According to the CDC, the age range for contraceptives is from 15-45 years of age. However, at this time, OvaryIt services are not available to minors (those under the age of 18). Some states have age restriction laws for minors regarding consenting for hormonal contraceptives. Please check your local state laws for more specific information regarding age restrictions.
To be eligible for hormonal contraceptives, you need to have established a consistent menstrual cycle of at least 3 menstrual cycles. Since everyone experiences this at a different age, when to start birth control can be different for each person. However, if your period is disrupting your health, education/work, skin, and quality of life; now might be a great time to understand your options.
We follow the CDC and USMEC guidelines for prescribing birth control. We break much of this information down to make the questions fast and easy to understand. If you are not sure about what a question is asking, hover, or click on the (?) at the bottom of the question to get a better idea of how to answer the question.
Many types of contraceptives have weight and/or body mass index (BMI) restrictions! You should know your weight and enter your information honestly. This will help make sure one of our physicians can match you to the right option. You may not be well protected from unplanned pregnancies if you are on the incorrect hormonal contraceptive.
It is important to know your most recent blood pressure and enter the information correctly. High blood pressure is common and when paired with the wrong hormonal contraceptive it can be very dangerous. If you have high blood pressure you are still eligible to receive hormonal contraceptives, but we must be more selective.
Great news, there are many types of hormonal contraceptives available from the combination pill, the mini-pill (progestin-only), the ring, and the patch, as well as non-hormonal options. Our physicians can help work with you to personalize a solution that works for your body, your lifestyle and fits your goals. Even if we do not provide a particular type of service offering (fertility tracking, implants, or IUD insertions), our physicians are happy to answer your questions about these options and provide expert advice.
If you are switching from the combined pills to progestin-only pills (POPs), take the first POP the day after you finish the last active combined pill. Do not take any of the 7 inactive pills from the combined pill pack. You should know that many women have irregular periods after switching to POPs, but this is normal and to be expected.
If you are switching from POPs to the combined pills, take the first active combined pill on the first day of your period, even if your POPs pack is not finished.
If you switch to another brand of POPs, start the new brand anytime.
If you are breastfeeding, you can switch to another method of birth control at any time, apart from combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs). According to USMEC guidelines, CHCs, including “the pill,” patch, or ring, should be avoided 21 days postpartum. During this period, progestin-only pills (POPs) and barrier methods are safe.
During 21-42 days postpartum, CHCs become a viable option if the patient has no additional risk factors for a blood clot.
Greater than 42 days postpartum, CHCs, POPs, and barrier methods are all approved for use while breastfeeding.
There is a BIG difference between perfect use and typical use in the world of contraceptives. Most hormonal contraceptives are 99% effective with perfect use, but typical use (human error), makes it more like 91% effective. The pill, patch, and ring all share roughly the same effectiveness. Other more effective options do exist such as the implant, IUDs, or sterilization. These methods require medical intervention and procedures which can be painful, expensive, and permanent. Knowing the difference and your options are very important for your future hormonal health and fertility.
Deep breaths, these things happen. Take it as soon as you remember and take the next pill when you were originally scheduled to take it. If you take both the pills at the same time, great, if you suffer from side effects and are worried about taking two at a time, you can space this out a little throughout the day. BUT REMEMBER TO TAKE TWO PILLS. No additional back-up contraceptives or emergency contraceptives are typically needed.
Okay, get it together; still, these things happen. Take the next pill as soon as you remember and continue taking the pills at the usual time, even if it means taking two pills on the same day. You will need to use back-up contraception or avoid sex until you have taken the pill for 7 consecutive days. Emergency contraception should be considered if you have had unprotected sex in the past 5 days, especially if the missed pills were within the first week of your cycle. If you want to wait until after your period to restart taking the pill, then use back-up contraception. If you restart the pill within 5 days of the beginning of your period then you can stop using back-up contraception. If you wait to restart it more than 5 days after the beginning of your period, then you need to continue using back-up methods until you have taken the pill for 7 consecutive days.
