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When switching from Lo Loestrin Fe to another birth control pill, it is important to discuss this transition with your healthcare provider. Generally, the best way is to just start taking the new pill, with no gaps in between. You do not need to finish one pack of pills before starting a new one. If you have never taken birth control pills before, you should start with the first pill in the pack. If you are switching to an alternative method of contraception such as an IUD, vaginal ring, implant, patch, shot, or condoms, you may need to overlap methods for several days. You may have changes to your period after switching medications. This is normal. To prevent STDs and HIV, it is best to always use condoms.

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Before You Start Taking

1. Decide what time of day you want to take your pill. It is important to take it at the same time every day.

2. Look at your pill pack: The pill pack has 24 “active” blue pills and 2 âactiveâ white pills for Weeks 1, 2, 3 and part of Week 4. The pill pack also has 2 “reminder” brown pills for the last part of Week 4.

3. Find:

  • Where on the pack to start taking pills,
  • In what order to take the pills , and
  • The week numbers as shown in the picture above

4. Have ready at all times:

  • Another kind of birth control to use as a back-up in case you miss pills
  • An extra pill pack

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If Im In Perimenopause Can I Still Get Pregnant

Yes! Weve all heard about those wondrous menopausal babies!

Long-term use of the Pill effectively takes over your hormonal cycles. And when you stop taking your BCPs, it could be months before your body clears the hormones. When or if youll ovulate again can be unpredictable at best. We usually counsel women in perimenopause not to consider themselves safe from conception until theyve gone 18 months without a period after stopping the Pill.

The hormones in the Pill even cloud results of the FSH tests women are given to determine if theyre menopausal. FSH tests can still be used, however, if the practitioner times it right. I prefer to schedule the blood draw for the day the woman is to start her new pill pack, because she wont have taken any active pills for 7 or 8 days at that point.

If your FSH is high but youre still getting a period even if its just one period a year you can get pregnant. Ive seen cases where perimenopausal women experience surges of hormones and a few random instances of ovulation at unexpected times. So while elevated FSH levels make pregnancy less likely, they are no guarantee against it.

How Do Birth Control Pills Work

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For information, Birth control pills work directly on a womanâs hormones to stop ovulation, which is the process where an ovary releases the ovum. Without ovulation, there is no egg for a sperm cell to fertilize, so that you can not get pregnant. The pill also contains hormones that thicken the cervical mucus. Thicker mucus from the lining of the cervix becomes more difficult for sperm to swim up an egg.

Birth control pills usually come in two forms. Combination pills contain estrogen and progesterone hormones and work by disrupting ovulation, thickening of the cervical mucus, and thinning of the cervical mucosa. Combination tablets come in packs of 28 to 21. In both cases, only 21 tablets are active, which means they contain hormones. With 28 days of packs, the additional seven tablets contain hormones but are designed to help you preserve the habit of taking one tablet a day.

Combination pills have different amounts of estrogen and progesterone types. Monophasic pills have the same number of hormones for each day throughout the month. Other tablets, such as triphasic tablets, vary the hormone dosage and concentration throughout the month.

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Heres Exactly How To Find The Best Birth Control Pill For You

Thanks to the plethora of options at your disposal, choosing the right birth control can feel like youre blindfolded and trying to pin the tail on the contraceptive donkey. Even if you narrow your focus to just the pill, you still have a lot of possible choices out there. But if you do your homeworkand are prepared to possibly engage in some trial and erroryou can pinpoint the best birth control pill based on your needs.

Birth control pills that contain a mixture of estrogen and progestin are the most common type out there.

So, how do combination pills work to keep you pregnancy-free? During your typical menstrual cycle, theres a hormonal surge that triggers the release of an egg to potentially be fertilized, Justine P. Wu, M.D., a family planning expert and assistant professor in the department of family medicine within the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan, tells SELF.

overrides that normal hormonal surge, and because of that, theres no egg released, says Dr. Wu, who is also a board chair member of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Progestin does its part by thickening your cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to move and thinning your uterine lining, which makes it less likely for any egg that does get fertilized to attach to it.

Pros:

Cons:

Frequently Asked Questions Expand All

  • What are possible risks of combined hormonal methods?

    Combined hormonal methods are safe for most women, but they are associated with a small increased risk of deep vein thrombosis , heart attack, and stroke. The risk is higher in some women, including women older than 35 years who smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day or women who have multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes a history of stroke, heart attack, or DVT or a history of migraine headaches with aura.

    You should not use combined hormonal methods during the first 3 weeks after delivery because the risk of DVT is higher in the weeks after childbirth. If you have additional risk factors for DVT, you should wait to use combined hormonal methods until after the first 46 weeks following delivery.

    The risk of DVT also may be slightly higher in women taking pills containing a progestin called drospirenone and in women using the patch. However, the risk of DVT is higher during pregnancy and in the weeks after childbirth than when taking drospirenone-containing pills or using the patch.

  • Can I use combined hormonal birth control methods while I am breastfeeding?

    If you are breastfeeding, estrogen may affect your milk supply. It is recommended that you wait until the fifth week after delivery to start using these methods, when breastfeeding has been well established.

