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Hormone-free Birth Control Pill Brands

Is The Combined Pill Right For You

Debunking top myths about birth control pills | GMA Digital

The combined pill is safe for lots of people, and unless you have any of the specific issues mentioned later on, the combined pill is probably the best contraceptive pill for you.

The combined pill is the most common type of contraceptive pill and it’s estimated that around 100 million women worldwide use it.

What Are Sugar Pills

Some packs of the combined pill have 21 active pills and 7 non-active sugar pills. The non-active sugar pills are also called non-hormonal placebo or reminder pills. These pills are meant to help you remember to take your pill every day and start your next pack on time. Taking the non-active sugar pills will trigger withdrawal bleeding, which is similar to a period. You are still protected from pregnancy during this time. The hormone-free days must not be longer than 7 days. At the end of the hormone-free days, start a new pack. Always start your new pack of pills on time, even if your period hasnt ended. Your period should stop in a few days. If you dont have a period, start your new pill pack and see your healthcare provider. Note: There are different ways to take the non-active sugar pills, depending on whether you want to have a period every month, every few months or not have a period. See how to take the pill above.

What Is The Best Low

The birth control pills available today have lower doses than they did when they first came out, which has really decreased the risk of side effects. In fact, one pill in 1960 is the equivalent of taking one week of pills today!

Because of these changes, most birth control brands today are low-dose pills. The Mayo Clinic says that most combination birth control pills, which combine the hormones progestin and estrogen, have 1035 micrograms of estrogen. Low-dose pills would then contain estrogen levels at the lower end of this range.

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Diaphragm And Cervical Cap

Unintended pregnancy in one year of use: 17% typical use, 16% perfect use .

Diaphragms and cervical caps are barrier methods that are both placed over the cervix and used with spermicide . Cervical caps are smaller than diaphragms and fit tightly around the cervix . Diaphragms stay in place by sitting behind the pubic bone . Diaphragms and cervical caps do not protect against STIs . Both are available in the USA with a prescription.

There is also a one-size-fits-all diaphragm, Caya . A healthcare provider may have you insert Caya during the visit and then perform a pelvic exam to make sure that it was placed in the right position . Water-based spermicide should also be used with Caya .

How Do Contraceptives Work

Nonhormonal Birth Control

The menstrual cycle lasts on average 28 days in total. This cycle includes several different phases. After menstruation, two hormones called follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone increase, which causes follicles in the ovary to mature and the lining of the uterus to thicken. Next, an estrogen called estradiol will rise steadily until about halfway through the cycle, at which point it will drop sharply . This drop in estradiol triggers a surge in FSH and LH, which causes a mature egg to be released from the ovary into the fallopian tube . This ovulation phase is the only time during the menstrual cycle that pregnancy can occur.

Since the surge in FSH and LH are required to begin the ovulation phase, blocking their effects can prevent the release of a mature egg. If there is no egg present in the fallopian tube to be fertilized, pregnancy cannot occur. So how do contraceptives prevent FSH and LH from triggering ovulation? When estradiol and progesterone levels are high, FSH and LH cannot spike and so ovulation does not occur. Most contraceptives work by creating this hormonal state. They increase levels of estradiol and/or a synthetic progestin that mimics progesterone. Not only does this prevent ovulation, but also thickens cervical mucus and alters the lining of the uterus. These two changes help prevent fertilization and implantation, two important processes required for pregnancy to occur.

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Birth Control Options For Women Who Can’t Use Hormones

Although they are popular, not every woman can use, or wants to use, the pill or other hormonal contraceptive for birth control.

  • Some women cannot use hormones at all because of health reasons, breastfeeding, side effects or a host of other reasons.
  • Some may only need occasional pregnancy protection and prefer not to use a full-time birth control method.
  • Certain women prefer to avoid hormones in general based on personal beliefs.

There are several birth control options that do not contain hormones, that are effective if used correctly, and that are usually affordable, or even free.

What Is The Pill

The pill is a form of contraception that you take every day to stop getting pregnant. The pill contains a combination of 2 hormones oestrogen and progestogen.

  • The pill works by stopping ovulation .
  • It is also used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding . It makes the lining of your uterus thinner which makes your periods lighter.
  • There are a variety of brands and strengths of the pill available in Aotearoa New Zealand, which contain a different combination of oestrogen and progestogen.
  • Your doctor will decide on the best combination for you.
  • If you experience side effects, you may need to try a few different types before you find one that suits you.

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Common Contraceptives Side Effects

Not all contraceptives will have the same side effects due to differences in their active ingredients and route of administration. However, there are some side effects that are common to most contraceptive drugs. Consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist so you can minimize specific side effects that you may experience while taking contraceptives.