Timing is more important with progestin-only pills than it is with combined pills. A pill is considered missed if it is taken 3 hours late for a progestin-only pill. If you are within 3 hours late in taking your pill, take it as soon as possible and continue business as usual. If you are more than 3 hours late, then take the pill as soon as you remember and then again when you were normally scheduled to take it, even if it means taking two pills in a day. You should use back-up protection or avoid sex until you have taken the pill on time for 2 consecutive days. You should consider taking an emergency contraceptive if you have had unprotected sex in the past 5 days.
Discontinue your pill pack and begin again after your period. In the meantime you need to use back-up protection or avoid sex. If you start the pill pack within 5 days of when your period started then there is no need for back-up contraception after you restart the pill. If you start it more than 5 days after the beginning of your period then you need to use back-up contraception or avoid sex until you have taken the pill on schedule for 2 consecutive days.
If the vomiting and diarrhea continues for less than 48 hours, then keep taking your pill at the usual time. There is no need to take an extra dose, and you do not need to use back-up or emergency contraception. If the vomiting or diarrhea continues for more than 48 hours then you should avoid sex or use back-up contraception until you have taken the pill for 7 consecutive days without vomiting or diarrhea. If you have had unprotected sex within the past 5 days then you should consider emergency contraception.
Try to take another pill as soon as possible. Use back-up contraceptives or avoid sex until you have taken the pill for 2 days consecutively without vomiting or diarrhea. Consider emergency contraception if you have had unprotected sex within the past 5 days.
There have been a large number of studies looking at whether oral contraceptive pills cause weight gain. Most of those studies did not show any significant weight gain. Of the ones that did show some evidence of weight gain, it was limited to less than 5 lbs in a year.
Everybody is different. If you think your birth control pill is making you gain weight, let us know, and we can look at other pill options. There are hundreds of pills out there; finding your perfect fit is always our goal.
Yes, very much so. It’s important to remember that each woman’s body responds differently, and the timing may vary. If you had an irregular period before starting birth control, you might experience an irregular cycle after birth control. This may make it difficult for you to get pregnant right away. Others may continue to keep a regular period and be able to conceive more quickly. If you are interested in family planning, there are many fertility tracking apps to help you understand your cycle.
Studies currently show that birth control can decrease your likelihood of ovarian and endometrial cancer. As for breast cancer, there is a modest increased correlation in risk that is reversible after you stop taking hormonal contraceptives.
Many females experience break-through bleeding and missed or skipped periods, especially within the first 3 months of utilizing a new contraceptive method or pill. If this continues, be smart and test for pregnancy. Many county health offices offer free or reduced test services.
Things to consider or ask yourself:
No, you must incorporate some type of barrier method to protect against STI’s. Male and female condoms are great options. Insurance often covers female condoms.
For many contraceptive options yes, and very easily. See instructions below.
For combination pills: If your pill pack has 28 days within it, often the last week is considered the placebo week to allow for your period. Confirm that your prescription has a 7 day placebo week. All you must do is start your next pill pack instead of your placebo or withdrawal week.
For mini-pill: This is, unfortunately, not suggested. The mini-pill or progestin only pills (POP), works to prevent pregnancy in a different way than typical combination pills. Many find that they still ovulate while taking the mini-pill. They are still protected against unplanned pregnancies, though, because the mini-pill thickens the cervical mucus to block the sperm and slows down egg transportation. If an egg releases, then your body will experience a necessary period. If you try to fight this process, break-through bleeding will likely occur.
The patch: Similarly to combination pills, you can skip your patch-free week by applying the new patch. You may experience breakthrough bleeding, especially during the beginning of this method. For many, it gets better as your body adjusts.
The ring: Similarly to combination pills and the patch, you can skip your ring-free week by inserting a new ring. You may experience breakthrough bleeding, especially at the beginning of this method. For many, it gets better as your body adjusts.
Way to be protected and proactive! There are a couple of different emergency contraceptives, so first figure out which brand you took and refer to the information below:
Emergencies: Please contact your local healthcare provider or 911 for emergencies. We are a non-emergent healthcare provider. Sending you hugs and good vibes for your health and wellness.
OvaryIt was created by women for women as the safe online solution to birth control. We understand that not everyone is a fit for hormonal contraceptives. This is why we ask ALL of the USMEC and CDC questions for prescribing hormonal contraceptives. Our survey is comprehensive because we care about your long-term goals and contraceptive health.
OvaryIt only uses trusted sources for the most up to date information to keep you safe. This includes:
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