Dr. Sophia Yen discusses, “How to start your birth control pill, birth control patch, birth control ring. Tips for newbies to the birth control pill, patch, and ring, and the Best and Worst Times to Use Birth Control.” 

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Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health headshot

Dr Sophia Yen (CEO and Co-Founder of Pandia Health)’s top tips for starting birth control — “My number one newbie tip: If you are new to the birth control pill, patch, or ring, start your birth control right before you go to bed. In the 19+ years that I’ve been prescribing women birth control I’ve only had 2 women who woke up from sleep with nausea. Everyone else has been totally fine.”

If after a week of trying that, you still have nausea, move it to dinner time or whichever is your largest meal.

The worst possible time to take the birth control pill, patch, or ring is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, because then you’ll have taken medication on an empty stomach and you’ll be nauseous all day.

So, start your birth control right before you go to bed. If that fails, move it up to dinner (assuming that’s your largest meal) but never, never, never take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. (though some women do fine with that.)

#2 tip for starting birth control: If you can abstain or use condoms until you start, Dr. Yen suggests starting your birth control on the LAST days of your period. That way your uterus is cleaned out and you are starting on a clean palate aka a “fresh start.”

#3 tip for birth control pills. Give every pill at least 2-3 months for your body to get used to it. If you only give it 1-2 weeks, then you didn’t really give it a try. 

#4 KNOW that there are 40+ different pills. 8 different progesterones with 2-3 levels of estrogen. So, if this one doesn’t work out for you, there should be another one that does.

#5 How to find the best birth control pill for you? Ask your blood-related mom/sister. If your mom was on birth control pills, if she found something that worked for her, it might work really well for you too. Same goes if you have a sister – whatever works for her, might work for you too. 

#6 Check your doctor/provider’s experience. If you have an experienced doctor, she will know how to handle any side effects that come up. That’s why at Pandia Health we’re proud that we are the ONLY #DoctorFounded and #DoctorLed birth control delivery company. We have birth control expert doctors and we learn from our patients’ experiences and make it better for the next patient.

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The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.