Making Decisions About Switching Birth Control Methods


Over time, your birth control won’t match into your way of life anymore, or for any variety of causes, you make be seeking to change it. It’s regular and fully secure to modify birth control methods, so long as you discuss to your physician first. Studying about totally different types of birth control and safely swap can assist you discover the most effective technique for you.

Why You Might Wish to Swap Start Management Strategies

It could be time to contemplate a brand new type of birth control if:

You neglect to take your capsule. When you neglect to take their capsule on the identical time each day, it will probably put you at a better threat for pregnancy. If setting alarms or creating reminders nonetheless hasn’t helped you keep in keeping with the pill, it’s possible you’ll need to look into totally different strategies.

Another strategies to contemplate embrace barrier strategies like condoms, inner condoms, cervical caps, the sponge, or the diaphragm. Whilst you’ll nonetheless want to recollect to make use of these earlier than having sex, you gained’t want to recollect to take a capsule each day.


You possibly can swap to the implant (which might be efficient for as much as 4 years), the IUD (which may final from 5-10 years), the patch (you’ll solely must swap it out as soon as per week), or the ring (which might be efficient for 3 weeks at a time).

You dislike the unwanted effects. You’ll have some unwanted effects if you begin a brand new type of contraception. Give your physique a number of months to regulate to the brand new technique after which see if the unwanted effects go away. Speak to your physician for those who’re not sure of what’s regular or not.

When you resolve the unwanted effects of your present contraception don’t be just right for you, it’s time to look into different strategies. Cybill Esguerra, MD, an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics on the Johns Hopkins College Faculty of Medication, finds that having antagonistic unwanted effects is the most typical purpose for switching contraception.

“It’s both unscheduled bleeding or pain. For instance, within the case of an IUD,” she says. “Different issues that folks focus on embrace weight gain, skin modifications, or temper modifications.”


There are numerous kinds of disagreeable unwanted effects that may occur resulting from contraception. However simply because one type of hormonal contraception didn’t be just right for you doesn’t imply one other sort gained’t. However for those who favor to make use of a non-hormonal type of contraception as an alternative, you’ll be able to discover the several types of barrier strategies as effectively.

You dislike having an irregular interval. One particular aspect impact from contraception is having modifications in your interval. You might need spotting, discover modifications in your cycles, or cease your interval altogether when utilizing contraception. A copper IUD (Paragard) might make your interval heavier, whereas hormonal IUDs (Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla) might cease your interval or make it lighter.

Missed intervals resulting from contraception might trigger you to concern that you just’re pregnant. Or it’s possible you’ll merely be sick of getting irregular cycles. It doesn’t matter what the reason being, it could be a good suggestion to look into how different types of contraception might have an effect on your interval. That manner, you’ll be able to search new choices which will be just right for you.


You’re fearful about safety. You might really feel that your present sort of contraception isn’t defending you from being pregnant in addition to you need it to be. When you really feel nervous every time you’ve intercourse or have lots of anxiety in case your interval is irregular, you must perform a little research about contraception effectiveness. Look into how efficient your sort of contraception is and see if there are methods you’ll be able to enhance its success (like utilizing a condom in addition to taking the contraception capsule, for instance).

However for those who nonetheless discover that your present technique isn’t what you need, discuss to your physician in regards to the effectiveness of different strategies.

When you’re involved about staying shielded from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), use condoms or inner condoms as an alternative of, or along with, your present contraception technique. These two kinds of condoms are the one types of contraception that may forestall STIs.

The best way to Safely Swap Start Management Strategies

When you resolve that you just need to swap contraception strategies, it’s vital to do it the appropriate manner to make sure you’re protected in opposition to being pregnant.

You need to go straight from one contraception technique to the subsequent, with out taking any breaks. When you’re on birth control pills, you don’t want to complete your present pack earlier than you begin a brand new contraception technique to be able to be protected. However Esguerra recommends that folks end their authentic contraception pack earlier than swapping to “make the transition as seamless as doable” when it comes to unwanted effects.

After you turn strategies, you may discover some modifications in your interval. However that is regular and isn’t one thing to be involved about.

Relying on which contraception technique you might be on and which sort you turn to, it’s possible you’ll must overlap them. Which means you’ll have to begin your new contraception earlier than you cease the previous contraception technique. Every sort requires a unique overlap time, and a few don’t require one in any respect. Ask your physician for those who’ll must overlap based mostly in your present and new contraceptive.


When you don’t need to overlap your beginning controls, you need to use a backup technique. This implies both utilizing a condom or spermicide in the course of the time that you just’d in any other case be overlapping your contraception strategies.

Backup strategies can present you additional security when switching contraception strategies. “Typically, anytime you begin a brand new technique, you need to use a backup technique for one week,” Esguerra says.

Facet Results of Switching Start Management Strategies

If you swap to a brand new sort of contraception, it’s widespread to have irregular bleeding for a few months. When you get an IUD, you might also have some discomfort or cramping after insertion. However each unwanted effects ought to get higher with time.

Relying on which technique you turn to, hormonal contraception strategies may additionally trigger undesirable unwanted effects. However these ought to go away inside 3-5 months of continued use of your new technique. You may discover:

  • Acne (extra widespread in progestin-only strategies, much less widespread in mixed capsules and Nuvaring)
  • Amenorrhea, or lack of your interval (extra widespread in Depo-Provera, Implanon, Mirena, continuous-cycle mixed capsules, Nuvaring, much less widespread in mixed capsules or progestin-only capsules)
  • Breast tenderness (extra widespread in Ortho Evra, much less widespread in mixed capsules or Nuvaring)
  • Low sex drive
  • Depressed temper (extra widespread in Depo-Provera, much less widespread in Nuvaring)
  • Headache (widespread in all hormonal strategies)
  • Undesirable hair development (extra widespread in progestin-only strategies, much less widespread in mixed capsules)
  • Extra vaginal discharge (extra widespread in Nuvaring, much less widespread in all different strategies)
  • Nausea (extra widespread in Ortho Evra, much less widespread in Nuvaring)
  • Oily pores and skin (extra widespread in progestin-only strategies, much less widespread in mixed capsules)
  • Weight achieve (extra widespread in Depo-Provera, much less widespread in mixed hormonal strategies, Mirena, or progestin-only capsules)


To ease any ache throughout your transition interval, Esguerra suggests taking over-the-counter ache medications like ibuprofen or naproxen or utilizing heat compresses. But when the ache appears to worsen, particularly after an IUD insertion, it’s greatest to succeed in out to your physician as quickly as doable. This manner they will ensure that nothing else is flawed.

Esguerra encourages folks to be advocates for his or her physique and ask questions relating to switching contraception strategies.

“I feel ladies ought to really feel very empowered to make an appointment only for a contraceptive session,” she says. “They should not really feel like they should know what they need earlier than making an appointment with their gynecologist.”

As at all times, it’s greatest to speak to your physician about your contraception needs and wishes. They’ll be capable of information you to discovering the most effective contraception on your physique.

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