The Combined Pill With Other Medicines
Some medicines interact with the combined pill and it does not work properly. Some interactions are listed on this page, but it is not a complete list. If you want to check your medicines are safe to take with the combined pill, you can:
- ask a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist
- read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine
The antibiotics rifampicin and rifabutin can reduce the effectiveness of the combined pill. Other antibiotics do not have this effect.
If you are prescribed rifampicin or rifabutin, you may be advised to change to an alternative contraceptive. If not, you will need to use additional contraception while taking the antibiotic and for a short time after. Speak to a doctor or nurse for advice.
Epilepsy and HIV medicines, and St John’s wort
The combined pill can interact with medicines called enzyme inducers. These speed up the breakdown of hormones by your liver, reducing the effectiveness of the pill.
Examples of enzyme inducers are:
- the epilepsy drugs carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone and topiramate
- St John’s wort
- antiretroviral medicines used to treat HIV
A GP or nurse may advise you to use an alternative or additional form of contraception while taking any of these medicines.
The Problem With Hormonal Imbalances
Migraines affect 12 percent of the U.S. population including children, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. They can run in families, and more women than men experience them largely due to hormonal changes.
Generally, migraines are launched by triggers, such as environmental factors, dietary components and hormonal changes. Shifts in hormones occur throughout a womans menstrual cycle. Usually around the time of ovulation, when eggs are released from the ovaries, women have a big surge in estrogen. Then right before the menstrual cycle begins, estrogen levels drop.
Its usually that drop in estrogen that will trigger a menstrual migraine, Rao explains.
In some cases, hormonal contraceptives can help manage migraines and even prevent them since they help regulate estrogen levels. This type of birth control comes in various forms:
- Combined oral contraceptives
- Intrauterine devices
- Progesterone-only pills
Combined oral contraceptives have both estrogen and progesterone . But controlling estrogen levels can be tricky because of how birth control is formulated and which type of migraine you have.
In the 1960s and 70s when birth control was just coming out, they contained higher doses of estrogen, Rao says.
But now, we have lower-dose estrogen formulation along with non-estrogen options, Rao adds.
The other factor complicating matters is that migraines differ, so the kind you have determines how you respond to birth control.
Should I Avoid Certain Medications While Taking The Pill
You should always check with your healthcare provider before taking any new medications or herbal supplements. Certain drugs can make the pill less effective and increase your chances of getting pregnant. These products include:
- Antiseizure medications.
- Herbal supplements, such as St. Johns wort.
- Medications used to treat HIV.
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What Is The Best Birth Control Pill
Its no secret, everyone is different. Thats why, in order to determine the right birth control pill for you, youll need to have an open conversation with your doctor. There are many factors to consider when choosing a birth control pill, including your age, health history, how you respond to treatment, and your lifestyle and preferences. The journey to finding the best birth control pill for you can often take some trial and error and requires patience and honesty with your physician.
Starting The Combined Pill
You can normally start taking the pill at any point in your menstrual cycle. There is special guidance if you have just had a baby, abortion or miscarriage. The guidance may also be different if you have a short menstrual cycle. Get advice from a doctor or nurse if you need it. You may need to use additional contraception during your 1st days on the pill this depends on when in your menstrual cycle you start taking it.
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Low Serotonin & Melatonin
When we think of hormonal health, neurotransmitter hormones like serotonin and melatonin usually dont take center stage. But they play an equally important role in keeping our body balanced as our main sex and thyroid hormones.
Serotonin helps to keep our moods balanced and regulating our appetite. Melatonin is the king of sleep. And without enough of these hormones, youll likely have trouble falling or staying asleep.
These two hormones also work together in the body. A process known as methylation converts serotonin to melatonin in the gut. When serotonin levels are low, youre more likely to also be deficient in melatonin.
Which is, unfortunately, often the case when it comes to hormonal birth control use.
