Birth control pills are the most common contraceptives in America. Taking that little pill every day can give peace of mind in knowing that you’re in control of your health and future.
But which pill is best? There are several types of birth control pills – and some may be a better fit for you than others. Your health history, menstrual symptoms, and how often you have or want to have your period are some of the key factors in choosing a pill that’s best for you.
That’s where one of our OB-GYNs or certified nurse midwives can be a big help. OB-GYNs and midwives are experts in women’s health. They’re your advocate, dedicated to promoting your well-being and reproductive health – plus they know all there is to know about birth control.
The best part? You don’t need to head to the clinic.
Birth control pills are taken daily to prevent pregnancy. The pills contain hormones similar to the ones that naturally exist in a woman’s body. Those hormones stop ovulation. And without ovulation, there’s no egg released for sperm to fertilize.
There are two types of birth control pills – progestin-only pills and combination pills (which contain both progestin and estrogen). You can also choose between conventional pills and extended-cycle pills. The conventional pills come with 24 active pills and four inactive pills. This enables you to get your period regularly, every month. Extended-cycle pills are designed so you take more active pills in a row and typically have your period four times a year, or once every three months.
By taking the pill at the same time every day, you maintain a steady level of the hormones in your body, making it a very effective form of pregnancy prevention. With typical use, the pill is about 91% effective. With perfect use, it's over 99% effective.
Birth control pills are one of the most effective forms of pregnancy prevention. But women like and trust the pill for many reasons:
- The routine of taking it daily gives you peace of mind
- Certain birth control pills help regulate your menstrual cycle, often making it more predictable, lighter, or so that you can skip it altogether
- It can lessen or prevent period symptoms, such as PMS, cramps, menstrual migraines, heavy bleeding and acne
- It can provide protection against other conditions, such as anemia, endometriosis, and endometrial and ovarian cancers (only combination birth controls pills)
Like all medications, birth control pills can have side effects. These can vary pill to pill, but your doctor will discuss them with you before filling your prescription.
Common side effects of birth control pills include:
- Breast tenderness or enlargement
- Spotting or breakthrough bleeding between periods
- Higher risk of blood clots or high blood pressure
Getting started on the pill is simple. First,
During the visit, your doctor or midwife will talk with you about your health history, lifestyle and goals, and your different birth control pill options. Once a birth control pill is chosen, they’ll send a prescription to your pharmacy of choice. It’s that easy.