Common side effects of contraceptive drugs include:

  • Breast tenderness

  • Changes in vaginal discharge

If you experience an allergic reaction and have symptoms of difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or tongue, hives, or rash, seek medical attention right away.

Medical Treatments For Endometriosis

The Dark Side of the Birth Control Pill

Similar to the lining of the uterus, endometriosis usually responds to estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that control your menstrual cycle. The natural fluctuations of these hormones can increase the activity of endometriosis and aggravate symptoms, whereas steady medical doses of estrogens, progestins, and other medications that decrease natural hormone production can lessen endometriosis flare ups.

As a general rule, women are less likely to have problems with endometriosis before their first menstrual period or after menopause. On the other hand, women with endometriosis tend to experience more symptoms around their period. It is also believed that endometriosis may form when menstrual tissue flows backwards through the fallopian tubes and implants in the abdominal cavity and pelvis. Thus, suppressing your period with the following hormonal medications can help relieve endometriosis-related pain and prevent endometriosis from developing or becoming worse over time.

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Starting After The 5th Day Of Your Cycle

You will not be protected from pregnancy straight away and will need additional contraception until you have taken the pill for 7 days.

If you start the pill after the 5th day of your cycle, make sure you have not put yourself at risk of pregnancy since your last period. If you’re worried you’re pregnant when you start the pill, take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after the last time you had unprotected sex.

Okay What Is The Best Form Of Birth Control For Me

To discover the right type of birth control pill for you, you may want to start by considering what makes you unique. For instance, are there any past health conditions that put you at a higher risk of complications? What about current health issues and their impact on oral contraceptives? Are you taking any medications or supplements? Consider your lifestyle and preferences, as well, since these are part of your individual makeup.

Considering whats unique about you is one decisive way to ensure you start with the right question: which birth control pill is best for me?

Once youve looked at individual needs, turn to your highest priority birth control benefits. You may be interested in the pill for reasons beyond safe sex. Most women want to use a form of birth control that doesn’t cause weight gain. Perhaps you care most about finding a pill that will help clear up acne. Or maybe youve always struggled with severe PMS and heavy bleeding, and you’re looking for relief.

If your priority is finding the best birth control to avoid weight gain, you may look at a pill that contains estrogen.

If you want a pill that will help with heavy periods or acne, you may want to find a pill that contains estrogen. Maybe you want to minimize the side effects of higher-dose meds. If so, we encourage you to check out low-hormone birth control pills. Again, if youre over 35, a smoker, or at high risk of blood clots, the safest option would likely be a pill with no estrogen.

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Microgynon Rigevidon And Ovranette

Microgynon, Rigevidon and Ovranette are combined pills. They are the most commonly used type of contraceptive pill in the UK.


  • Very effective at preventing pregnancies
  • Can ease heavy or painful periods
  • Reduces premenstrual syndrome
  • Safer for women with high blood pressure


  • Not suitable for women who have or have had breast cancer
  • Not suitable for women with liver disease

Active Ingredients

Increased Risk Of Blood Clots

Buy Yasmin

People taking the pill have a small increased risk of developing a blood clot . Blood clots can cause blockages in veins or in arteries .

  • This may occur at any time during use of the pill. However, the risk of blood clots is highest during the first year after starting the pill or when restarting after a break of 4 weeks or more.
  • You are at increased risk if you have, or have had, blood clots or have inherited or acquired thrombophilia . Other things that increase your risk are major surgery, trauma, prolonged immobility , injury, after pregnancy, smoking, obesity, and older age. See above: Who cannot take the pill.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you have a hot, swollen or painful leg, and/or if you experience chest pain, cough or shortness of breath.

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What Are The Types Of Birth Control Pills

There are two different types of birth control pills. Both types contain hormones that prevent pregnancy.

  • Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin.
  • Progestin-only pills are also called the minipill. Theyre better for some women, such as those who are breastfeeding or have a history of blood clots and strokes and shouldnt take estrogen.

The pill comes in different dosing packets from 21-day pill packs to 90-day pill packs, to even 365 days of active pills. Traditionally, depending on the brand and dose, you take at least three weeks of active pills followed by two to seven days of hormone-free pills. This is called cyclical dosing. Most women have a menstrual period during the inactive pills. Some brands do not provide any inactive pills at all in the pack . With the 21-day packs a woman does not take any pills for a week. During this time, youll have your period, similar to what happens when taking the inactive, hormone-free pills.

Some formulations offer continuous dosing, which means you do not have any inactive pills, and a woman takes an active pill daily. Alternatively, extended cycle dosing is when inactive pills or breaks in the active pill regimen only occur three to four times per year. Skipping the inactive pills prevents menstruation. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best option for you.

