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Birth Control Uses & Best Practices

What Happens When You Stop Taking Birth Control Pills?

If you decide to stop taking birth control pills, you might experience changes to your period or more severe PMS symptoms than normal. Some women who stop using birth control pills experience an increase in their sex drive. Your Period Might Change Most women get their periods within a few…

Do I Need to Take My Last Week of Birth Control Pills?

The last week of birth control pills can safely be skipped with most brands. These pills don’t contain any hormones, and you’ll still get the same level of pregnancy protection as long as you take the rest of the pills in the pack at the same time every…

What Are the Risks of Stopping Birth Control Mid-Pack?

Stopping your birth control pills mid-pack can cause symptoms such as irregular periods, spotting, and cramping as your body struggles to fall back to a regular menstrual cycle. These problems are temporary and will not pose any long-term risks to your health. However, you should be aware of these short-term…

Can I Start a New Birth Control Mid-Cycle?

You can start new birth control at any time, including the middle of your menstrual cycle, but you may not be protected against pregnancy right away. This applies whether you are starting a birth control method for the first time or switching to a new birth control. The Best Start…

Can I Take Prenatal Vitamins While on Birth Control?

You can safely take prenatal vitamins with birth control in the short-term to prepare your body for pregnancy before you start trying for a baby. The vitamins and birth control won’t interact and will be just as effective as if you were taking each medication separately. However, you should not…

Does Biotin Affect Birth Control?

There’s no evidence to suggest biotin makes any form of birth control any less effective or causes any side effects. That means you can safely take biotin supplements or eat foods rich in biotin without worrying about them impacting your birth control. In fact, these supplements may help restore levels…

How Do I Switch From the Birth Control Shot to the Pill?

Switching from the depo-shot to birth control pills is a simple process that ideally involves taking your first birth control pill within 15 weeks of your last shot. Known as the “no gap” method, this technique ensures you stay protected from pregnancy while you’re making the transition. How to Switch…

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…

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