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Making Decisions About Switching Birth Control Methods


Over time, your birth control may not match into your life-style anymore, or for any variety of causes, you make be trying to change it. It’s regular and utterly protected to change birth control methods, so long as you speak to your physician first. Studying about totally different types of birth control and easy methods to safely change can assist you discover the very best methodology for you.

Why You Might Wish to Swap Beginning Management Strategies

It is likely to be an excellent time to think about a brand new type of birth control if:

You overlook to take your capsule. Should you overlook to take their capsule on the identical time every single day, it might probably put you at a better danger for pregnancy. If setting alarms or creating reminders nonetheless hasn’t helped you keep in line with the pill, it’s possible you’ll wish to look into totally different strategies.

Another strategies to think about embrace barrier strategies like condoms, inside condoms, cervical caps, the sponge, or the diaphragm. When you’ll nonetheless want to recollect to make use of these earlier than having sex, you received’t want to recollect to take a capsule every single day.


You may change to the implant (which will be efficient for as much as 4 years), the IUD (which may final from 5-10 years), the patch (you’ll solely must swap it out as soon as every week), or the ring (which will be efficient for 3 weeks at a time).

You dislike the uncomfortable side effects. You’ll have some uncomfortable side effects while you begin a brand new type of contraception. Give your physique just a few months to regulate to the brand new methodology after which see if the uncomfortable side effects go away. Speak to your physician for those who’re not sure of what’s regular or not.

Should you resolve the uncomfortable side effects of your present contraception don’t be just right for you, it’s time to look into different strategies. Cybill Esguerra, MD, an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics on the Johns Hopkins College Faculty of Drugs, finds that having opposed uncomfortable side effects is the most typical purpose for switching contraception.

“It’s both unscheduled bleeding or pain. For instance, within the case of an IUD,” she says. “Different issues that folks talk about embrace weight gain, skin adjustments, or temper adjustments.”


There are numerous varieties of disagreeable uncomfortable side effects that may occur as a consequence of contraception. However simply because one type of hormonal contraception didn’t be just right for you doesn’t imply one other kind received’t. However for those who want to make use of a non-hormonal type of contraception as an alternative, you’ll be able to discover the several types of barrier strategies as effectively.

You dislike having an irregular interval. One particular facet impact from contraception is having adjustments in your interval. You might need spotting, discover adjustments in your cycles, or cease your interval altogether when utilizing contraception. A copper IUD (Paragard) might make your interval heavier, whereas hormonal IUDs (Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla) might cease your interval or make it lighter.

Missed intervals as a consequence of contraception might trigger you to worry that you simply’re pregnant. Or it’s possible you’ll merely be sick of getting irregular cycles. It doesn’t matter what the reason being, it is likely to be a good suggestion to look into how different types of contraception might have an effect on your interval. That manner, you’ll be able to search new choices that will be just right for you.


You’re nervous about safety. You might really feel that your present kind of contraception isn’t defending you from being pregnant in addition to you need it to be. Should you really feel nervous every time you’ve gotten intercourse or have a variety of anxiety in case your interval is irregular, it’s best to do a little analysis about contraception effectiveness. Look into how efficient your kind of contraception is and see if there are methods you’ll be able to enhance its success (like utilizing a condom in addition to taking the contraception capsule, for instance).

However for those who nonetheless discover that your present methodology isn’t what you need, speak to your physician concerning the effectiveness of different strategies.

Should you’re involved about staying shielded from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), use condoms or inside condoms as an alternative of, or along with, your present contraception methodology. These two varieties of condoms are the one types of contraception that may forestall STIs.

Tips on how to Safely Swap Beginning Management Strategies

Should you resolve that you simply wish to change contraception strategies, it’s necessary to do it the fitting manner to make sure you’re protected towards being pregnant.

It is best to go straight from one contraception methodology to the subsequent, with out taking any breaks. Should you’re on birth control pills, you don’t want to complete your present pack earlier than you begin a brand new contraception methodology with a purpose to be protected. However Esguerra recommends that folks end their authentic contraception pack earlier than swapping to “make the transition as seamless as attainable” when it comes to uncomfortable side effects.

After you turn strategies, you may discover some adjustments in your interval. However that is regular and isn’t one thing to be involved about.

Relying on which contraception methodology you’re on and which sort you turn to, it’s possible you’ll must overlap them. Because of this you’ll have to start out your new contraception earlier than you cease the outdated contraception methodology. Every kind requires a unique overlap time, and a few don’t require one in any respect. Ask your physician for those who’ll must overlap based mostly in your present and new contraceptive.


Should you don’t wish to overlap your delivery controls, you need to use a backup methodology. This implies both utilizing a condom or spermicide in the course of the time that you simply’d in any other case be overlapping your contraception strategies.

Backup strategies can present you additional security when switching contraception strategies. “Usually, anytime you begin a brand new methodology, you wish to use a backup methodology for one week,” Esguerra says.

Facet Results of Switching Beginning Management Strategies

While you change to a brand new kind of contraception, it’s frequent to have irregular bleeding for a few months. Should you get an IUD, you may additionally have some discomfort or cramping after insertion. However each uncomfortable side effects ought to get higher with time.

Relying on which methodology you turn to, hormonal contraception strategies may also trigger undesirable uncomfortable side effects. However these ought to go away inside 3-5 months of continued use of your new methodology. You may discover:

  • Acne (extra frequent in progestin-only strategies, much less frequent in mixed capsules and Nuvaring)
  • Amenorrhea, or lack of your interval (extra frequent in Depo-Provera, Implanon, Mirena, continuous-cycle mixed capsules, Nuvaring, much less frequent in mixed capsules or progestin-only capsules)
  • Breast tenderness (extra frequent in Ortho Evra, much less frequent in mixed capsules or Nuvaring)
  • Low sex drive
  • Depressed temper (extra frequent in Depo-Provera, much less frequent in Nuvaring)
  • Headache (frequent in all hormonal strategies)
  • Undesirable hair progress (extra frequent in progestin-only strategies, much less frequent in mixed capsules)
  • Extra vaginal discharge (extra frequent in Nuvaring, much less frequent in all different strategies)
  • Nausea (extra frequent in Ortho Evra, much less frequent in Nuvaring)
  • Oily pores and skin (extra frequent in progestin-only strategies, much less frequent in mixed capsules)
  • Weight achieve (extra frequent in Depo-Provera, much less frequent in mixed hormonal strategies, Mirena, or progestin-only capsules)


To ease any ache throughout your transition interval, Esguerra suggests taking over-the-counter ache medications like ibuprofen or naproxen or utilizing heat compresses. But when the ache appears to worsen, particularly after an IUD insertion, it’s greatest to succeed in out to your physician as quickly as attainable. This fashion they’ll ensure nothing else is unsuitable.

Esguerra encourages individuals to be advocates for his or her physique and ask questions in relation to switching contraception strategies.

“I believe ladies ought to really feel very empowered to make an appointment only for a contraceptive session,” she says. “They should not really feel like they should know what they need earlier than making an appointment with their gynecologist.”

As at all times, it’s greatest to speak to your physician about your contraception desires and desires. They’ll have the ability to information you to discovering the very best contraception in your physique.

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