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How Are Combination Pills And Minipills Different

The main difference between combination pills and minipills is that one has estrogen and the other doesnt. Theres also a noticeable difference in how each pill affects your body.

Combination pills prevent pregnancy in three ways. First, the hormones prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg. Without the egg, sperm have nothing to fertilize.

The hormones also cause a buildup of thick, sticky mucus at the opening of your cervix. This makes it harder for sperm to pass through your cervical opening. Some combination birth control pills also thin the lining of your uterus. Without a thick lining, a fertilized egg has a difficult time attaching and developing.

Minipills prevent pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus and thinning your uterine lining. Some minipills can also prevent ovulation, but thats not the primary function of these progestin-only pills.

Many people can use birth control pills safely and without many symptoms or side effects. However, some people will experience these health concerns, especially when they first begin taking the pill.

The side effects of combination birth control pills can include:

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If You Miss 2 Or More Pills

Take a pill as soon as you remember and the next one at the normal time . Depending on how you are taking the pill, you might need to take other steps to protect yourself from pregnancy. Check out the information below for your pill-taking options.

It can be complicated working out what to do if you have missed some pills, so if you are not sure what to do ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist as soon as you can. The following is some guidance.

Options 1 or 2: Traditional or other tailored regimens

During week 1

If 2 or more active hormone pills are missed, you need to go back to taking hormone pills daily AND use condoms or avoid having sex for the next 7 days. If you have had unprotected sex in the week before or during this first week, contact your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or Healthline 0800 611 116 for advice. You may need to use emergency contraception.

During week 2 or any weeks of a tailored regimen that are not within the first or last weeks of active hormone pill taking

If 8 or more hormone pills are missed, you need to go back to taking hormone pills daily AND use condoms or avoid having sex for the next 7 days.

During week 3 or in the week prior to a scheduled break from hormone pills

Option 3: Continuous regimen

How Effective Is The Birth Control Pill

THE MINI PILL – My story & side effects

The birth control pill is a popular and highly effective method of birth control if taken correctly. The pill has a less than a 1 percent failure rate – meaning less than 1 out of 100 women unintentionally become pregnant – when the pill is used correctly. However, for women who miss taking their pills, the failure rate goes up to roughly 8%, or 8 out of 100 women become pregnant unintentionally.

Roughly 85% of women who do not use birth control and are trying to get pregnant will conceive within one year. If you do not want to become pregnant, and if you are not likely to remember to take a pill each day, you probably should consider a longer-acting form of birth control, such as the injection, patch, implant, vaginal ring or IUD.

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How To Choose The Best Birth Control Pill For You

Because every woman is different, your body may tolerate some brands of birth control pills better than others.

Here are a couple of steps we suggest you consider when thinking about what birth control is best for you:

What are the side effects? Most doctors recommend staying on a new birth control pill for at least 2-3 months. However, different women experience different side effects, so if you try one and its not the right fit, be sure to tell your doctor so you can try a different pill.

What hormones would work best in my body? Most doctors will probably recommend a combined contraceptive, but if estrogen is a concern , you may want to consider a progestin-only pill.

Is it name-brand or generic? In general, when you are looking at name-brand birth controls, they will be more expensive. Depending on your insurance or budget, you may want to ask about the generic version of birth control

Why do I want to be on birth control? If you are simply looking for a contraception method, the pill you choose may be different from if you are looking for birth control for acne, or PMDD, etc. Be mindful of the fact that the pill does not protect against STDs.

What if Im still not sure? Birth control is different for everybody, if you have any questions you should contact your doctor, or sign up for Pill Club to get in touch with an expert.

Last updated on By Jing J.

Where’s The Demand For New Birth Control

The Roe decision amplifies the urgency.

With more open conversation about contraceptive needs, the next decade could be an exciting time for nonhormonal contraception, Lai said. These conversations, he believes, could help pharmaceutical investors see a real demand.

NIH funds early stage nonhormonal birth control research, but Johnston agreed that investment in the methods isnt where it needs to be. Products cant get to pharmacy shelves unless the biopharma industry steps in to fund drug development, but its difficult to determine how many women want hormone-free birth control options. Pharmaceutical companies usually want to see clear demand before investing in a product.

Worldwide, there were more than 151 million users on the hormonal pill in 2019, according to to a report from the United Nations. Analysts say sales of all hormonal contraceptives made the global market for these options worth more than $15 billion in 2020 a value thats estimated to grow to more than $20 billion by 2030.

From a business perspective, the contraceptive market seems to be healthy and growing, reads a 2020 commentary in the journal Nature. Yet the demand from women for transformational change is not reflected as a reduction in sales.

Hormonal contraceptives work tremendously well, said Johnston. But they basically involve the changing of the expression of hundreds, if not thousands, of genes, to give you the effect.

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