Welcome to the first part of our new blog series, where we answer some common questions to getting started on birth control. We’ve got you covered on the facts and where to get more information on choosing the right birth control for you.
Part 1: The Basics – Birth Control and your Body
How does hormonal birth control even work?
Knowing how the things you put into your body work is important. Hormones in the pill, patch and ring work by preventing ovulation –- the monthly release of an egg from your ovaries. Without an egg being released – fertilization by sperm – and hence pregnancy cannot occur. The hormones inside birth control are based on naturally occurring hormones in the female body – estrogen and progestin.
These hormones also alter your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to enter the uterus and for an egg cell to attach to your uterus.
What kinds of birth control are available there? Which one is right for me?
There are a number of birth control options that are very effective in preventing pregnancy (Options Nurx offers). The pill, patch, ring, shot and the IUD are the most common forms of hormonal contraception. However, remember that only condoms offer protection against STIs.
What about the side effects that everyone talks about?
Taking the pill may cause some side effects such as nausea, breast tenderness, spotting between periods, weight loss/gain, mood changes, lighter periods. It’s important to remember that these side effects usually go away after 2-3 months.
It’s a great idea to keep a daily log of them in a notebook calendar or cycle tracking app (we personally really like the Clue app) so that you can check in with yourself. If you find that they do not go away after a few months, you should speak to your healthcare practitioner to explore alternative pills.