Birth control pill FAQ: Benefits, risks and choices

Delivery control pill FAQ: Positive aspects, challenges and choices

Get the points on popular problems and issues about birth control drugs.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you just take birth control drugs (oral contraceptives), you happen to be likely content with the usefulness and reliability. Even now, you could have issues about how birth control drugs could impact your overall health, the advantages and challenges of birth control drugs, and newer alternatives obtainable.

Can I use birth control drugs to hold off or stop my period of time?

Indeed, you can. Delivery control drugs have been when only packaged as 21 days of active hormone drugs and seven days of inactive drugs. Whilst you just take the inactive drugs, menstrual-like bleeding happens.

Currently you have quite a few much more alternatives — from regimens with 24 days of active drugs and 4 days of inactive drugs to regimens that are all active drugs.

Some extended-cycle pill regimens have active hormone drugs each individual day for three months, followed by a week of inactive or small-dose estrogen drugs. You expertise menstrual-like bleeding for the duration of that week. Other extended-cycle regimens include having active drugs consistently for one particular yr, which can stop all menstrual-like bleeding.

Ongoing or extended-cycle regimens have a number of potential advantages. They avoid the hormone modifications that are dependable for bleeding, cramping, complications and other period of time-connected discomforts. They enable you to skip a period of time for the duration of vital situations or excursions. If you expertise iron deficiency thanks to weighty menstrual bleeding, utilizing constant regimens can lessen bleeding.

Unscheduled bleeding and spotting often arise for the duration of the to start with couple months on constant or extended-cycle regimens, but normally stop with time.

To avoid getting a period of time, can I use standard birth control drugs or do I need special drugs?

There are birth control pill regimens made to avoid bleeding for three months at a time or for as long as a yr. But it truly is attainable to avoid your period of time with constant use of monophasic birth control drugs — drugs with the exact hormone dose in the three weeks of active drugs. To avoid your period of time with these drugs, really don’t just take the inactive drugs and start out suitable away on a new pack.

If I system to have a child, how quickly following stopping birth control drugs can I conceive?

Ordinarily ovulation begins once again a couple weeks following stopping birth control drugs.

As quickly as you ovulate once again, you can get expecting. If this occurs for the duration of your to start with cycle off the pill, you could not have a period of time at all. Just take a being pregnant check if you’ve got had unprotected sex and your period of time hasn’t returned.

Is there an edge to waiting a couple months following stopping the pill right before trying to conceive?

Conceiving right away following stopping the pill does not increase your hazard of miscarriage or hurt to the fetus. The hormones in birth control drugs really don’t continue to be in your program.

Ordinarily intervals start out once again a couple weeks following stopping the pill. On the other hand, if your intervals have been infrequent right before you begun having the pill, they will possible be that way once again following you stop having the pill. It could just take a couple of months right before you return to standard ovulation cycles.

Just after stopping the pill, if you happen to be not prepared to conceive, think about utilizing a backup form of birth control.

What occurs if I stop having the birth control pill and my period of time isn’t going to occur back?

If you really don’t have a period of time for a number of months, you could have what is recognized as submit-pill amenorrhea. The pill prevents your overall body from producing hormones concerned in ovulation and menstruation. When you stop having the pill, it can just take some time for your overall body to start out making these hormones once again.

Menstrual intervals commonly resume inside of three months following you stop having the pill. But if you took the pill to control your menstrual cycles, it could just take a number of months right before your period of time comes back.

If you really don’t have a period of time inside of three months, just take a being pregnant check to make sure you happen to be not expecting and then see your health care provider.

Will a being pregnant check be precise if I am having the birth control pill?

You can get precise final results from a being pregnant check even though you happen to be on the pill. Being pregnant tests work by measuring a certain being pregnant-connected hormone — human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) — in your blood or urine. The active substances in birth control drugs really don’t impact how a being pregnant check steps the stage of HCG in your program.

What occurs if I just take birth control drugs even though expecting?

Do not worry if you kept having your birth control pill for the reason that you did not know you have been expecting.

Regardless of several years of this incident going on, you can find extremely minor evidence that exposure to the hormones in birth control drugs will cause birth flaws. When you study that you happen to be expecting, stop having the birth control pill.

Can I use a number of birth control drugs at when for unexpected emergency contraception?

It’s attainable to use conventional estrogen-progestin birth control drugs for unexpected emergency contraception, but check out with your health care provider for the correct dose and timing of the drugs.

Certain sorts of drugs are specially made to preserve you from turning into expecting if you’ve got had unprotected sex. These prescription drugs are in some cases referred to as the morning-following pill.

Early morning-following drugs consist of possibly levonorgestrel (Approach B A single-Step, EContra A single-Step, others) or ulipristal acetate (ella, Logilia).

