Over time, yours Birth control it may no longer fit your lifestyle or you may want to change it for any reason. It is normal and completely safe to change birth control methods, whenever you first talk to your doctor. Learn about different type of birth control and how to change safely can help you find the best method for you.
Why you might want to change your birth control methods
It may be a good time to consider a new form of Birth control Yes:
You forget to take the pill. If you forget to take the pill at the same time each day, it may pose a higher risk pregnancy. Setting alarms or creating reminders has not yet helped you stay consistent the pill, you may want to examine different methods.
Some other methods to consider include barrier methods such as condoms, intern condoms, cervical plugs, sponge or diaphragm. Although you will still need to remember to use them before doing so sex, you won’t have to remember to take a pill every day.
You can switch to the implant (which can be effective for up to 4 years), the the IUD (which can last 5 to 10 years), the patch (you only need to change it once a week) or the ring (which can be effective for 3 weeks at a time).
You don’t like side effects. You may experience some side effects when you start a new form of birth control. Give your body a few months to adjust to the new method, and then check to see if the side effects go away. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure of what is normal or not.
If you decide that the side effects of your current birth control are not working for you, it’s time to look at other methods. Cybill Esguerra, MD, an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, finds that having adverse side effects is the most common reason to change birth control.
There are several types of unpleasant side effects that can occur due to birth control. But just because one form of hormonal birth control doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean another type doesn’t. But if you prefer to use a non-hormonal contraceptive form, you can also explore the different types of barrier methods.
You don’t like having an abnormal period. One of the specific side effects of birth control is having changes over the period. Maybe yes detect, observe changes in your cycles or stop the period completely when using birth control. A copper IUD (Paragard) can make your period heavier, while hormonal IUDs (Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla) could stop the period or make it lighter.
Missing periods due to birth control can make you fear that you are pregnant. Or you may just be fed up with having irregular cycles. Regardless of the reason, it may be a good idea to examine how other forms of birth control may affect your period. This way, you can look for new options that may work for you.
You care about protection. You may feel that your current type of birth control does not protect you from pregnancy as well as you would like. If you feel nervous every time you have sex or have a lot of it anxiety if your period is irregular, you need to do some research on the effectiveness of birth control. Look at the effectiveness of your type of contraception and see if there are ways to improve its success (such as using a condom and taking the birth control pill, for example).
But if you still find that your current method is not what you want, talk to your doctor about the effectiveness of other methods.
If you are concerned about keeping yourself safe from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), use condoms or internal condoms instead of the current method of contraception, or more. These two types of condoms are the only forms of birth control that can prevent STIs.
How to safely change birth control methods
If you decide you want to change your birth control methods, it is important to do it the right way to ensure your protection against pregnancy.
You should go straight from one contraceptive method to the next, without pausing. If you are on birth control pills, you do not need to finish the current package before starting a new birth control method in order to protect it. But Esguerra recommends that people finish the original contraceptive package before swapping to “make the transition as smooth as possible” in terms of side effects.
After changing your method, you may notice some changes in the period. But this is normal and you don’t have to worry.
Depending on the birth control method and password type, you may need to overlay them. This means that you will need to start the new contraceptive test before stopping the old contraceptive method. Each type requires a different overlay time and some do not require any. Ask your doctor if you should overlap based on your current and new contraceptive.
If you do not want to overlay your birth controls, you can use a backup method. That means using a condom either spermicide during the time it would otherwise be superimposing birth control methods.
Backup methods can provide you with extra security when you change your birth control methods. “Generally, every time you start a new method, you want to use a backup method for a week,” Esguerra says.
Side effects of changing birth control methods
When you switch to a new type of birth control, it is common for you to have irregular bleeding for a couple of months. If you get an IUD, you may also have discomfort or cramps after insertion. But both side effects should improve over time.
Depending on the method you switch to, hormonal birth control methods can also cause unwanted side effects. But they should disappear within 3-5 months after continued use of your new method. You may notice:
- Acne (most common in progestin-only methods, less common in combination pills and Nuvaring)
- Amenorrhea or loss of menstruation (more common in Depo-Provera, Implanon, Mirena, combined cycle, continuous pills Nuvaring, less common in combination pills or progestin-only pills)
- Mom tenderness (more common in Ortho Evra, less common in combination pills or Nuvaring)
- low sexual desire
- Depressive mood (more common in Depo-Provera, less common in Nuvaring)
- Headache (common in all hormonal methods)
- Unwanted hair growth (more common in progestin-only methods, less common in combination pills)
- Month vaginal discharge (more common in Nuvaring, less common in other methods)
- Nausea (more common in Ortho Evra, less common in Nuvaring)
- Oily skin (more common in progestin-only methods, less common in combination pills)
- Weight gain (more common in Depo-Provera, less common in combined hormonal methods, Mirena or progestin-only pills)
To relieve any pain during the transition period, Esguerra suggests taking pain without a prescription medicines I like ibuprofè or naproxen or using hot compresses. But if the pain seems to get worse, especially after one IUD insertion, it is best to contact your doctor as soon as possible. That way, they can be sure that nothing else is wrong.
Esguerra encourages people to defend their bodies and ask questions when changing birth control methods.
“I think women should feel very empowered to make an appointment just for a contraceptive consultation,” she says. “They shouldn’t feel like they need to know what they want before making an appointment with theirs gynecologist“.
As always, it is best to talk to your doctor about your contraceptive needs and requirements. They can guide you in finding the best birth control for your body.