post is helpful for you, where ever you are < 3

Birth control is prescribed for a variety of reasons, but rarely are women fully informed on all their options and the pros and cons of each option. Im not sure why. Perhaps its the limited amount of time health care providers have with patients, HCP bias , laziness.Im not sure. But we should be more informed than we actually are.

Birth control is prescribed for contraceptive purposes, which is what its meant for. But its also often prescribed for symptom management from PMS to acne to heavy periods to PCOS and much more. Women arent given alternatives so it seems birth control is the only option to help them manage these very uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms. If that was my only option and I was told the pros and not the cons, you better believe Id be saying yes to the prescription too!

To simplify, think of your options in three different tiers. I like to break it down like this:

Ok, lets jump into all these choices.

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Understanding Todays Birth Control Options

The invention of birth control was a game-changer for womens health allowing women to proactively manage their reproductive health and prevent pregnancy. Since the groundbreaking FDA approval of the first oral contraceptive in 1960, we now have a wide range of options to meet our unique needs. Todays birth control options range from traditional barrier methods to the high-tech LARCs . Since the reversal of Roe vs. Wade, more women are seeking to ensure they are managing their reproductive health in the most effective, comfortable way. With many options for birth control available, you may be wondering which is best for you. Here well break down the primary methods: barrier methods, combination hormonal contraception, progesterone-only systemic contraception, long-acting reversible contraception, and sterilization.

Birth Control With Least Weight Gain

If you are looking for a birth control pill that is least associated with weight gain and fluid retention, that would be with the fourth generation progestin drospirenone.

Drospirenone is unique in that it has:

  • Anti-androgen effects .

Based on how drospirenone works, it can have the following effects:

  • Improve acne and decrease excess hair growth .
  • Improve symptoms of PMDD , such as irritability.
  • It is FDA approved for this indication

However, drospirenone doesnt come without drawbacks, including:

  • Can increase potassium levels, causing hyperkalemia.
  • Increase the risk of VTE .

The overall increase in risk blood clots isnt well known but due to it, drospirenone isnt generally recommended in those with significant risk factors, such as a history of smoking or in women over 35 years old.

As a side note, the fourth-generation progestin, dienogest, is similar to drospirenone but does not share the diuretic properties, so is less likely to cause weight loss.

Drospirenone is available in a variety of birth control products including:

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Is Birth Control Bad For You

Most people can use birth control without any problems, though side effects are possible. And even though there are slight risks associated with hormonal birth control, these mostly depend on an individuals health conditions and risk factors. For example, heightened estrogen levels can increase the risk of blood clots in women with other blood clot risk factors like obesity, heart disease or age. Your doctor will take these kinds of factors into account during discussions about birth control.

The Birth Control Pill Vs The Iud: Which Is More Effective

Should I take a low dose birth control pill during perimenopause?

Thinking of starting birth control, or switching from your existing form of birth control to another option? The pill and the IUD are both highly effective ways of stopping yourself from becoming pregnant, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

The birth control pill uses either a combination of hormones or a single hormone to prevent you from becoming pregnant. The IUD, on the other hand, uses either hormones or copper to block sperm from entering into your uterus and causing pregnancy.

Weve explained how each form of birth control works in more detail below, as well as the major advantages and disadvantages of each form of birth control. Weve also listed the common side effects you might experience from using the pill or the IUD.

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Birth Control Option #: Oral Contraceptives

The birth control pill is the most commonly used form of contraception in the United States. There are different types of contraceptive pills and they differ based on the amount of the hormones estrogen and progestin are in them. The combination birth control pill contains both estrogen and progestin whereas the mini pill contains only progestin. As you take either of these pills, your levels of estrogen and/or progestin increase in your body. High levels of these hormones prevent the ovary from releasing an egg.

The birth control pill is used to treat a number of conditions including PCOS, endometriosis, irregular periods, menstrual cramps and conditions that are caused by low levels of estrogen. As the pill prevents the ovary from releasing an egg, the pill can help reduce the development of cysts associated with PCOS. The hormones released by the pill also make the lining of the uterus thinner, which results in lighter periods. This is why the pill is also used as a treatment for endometriosis.

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