The Pill has been shown to deplete levels of vitamins B12 and B6. Both of these vitamins are important cofactors in the production of serotonin.
Without enough B vitamins, you cant make enough serotonin. And without enough serotonin, you wont have enough melatonin. This leaves you more susceptible to feelings of anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
The connection between hormonal birth control and depression is real. And it goes far deeper than The Pills effects on serotonin and melatonin.
One study found that women who used hormonal birth control were 23% more likely to suffer from depression than women who didnt use The Pill.
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Do I Need To See A Doctor
A person needs a prescription for birth control pills. Anyone with generally good or stable health might consider an online consultation coordinated by a birth control retailer.
People with medical conditions, allergies to medications, and other concerns should speak with a doctor about the various birth control options.
Also, let a doctor know about any side effects. They can recommend better alternatives.
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If You Miss Two Pills
In general, if you miss two or more combination pills , take the most recent pill as soon as you remember. Discard any other missed pills.
- Continue taking your remaining pills at the same time . Taking two pills at once may make you feel a little sick to your stomach, but that will not last long. Use back-up contraception or avoid sexual intercourse until you have taken your hormonal pills for 7 days in a row.
- If the pills you missed were in the last week of hormonal pills , you should omit the hormone-free interval by finishing the hormone pills in the current pack and starting a new pack the next day. If you are unable to start a new pack immediately, use back-up contraception or avoid sexual intercourse until hormonal pills from a new pack have been taken for 7 consecutive days.
- Emergency contraception should be considered if hormonal pills were missed during the first week and unprotected sexual intercourse occurred in the previous 5 days. It may also be considered at other times, if appropriate.
- Always follow the specific directions in your package insert for missed pills. Call your doctor if you have questions.
The combination pills works best if taken every day at the about the same time. The progestin-only pills MUST be taken at the same time each day . If you miss a pill, you will increase your chances of releasing an egg that could be fertilized, and getting pregnant.
How Do I Know If I Should Switch Birth Control
If youre not satisfied with your current birth control pillfor example, due to side effectsits a good idea to discuss better options with your healthcare provider. Hang in there for the first three months to see how your body will do with your current pill. Its also important to discuss any new health conditions or medication history that might affect your current pills safety and effectiveness.
Who shouldnt take birth control?
You have any of the following risk factors, it is not recommended that you take any combination birth control as it can increase your chance of experiencing blood clots, strokes, and heart attack.
- You are over 35 years of age and smoke.
- You are scheduled to have surgery that will reduce your mobility for extended periods.
- You have a history of heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism.
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How Birth Control Pills Work
The hormones estrogen and progesterone signal your body to produce eggs and prepare for pregnancy.
Birth control pills contain either a combination of synthetic estrogen and synthetic progesterone or synthetic progesterone alone. This manmade version of progesterone is also known as progestin.
Progestin also thickens your cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to reach any released eggs. Progestin thins the uterine lining as well. This makes it harder for an egg to implant there if the sperm fertilizes it.
Common brands of low-dose birth control pills include:
Lo Loestrin Fe is actually considered an ultra-low-dose pill, as it only contains 10 mcg of estrogen.
There are multiple benefits of taking a low-dose combination pill:
- Your periods are likely to be more regular.
- Your periods may be lighter.
- Any menstrual cramping you have may be less severe.
How Is The Pill Taken
Most combination pills come in either a 21-day pack or a 28-day pack. One hormone pill is taken each day at about the same time for 21 days. Depending on your pack, you will either stop taking birth control pills for 7 days or you will take a pill that contains no hormones for 7 days . You’ll get your period when you stop taking the pills that contain hormones. Some people prefer the 28-day pack because it helps them stay in the habit of taking a pill every day.
Also available is a combination pill that makes periods happen less often by supplying a hormone pill for 12 weeks and then inactive pills for 7 days. This reduces the number of periods to 1 every 3 months instead of 1 every month.
