Using birth control and contraceptives isn’t only about limiting unprotected sex and preventing pregnancy. Birth control is a critical tool for reproductive health care delivery and disease control. At the same time, there are so many forms of birth control to choose from, which makes it hard to pick the best option for you! But lucky for you, it doesn’t have to be this way!
The following key facts will help you to decide which birth control method is right for you because some methods may work better than others depending on your health, your lifestyle, if you want children now or in the future, and your need to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
In the United States, there are over a dozen contraceptive methods and options available to choose from – which is a lot! They range from long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as intrauterine devices (or IUDs), to shorter-term methods, like the pill or the ring, or even barrier methods, like condoms.
Among the most common, effective, and convenient are the birth control implant or IUD, both of which can last from 3-5 years, the birth control shot (AKA depo shot or Depo-Provera, which lasts 12 weeks), the vaginal ring (which needs to be replaced monthly), patch (which also needs to be replaced weekly such as Twirla), or pill (which is taken daily).
If you have questions about which birth control option is right for you, consult your doctor to get started on your birth control regimen.
Continue reading below for some interesting facts that you may not know about birth control!
The Birth Control Pill Has Health Benefits
On top of being one of the most popular and effective ways to prevent pregnancy, the birth control pill has additional women’s health benefits. Sometimes, side effects can be good and the benefits of taking the pill extend beyond preventing pregnancy.
Combination birth control pills (not the progestin-only pill or the “mini-pill”) can help treat, prevent, or lessen the effects of:
- Hormonal acne
- Ovarian cysts
- Endometrial and ovarian cancers
- Sexually transmitted infections of your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus
- Iron deficiency anemia, and
- PMS, PMDD
The pill can also make your periods more regular and easy to predict. The hormones found in the pill can help to reduce menstrual cramps and reduce heavy flows, making your periods lighter and less painful or uncomfortable.
You May Have to Try Many Pill Brands Before Finding the Right One
Pre-existing medical conditions or other health problems like high blood pressure, smoking, and a family history of breast cancer are important factors for you and your doctor to consider when choosing the best birth control method for you.
You may have to try different birth control methods and different brands of the birth control pill to find the option that is best for you. However at Pandia Health with our academic doctor CEO/Founder and our expert doctors, we have developed an algorithm based on your age, BMI, and race as a proxy for genetics that results in few, if any, side effects.
Some birth control options have common side effects that may not be present in other methods. For example, if you get headaches while taking the pill, you can talk to your doctor about switching to the progestin-only option or non-hormonal IUD.
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance covers the cost of birth control with no copay, no deductible. However, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance if it only pertains to specific brands. For instance, without insurance, oral contraceptive pills (birth control pills) can be around $50 per month, and the IUD is roughly $1,000.
Luckily, with Pandia Health you can get birth control for free with most health insurance or starting at as low as $7/pack without!
The doctors and Patient Care Advisors at Pandia Health are happy to assist you and find the right birth control pill, patch, or ring for you, offering FREE delivery for your medication to your home or wherever you want it mailed. Sign up today and get birth control sent to your mailbox with FREE delivery and automatic refills.
Periods Can Be Skipped
If you use the birth control pill, patch, or vaginal ring, you can easily skip your period for up to 3 months or more and it is safe to do so! If you’re on the pill, skipping your period is as easy as skipping the placebo week and starting the next pack! If you’re on the ring, it’s as easy as skipping the ring-free week! With the patch you can skip up to 12 weeks in a row (After that, the estrogen from the patch builds up and increases your risk of blood clots.).
If/when you get spotting and you have used the birth control pill, patch, or ring for at least 21 days of active pills, patch, ring in a row before that, it is important that you STOP taking the pill or remove the ring for 4 days. You should have a withdrawal bleed, but you can resume the pill or ring on day 5 whether or not you are still bleeding. This resets the uterus and can potentially help you go without a period for longer the next time. With the patch, when you get breakthrough bleeding in trying to go 12 weeks without bleeding, STOP the patch for 7 days and start with a new patch on day 8 off the patch.
Birth Control Doesn’t Cause Weight Gain
Many women are hesitant to go on hormonal birth control pills, patch, or ring because they are afraid it will make them gain weight. The myth comes from the hormone in the combined oral birth control pills, patch, and ring called progesterone, which can affect women and menstruating individuals in different ways.
Some may respond to this hormone with “the munchies.” If you respond to the munchies with junk food like fries and chips, you may experience weight gain. However, hormonal birth control and the pill can actually help you to minimize the bloating experienced during your monthly cycles. Research has shown that if you have 50 women on the birth control pill and 50 women not on the pill, the women on the pill, on average, weigh 1 lb less than the women NOT on the pill.
Most people on the birth control pill, patch, or ring do NOT gain weight as a result of their birth control.
For Newbies: Start Your Birth Control on The Last Day of Your Period
Although you can start taking hormonal birth control at any time, Dr. Sophia Yen, CEO & Co-Founder of Pandia Health, recommends taking your first pill on the last day of your period. According to Dr. Yen, this allows you to start with a clean empty uterus, because you will have just had your period, so you can have a fresh start.
Another benefit of starting birth control at the end of your period is that it may start working right away. However, if you have a BMI of 30 or greater, it may take up to a week for your body to get to a level that prevents pregnancy. It’s still best practice to use condoms during the first cycle of your birth control to ensure protection against pregnancy and prevent sexually transmitted infections.
How Can Pandia Help You?
When you’re ready to start exploring the benefits of taking the birth control pill, patch, or ring, Pandia Health is here to help. We pride ourselves on prescribing birth control based on the ‘Pandia Health algorithm,’ which considers several factors, including age, race (as a proxy for genetics), BMI, and your personal medical history. All these factors can influence your body’s reaction to birth control.
Pandia Health is here to offer you telehealth birth control options that work with your insurance and your schedule. On top of the added benefits of birth control, you can experience the benefits of getting your birth control online and delivered to your door for free (plus free goodies!)through our telehealth approach!
With just one $25 payment a year, you can get access to our expert doctors (available in these states) for 364 days. To change your birth control or get started on the best birth control pill for you, sign up today.