Birth Control Methods

How does birth control work?
A birth control pill is a daily pill which will need to be taken at the same time every day to be effective. The birth control patch is a thin, beige, plastic patch that sticks to the skin. Both the patch and the pill contain hormones that prevent pregnancy by possibly preventing ovulations, including a thickening of cervical mucus that decreases sperms mobility and a thinning of the lining of the uterus that makes implantation less likely.

When do I start taking birth control?
You should use a backup method of birth control for the first 7 days after you begin taking the pills. You should starting taking your birth control pills on Sunday after the beginning of your cycle. Example: If your cycle begins on a Wednesday, you will begin taking the pills the following Sunday, even if you are still bleeding. If you start you cycle on Sunday, begin taking the birth control pills on that Sunday.

What should I expect after I start taking birth control?
After you start taking birth control pills, you should expect some breakthrough bleeding for the first few months; however, this should improve after 3 months of taking the birth control pills. If it does not improve, you should call your doctor's office.

What are the side effects of birth control pills?
Birth control pills may cause nausea, breast tenderness, water retention, increased blood pressure, mood changes and headaches. The antibiotic Rifampin along with anticonvulsants and barbiturates may reduce effectiveness of birth control. If you take this antibiotic and/or barbiturates and anticonvulsants, use condoms for birth control. Birth control does not protect against from HIV or STDs. There is a 1/10,000 risk of blood clots. You should call you doctor's office if you have pain, redness or swelling in one/both of your calves.

How long should I be off of birth control pills before trying to conceive?
You should be off of birth control pills for 2 to 3 months before attempting conception. This ensures the lining of the uterus has thickened which will aid in the implantation of sperm.