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Birth Control

Not sure how to choose between the patch, pill, ring, shot, or IUD? We have the answers to all of your birth control questions.

How Long Does It Take for Birth Control Pills to Work?

The length of time it will take for your birth control pills to prevent pregnancy can range from immediately to seven days, depending on the type of oral contraceptive. After the initial waiting period, birth control pills can be 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when taken exactly as…

Can I Skip My Period When Using NuvaRing?

Yes, you can safely skip your period while using NuvaRing. Insert a new ring immediately after taking out the previous one to prevent menstrual bleeding. Using NuvaRing to Skip Periods If you want to skip your period, simply insert a new…

Is It Safe to Take Iron Supplements While on Birth Control?

Iron supplements are not recommended while on birth control. However, there’s no need to avoid multivitamins containing iron or reduce the amount of iron-rich foods in your diet if you’re using hormonal contraceptives. If you’re concerned about iron levels, you may want to consider using birth control…

How Do I Switch to a New Type of Birth Control?

To switch birth control methods, you need a prescription for the new type of birth control you’ll be using. In addition, it’s important to determine the best time to switch over to ensure the best protection against pregnancy. Step 1: Get a New Prescription Talk to your medical provider about…

Do Birth Control Pills Expire?

Birth control pills typically have an expiration date about 12 months after the manufacturing date. While these pills may be taken past the expiration date, their effectiveness cannot be guaranteed beyond that point. Certain storage techniques can help to make sure your birth control pills continue to…

Is Dizziness a Side Effect of Birth Control?

Dizziness may occur while using hormonal birth control, though it is not one of the common side effects of this medication. If this symptom does occur, it is most likely to develop when starting a new birth control method and often goes away within a few months. If your symptoms…

Can I Take the Birth Control Shot Early?

Although the best timing for birth control shots is once every 12 to 14 weeks, you can safely get the birth control shot up to two weeks early, or 10 weeks after your last injection. If you are having trouble with scheduling your next shot, it’s better to…

Is Brown Discharge a Side Effect of Birth Control?

Brown vaginal discharge is a common side effect of taking hormonal birth control including the pill, patches, and emergency contraception. This discharge, which is typically made up of old blood, is usually nothing to worry about. What Causes the Brown Discharge? Birth control changes the balance of…

Can I Get Birth Control if I’m Under 18?

You don’t have to be 18 to obtain birth control. Birth control is available to minors to make sure they can prevent pregnancy when they need to, to regulate or stop their periods, and to improve acne. Buying Prescription Birth Control Many forms of birth control, including some birth control…

Are Sunspots a Side Effect of Birth Control?

More frequent sunspots are a common side effect of taking hormonal birth control. However, some strategies will help your skin stay clearer while you’re taking birth control. Why Does Birth Control Cause Sunspots? Hormonal birth control, including most birth control pills, NuvaRing, the Depo-Provera shot, and emergency…

What’s the Best Birth Control for Women Who Are Bipolar?

Condoms, diaphragms, copper IUDs, and other nonhormonal options are the best forms of birth control for women who are bipolar. These birth control options are best because they don’t contain hormones that can impact your mood and interfere with your bipolar medication. How Hormonal Birth Control Impacts Mood Studies…

What’s the Best Birth Control for Fibroids?

Low-dose hormonal birth control pills, including Seasonique and Yasmin, ease the heavy bleeding and cramping associated with fibroids without making the fibroids grow. This makes them good options for most women with fibroids wanting to prevent pregnancy. How Hormonal Birth Control Helps Fibroids Fibroids often…

I Just Started a New Birth Control. Is Having Two Periods in One Month Normal?

Irregular periods are common when starting new birth control, so don’t worry about having two in one month. While it might be unpleasant, it’s also totally normal. Why Have I Had Two Periods This Month? You have probably had two periods this month because your body is…

How Can I Tell if I’m Ovulating?

You might be able to tell you’re ovulating if you experience minor cramping, unusual discharge, and an increased sex drive. Not all women can tell when they’re ovulating, however, and ovulation doesn’t happen on the same day of each month. What Happens During Ovulation? Once a month, your ovaries release…

Can Birth Control Help With Cramps?

Yes, birth control can help reduce the pain associated with menstrual cramps. In fact, some medical providers put women who experience severe menstrual cramps on birth control as a way to treat the pain. How Cramps Occur During your period, you might experience the throbbing feeling of cramps in your lower…

Is Breast Pain a Side Effect of Birth Control?

Yes, breast pain or tenderness is a common and mild side effect of hormonal birth control. Women taking combination pills — those that contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin, rather than progestin-only — are more likely to have side effects such as breast pain. Common Side Effects of Birth Control Different…

Can Birth Control Help With the Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Yes, hormonal birth control can help treat the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In fact, birth control is the main treatment medical providers prescribe to women with this condition. What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome? Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that occurs when a woman’s reproductive hormones get out…

Is Depression a Side Effect of Birth Control?

While many women report depression as a side effect of taking birth control, researchers haven’t been able to find a clear link between the two. However, some types of hormonal birth control do list depression as a side effect on their package labels. Why Some People Think Birth Control Causes…

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