With so many birth control pill options out there, it can be hard to know which is best for you.
The very 1st birth control pill was introduced in 1960, and today, more than 60 millon women in the United States, and 100 million women around the world now use birth control pills.It’s easy to be confused by all the birth control options out there: Should you take a progestin-only pill or the mainstream combination pill?
The active ingredients in birth control pills are synthetic versions of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
I take my health seriously, which is why I feel like such an idiot whenever I push the last pill out of the pack and suddenly realize that there are no refills left. It happened again a few months ago. I called my gyno’s office to beg for an appointment and got the typical response: “Your regular OB-GYN isn’t in, would you like to see another doctor?” Of course I did. What other choice was there?
Dr. K turned out to be even more rushed than your average M.D. “So you need a new OC prescription?” she asked hurriedly. It took a second to realize that “OC” meant oral contraceptive. I nodded. “Which pill are you on?” Without thinking, the name of a highly advertised pill popped out of my mouth. It didn’t sound right, but since Dr. K was flipping through my chart, I assumed she’d correct me if I was wrong. Bad assumption. “Okay, I’ll give you a script for 3 months, but then you have to come back for a full exam.” I was eager to get on with my day, so I took the piece of paper and jetted.
It turned out that I had requested the wrong pill, and it was considerably different from my usual one. Over the next month I felt noticeably more emotional, and toward the end of my cycle I had cramps for the first time in a decade. I called my gyno’s office in a panic and requested a script for my previous pill. Without arguing, they said I could pick it up the next day.
By that point, I’d made three mistakes that are common among women who take oral contraceptives: 1) I trusted an unfamiliar doctor to make sure I was on the right pill; 2) I switched to a new pill without understanding its unique attributes; and 3) As soon as I experienced negative side effects, I switched again without having an in-depth discussion with a doctor. This was no way to care for my reproductive system. Or my health in general.
If, like me, you’re more than a little confused about the more than three dozen pills on the market and wonder which is best for you, rest assured that that’s how most women feel. From gynos who are too busy to go into details to drug ads that promise everything from freedom to bliss, it’s easy to feel misinformed and out of control. But understanding the real benefits and drawbacks of the various types of pills is both possible and necessary to your well-being.
Birth control is a way for men and women to prevent pregnancy. There are many different methods of birth control, including hormonal contraception such as “the pill.” Women take the pill by mouth to prevent pregnancy, and, when taken correctly, it is up to 99.9% effective.
Which birth control pill is best?
Finding the right birth control pill may take some trial-and-error, so you will need to consult closely with your doctor until you find the best birth control formula.
Condoms are inexpensive and offer the best protection from STDs.
A recent study in the journal Contraception showed that 93.9 percent of women experienced bleeding in their first Pill pack.