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Birth Control Uses & Best Practices

What’s the Best Birth Control Once You Reach Menopause?

Hormonal birth control is a suitable option for women entering menopause. Many women will continue to use birth control after they have entered menopause, sometimes up to two years or longer after their periods have ceased. Since unexpected pregnancies can and do occur when women think they are in menopause,…

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…

Can I Track My Period by Taking My Temperature If I’m on Birth Control?

You cannot track your period using your body temperature if you’re taking oral contraceptives. Birth control pills change your hormone levels and stop ovulation, and because the basal body temperature method depends on the hormonal changes that happen during ovulation, it won’t work. How Does the Basal Body Temperature Method…

What are the best birth control options for women over 50?

The progestin-only pill is the best birth control option for women over 50. The risks of combined hormone contraception (which contains estrogen in addition to progestin) increase for women age 50 and over.

How long after quitting smoking should I wait until using hormonal birth control?

It takes about 12 months after you quit smoking for the heart risk associated with smoking to be cut in half. The estrogen in birth control adds to this risk, so it’s strongly recommended that you only use a progestin-only birth control until you have…

What birth control should I use if I am overweight?

When a woman has a BMI over 35 (you can calculate your BMI here), we often recommend one of two birth control pills: Aviane or Sprintec. Aviane is a low-dose pill (meaning it contains a lower dose of estrogen) and Sprintec…

Can I Use Birth Control Pills if I Have High Blood Pressure?

You can take birth control pills if you have high blood pressure, but you may be limited on your options. Some types of birth control pills have been known to raise blood pressure in women. This can be especially true in women who are overweight, have struggled with high blood…

Do I Need to Switch the Time I Take the Pill When Traveling Between Time Zones?

Yes, you do need to switch the time you take your pill because your body remains on your home clock though the actual time in your current city is different. When taking progestin-only birth control pills, maintaining a strict time schedule is primarily important. For instance, if you take a…

Why Does Time of Day Matter When Taking Birth Control Pills?

When taking birth control pills, timing controls the levels of hormones in the body. When they are taken the same time daily, hormone levels stay even with no dips and no break in coverage. Combination Birth Control Pills Combination birth control pills (estrogen and progestin) remain effective as long as…

What Are the Birth Control Options for Women Over 40?

Women over 40 can use a variety of hormonal and nonhormonal contraceptive options, including the birth control pill, patch, ring, shot, IUDs, condoms, and diaphragms. Some factors might influence birth control choices for women this age, including perimenopausal symptoms, lower fertility rates, desire for children (or lack…

What Medications Decrease the Effectiveness of Birth Control Pills?

Several medications and supplements, including antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antiretroviral therapy, protease inhibitors, and St. John’s wort, can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. It’s important to use backup birth control if there’s a chance the meds you’re taking could affect your birth control’s ability to prevent pregnancy.

How Do I Switch to a New Birth Control Pill?

With a few exceptions, you can switch to a new birth control pill by starting your new pack after finishing the last pill pack of your previous pills. You might experience temporary side effects while adjusting to your new pill. New Pill Timing In most cases, you can…

Do I Need to Take a Break From Using Birth Control Pills Every Once in a While?

There is no need to take a break from using birth control pills— they are safe to use indefinitely, as long as your healthcare provider determines they’re a healthy option for you. Some women have a misconception that they’ll develop a tolerance to the hormones (meaning they’d need to take…

Is Skipping My Period With the Pill Safe?

It is entirely safe to skip your period by using birth control pills. This is because taking birth control pills virtually eliminates the need to have a period. During your monthly period, your body eliminates the thick lining of your uterus as well as the unused egg. However, when you’re…

How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control?

How long it takes to get pregnant after stopping birth control depends on the type of birth control method that you’ve been using. With hormonal birth control, most women have no issue getting pregnant after stopping. Here is a short overview of how long it could take a woman to…

Can I Take Birth Control Pills if I Am Over 35?

You might be surprised to know that birth control pills are safe for many women over 35. However, there are a few important things you should know. Some birth control pills are not appropriate for women over the age of 35 because the risk for cardiovascular disease in women increases…

Do I Need to Take a Break from Using Birth Control Pills Every Once in a While?

No, it is not necessary to take a break from birth control pills every so often. Birth control pills are completely safe, and actually, altering your hormonal routine could cause more harm than good. Once you’ve established a routine, your body gets used to having doses of hormones from your…

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