General Wellness

Is it time to make a birth control switch?

Some women love their birth control method while others struggle with remembering to take a daily pill, breakthrough bleeding, severe mood swings and other frustrating side effects. If you find yourself in the second camp, it might be time to talk with your doctor about making a switch.

“Your best friend’s method of birth control might not be a fit for you, and the option that you chose in your 20s might not be as ideal in your 40s,” said Dr. Deb Krahl. “We can help you compare and rate all of the different options and find the one that works best at whatever stage of life you are in.”

It might be time for a change if:

  • You experience notable discomfort each month – this can include headaches, swelling, nausea, mood swings or bloating. While some of these symptoms can be normal, if they are disrupting your daily life and making you really uncomfortable, there is likely another option worth considering.
  • You want to control when you get your period. When you’re on the pill, unlike many other options, you generally know when your period is coming (and can skip it by not taking the placebo pills). Likewise, if your periods are very heavy or you deal with spotting every month, it might be time to move on to another option.
  • Your life has changed. Going off to college or back to work, getting in or out of a relationship, and planning to get pregnant can all influence what type of birth control, if any, you use.

Finally, if you don’t feel like yourself or something just doesn’t feel right or isn’t working right now, talk with your doctor about other options.

If you choose to switch methods, make sure there is no gap in between – and in some cases, your doctor may even recommend overlapping methods. A backup method such as condoms can also help during the first month of transition.

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