  • What are the different types of combined hormonal pills and how are they taken?
  • Read Also: Is 6 Mg Of Melatonin Too Much

    How Hormones Work In The Brain And Body

    In order to feel happy and healthy, you need to have balanced hormones. Here is some important information to note about the differences between natural and synthetic hormones.

    Natural hormones bind to specific receptors and keep your body in balance:

    • Estrogen binds to the estrogen receptor.
    • Progesterone binds to the progesterone receptor.
    • Testosterone binds to the testosterone receptor .
    • There is no cross-reactivity.

    Synthetic progesterone acts differently on the body:

    • Progestins do not limit binding with just the progesterone receptor, but many other receptors as well.
    • When a synthetic hormone binds to the wrong receptor, that receptor may convey inaccurate signals, which throws the body off balance.

    Because synthetic hormones may bind to the wrong receptors, birth control pills may cause hormone imbalances and detrimental side effects. Not all women experience these problems, but for those that do side effects can be quite miserable.

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    What Is a Low Dose Pill? | Birth Control

    Very-low-dose birth control pills not only prevent pregnancy but may also have some health benefits. If youre in your 40s and are still having periods, you could still get pregnant. Very-low-dose birth control pills protect you from pregnancy. They can help regulate your periods if they are heavy or irregular. Very-low-dose birth control pills also may prevent bone loss, which helps protect you from osteoporosis. Another potential benefit is protection from cancer of the ovary and uterus.

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    How Long Does It Take Loestrin To Work

    The great news is that Leostrin can start working immediately as long as you start taking it at the beginning of your cycle . Loestrin may also start working right away if you take it within the first week of your period .

    Its still best for you to use barrier method protection like condoms the first week you take birth control pills . Birth control pills dont prevent all pregnancies, but they are extremely effective. The better you are at taking birth control pills exactly as outlined in the instructions, the more effective they arethat means no forgetting the pill some days .

    Oral Contraceptives May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

    • increased or decreased appetite
    • weight gain or weight loss
    • brown or black skin patches
    • hair growth in unusual places
    • bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
    • changes in menstrual flow
    • light-colored stool
    • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
    • depression, especially if you also have trouble sleeping, tiredness, loss of energy, or other mood changes
    • unusual bleeding
    • menstrual bleeding that is unusually heavy or that lasts for longer than 7 days in a row

    Oral contraceptives may increase the chance that you will develop liver tumors. These tumors are not a form of cancer, but they can break and cause serious bleeding inside the body. Oral contraceptives may also increase the chance that you will develop breast or liver cancer, or have a heart attack, a stroke, or a serious blood clot. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using oral contraceptives.

    Some studies show that women who take oral contraceptives that contain drosperinone may be more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis than women who take oral contraceptives that do not contain drosperinone. However, other studies do not show this increased risk. Before you begin taking oral contraceptives, talk to your doctor about the risk that you will develop blood clots and about which oral contraceptive or other method of birth control may be the best choice for you.

    Oral contraceptives may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

    Read Also: Foods To Avoid For Hormonal Acne

    Your Periods On The Pill Understanding How Bcps Affect Your Menstrual Cycle In Perimenopause

    One nice benefit of the Pill is predictability: periods that run like clockwork and are usually much lighter. For some, periods may even disappear a feature enjoyed by some but anxiety-producing for others. What most women recognize as their menses while on the Pill is not a real period but a withdrawal bleed thats orchestrated by the Pill hormones, not your own. Back when the Pill was new and contained much higher amounts of hormones, its creators and the women who took it were reassured by the message a withdrawal bleed seemed to imply: they werent pregnant now but could become so later, when and if desired.

    While you are actively taking the Pill, the synthetic estrogen component stimulates the lining of your uterus somewhat, as your own hormones would normally do on their own, while at the same time the synthetic progestin agent counteracts, or opposes that proliferation to control the linings thickness. Meanwhile, the hormones in the Pill curtail ovarian function and the release of an egg. At the end of the pack, when you stop taking the active pills for several days or use placebo pills, the drop-off in both hormones stimulates a withdrawal bleed, resembling what you would experience at the end of a natural cycle. Use of a continuous-cycle or extended-cycle Pill simply suppresses this process of creating a pseudo period.

    What Is The Mini

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    The progestin-only or mini-pills contain only norethindrone or drospirenone and each pill is active . When you finish one pack of progestin-only pills, you start another pack the next day. With progestin-only pills you will either get your period in the fourth week, get no periods, or have spotting during the month. Your periods may be heavier or lighter. Do not stop taking your progestin-only pills.

    Examples of progestin-only pills include:

    See other progestin-only birth control options

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    What Are Some Common Names Of Birth Control Pills

    Examples of combination birth control pills include:

    See a full list of combination birth control pills here.

    A monthly period still occurs with the traditional, combination birth control pills. Women may also choose the extended or continuous dosing birth control pill, in which a period only occurs 4 times a years or is completely eliminated . It is also possible to completely eliminate periods by taking only the active pills continuously from a combination birth control pill package, and skipping the inactive pills. Ask your healthcare provider if this would be a good option for you.

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