Levonorgestrel drugs are obtainable over-the-counter to anybody of any age. Levonorgestrel drugs work greatest when applied as quickly as attainable — and inside of three days — following unprotected sex.

Ulipristal acetate is a nonhormonal medicine obtainable only by prescription. This medicine is taken as a one dose inside of five days following unprotected sex.

A copper intrauterine gadget (IUD) or an IUD that contains 52 milligrams of levonorgestrel could also be applied for unexpected emergency contraception. Preferably, these IUDs should be put by your health care provider inside of five days of unprotected intercourse.

Does how a lot I weigh lessen the effectiveness of unexpected emergency birth control drugs?

If you are thought of obese with a overall body mass index (BMI) of 30 or much more, unexpected emergency contraception could not be as productive — specifically if you use levonorgestrel. You could however develop into expecting following utilizing levonorgestrel for unexpected emergency contraception. BMI is not as a lot of a worry when utilizing ulipristal. Use of an IUD for unexpected emergency birth control is not impacted by overall body bodyweight.

I have taken birth control drugs for several years and want to stop. Can I stop at any time or should I complete my current pill packet?

In conditions of your over-all overall health, it would make minor big difference when you stop having the pill. When you lastly do stop the pill, you can assume some bleeding, which could alter the rhythm of your menstrual cycle. But you can stop at any time.

Can I get expecting for the duration of the week of inactive drugs?

Taking the inactive drugs isn’t going to set you at greater hazard of unintended being pregnant. If you happen to be having birth control drugs just as directed, they’re about 99&percnt productive at blocking being pregnant.

But if you miss a pill — or a number of drugs — for the duration of a cycle, you could be at greater hazard of unintended being pregnant for the duration of that cycle. To be secure, use a backup form of contraception, this sort of as a condom, specifically if you miss a number of drugs for the duration of a cycle.

Do birth control drugs induce bodyweight attain?

This is a popular assumed. But scientific studies have shown that the influence of the birth control pill on bodyweight is smaller — if it exists at all.

In its place, you could be retaining much more fluid, which can make you feel as if you’ve got set on bodyweight, especially in your breasts, hips and thighs. The estrogen in birth control drugs does impact fat (adipose) cells, producing them more substantial but not much more quite a few.

How do birth control drugs impact most cancers hazard?

Most knowledge clearly show that birth control drugs really don’t increase your over-all hazard of most cancers.

Scientific evidence suggests utilizing birth control drugs for for a longer period intervals of time will increase your hazard of some cancers, this sort of as cervical most cancers, but the hazard declines following stopping use of birth control drugs.

Concerning breast most cancers hazard, the final results are combined. Some scientific studies clearly show a connection amongst birth control pill use and a slight increase in breast most cancers hazard, but the hazard is extremely small. Other scientific studies have shown no major increase in breast most cancers hazard. Threat seems to minimize over time following discontinuing birth control drugs. If you have a loved ones background of breast most cancers, birth control use does not appear to increase the hazard.

The birth control pill could minimize your hazard of other sorts of most cancers, which includes ovarian most cancers, endometrial most cancers and colon most cancers — and this gain could persist for several years following you stop the pill.

Do birth control drugs impact cholesterol concentrations?

Delivery control drugs can impact your cholesterol concentrations. How a lot of an influence is dependent on the type of pill you happen to be having and what focus of estrogen or progestin it incorporates. Delivery control drugs with much more estrogen can have a slightly useful over-all influence on your cholesterol concentrations. In standard, however, the modifications are not major and really don’t impact your over-all overall health.

Do birth control drugs impact blood pressure?

Delivery control drugs could slightly increase your blood pressure. If you just take birth control drugs, have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. If you by now have large blood pressure, talk with your health care provider about irrespective of whether you should think about a further form of birth control.

What is the hazard of blood clots when having birth control drugs?

The estrogen contained in combination hormone birth control drugs and in the ring or patch is not proposed if you have a background of blood clots — venous thromboembolism (VTE) — or if you are at large hazard of blood clots. A progestin-only form of contraception — this sort of as the minipill or an implant — an IUD or a barrier method is a greater decision. Progestin or progesterone also can increase the hazard of blood clots, but the hazard is much less than with estrogen.

Can I go on having birth control drugs if I am more mature than age 35?

If you happen to be healthier and you really don’t smoke, you can go on having birth control drugs following age 35.

On the other hand, birth control drugs are not proposed if you happen to be 35 or more mature and you smoke for the reason that of the hazard of coronary heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) sickness. In that circumstance, you need to quit cigarette smoking right before you can properly go on utilizing birth control drugs.

Can antibiotics minimize the effectiveness of birth control drugs?

Antibiotics do not interfere with the effectiveness of birth control drugs — except in the circumstance of one particular antibiotic, rifampin (Rimactane). Rifampin does minimize the effectiveness of birth control drugs in blocking ovulation, but this antibiotic is not commonly applied right now.