Another kind of pill that may change the number of monthly periods is the low-dose progesterone pill, sometimes called the mini-pill. This type of birth control pill differs from the other pills in that it only contains one type of hormone progesterone rather than a combination of estrogen and progesterone. It works by changing the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus, and sometimes by affecting ovulation as well. The mini-pill may be slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy than combination pills.
The mini-pill is taken every day without a break. Someone who takes the mini-pill may have no period at all or may have irregular periods. For the mini-pill to work, it must be taken at the same time every day, without missing any doses.
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How The Pill Works
Birth Control Pills disrupt your bodys normal hormone production with synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone which suppresses ovulation, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month.
Is taken in a cycle of 21 24 active days of hormones, followed by 4 to 7 days of no hormones, when a withdrawal bleed occurs but this is not like a regular period.
The combined pill contains synthetic versions of both estrogen and progesterone . Some birth control hormones like Depo-Provera and mini-pills contain progestin only .
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How Does It Work
Most birth control pills are “combination pills” containing a mix of the hormones estrogen and progesterone to prevent ovulation . Pregnancy can’t happen if a female doesn’t ovulate because there is no egg to be fertilized.
The Pill also works by thickening the mucus around the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and reach any eggs that may have been released. The hormones in the Pill can also sometimes affect the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for an egg to attach to the wall of the uterus.
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What Is The Best Birth Control Pill For Teens
Out of the two types of birth control pills , its more common for teens to take a combined birth control pill. The American Academy of Pediatrics says the mini-pill is not recommended as the first choice for teens. Combination birth control pills can be a good option for adolescents who can remember to take it every day.
Though the pill is easy to use, there are other methods of birth control that might be even more convenient for young women. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the IUD and the arm implant should be the first-line choice for young women who are sexually active. These methods could serve teens best, because theyre busy, and unlike the pill, you dont have to remember to take it every day.
Why Would I Use Very
Very-low-dose birth control pills not only prevent pregnancy but may also have some health benefits. If you’re 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 Well Does It Work
Over the course of 1 year, about 9 out of 100 typical couples who rely on the Pill to prevent pregnancy will have an accidental pregnancy. Of course, this is an average figure and the chance of getting pregnant depends on whether you take your birth control pills every day. The Pill is an effective form of birth control, but even missing 1 day increases the chance of getting pregnant.
In general, how well each type of birth control method works depends on a lot of things. These include whether a person has any health conditions or is taking any medicines or herbal supplements that might interfere with its use . Talk to your doctor to check if anything you take could affect how the Pill works for you.
How well a particular method of birth control works also depends on whether the method chosen is convenient and whether the person remembers to use it correctly all the time.
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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Male And Female Condom
Brand Name: Trojan, Durex®, LifeStyles®, FC2 Female Condom, and more.
Effectiveness: Moderate. With perfect use, 2 out of 100 people using male condoms will become pregnant. With typical use, 18 in 100 people using male condoms will become pregnant.
What is it?
Male condoms are worn on the penis during intercourse. Most condoms are latex, but polyurethane condoms are available for people with latex allergies.
Female condoms are a tube-shaped barrier method worn by the receptive partner during vaginal or anal intercourse. As opposed to male condoms, they are usually made of polyurethane or nitrile, so they are good for people with latex allergies. The closed end of the female condom rests inside the vagina or anus while the open end sits on the outside of the body. Flexible rings on either end of the female condom help guide insertion. Note: only one condom should be used during a sexual act.
Latex condoms should only be used with water-based lubricant such as K-Y® Jelly. Oil-based lubricant, such as Vaseline, will break down the latex and make the condom less effective. Since female condoms are made with polyurethane, they can be used with both water- and oil-based lubricants.
How does it work?
Condoms act as barriers, collecting semen during ejaculation and preventing sperm from entering the uterus. Condoms also protect against many sexually transmitted infections. Effectiveness is increased if condoms are used with spermicide or in conjunction with withdrawal.