Birth Control Switch: 8 Reasons Why You Have To Switch
Hormonal contraception methods are reliable in preventing pregnancy. But you may have to switch birth control in case of increased side effects, or preference change. There are many reasons due to which you may want to replace the existing contraceptive with another.
In the following post, we will discuss all the possible factors that may influence your decision of changing your birth control.
Difficult to Remember When to Use the Birth Control
You may not recall when to take your pill. Or, miss the alarms and notifications of taking the daily dose of the contraceptive pill. If you use a vaginal ring, you may miss keeping the track of whether it is week 1, 2, or 3. And then you have no idea when to replace the ring.
Thus, if you miss reminders about using birth control appropriately, then you may have to consider other options. Let’s face the fact. With any kind of contraception method, you need to recall when to use the product. You also need to know when to stop using the same.
Note the difference in the time frame or frequency of utilizing a contraceptive. This can help figure out which is the best one for your needs. For instance, if you are forgetful about the daily intake of pills, then consider a weekly option for contraception. This way, you have to remember to use it once a week only.
If a few weeks of birth control also bothers you, then consider a long-acting contraceptive like an implant or IUD. This will give relief of staying away from pregnancy for a long period. For instance, an Intrauterine Device can prevent pregnancy for several years together.
So, you do not have to keep a reminder on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. The use of a contraception method depends on your convenience and span of memory. It also depends on how well you follow alarms about contraception.
Based on this, you can switch birth control as per requirements. Discuss your options with a doctor for better assistance.
You Want to Conceive Soon
With your marital and relationship status, your need for contraception also changes. With that, you may also see a change in expectation as to when you want to have a baby again. Thus, you may have to switch birth control in between depending on when you want to conceive again.
Taking a contraceptive is not only about having to remember when to use it. Rather, it also means when you wish to try for pregnancy again in the future. If you want to remain fertile at the very next instant, then you may choose a barrier method. Male and female condoms are some of the options.
Also, birth control pills are excellent if you wish to conceive soon. You need to stop taking the tablets, and the chances of pregnancy increase from the next day itself. Long-term birth control methods are good for those who wish to not get pregnant any soon.
For them, Intrauterine Devices and Hormonal Implants are suitable. The Depo-Provera Shot also takes some time to exit from your system. So, if you want to conceive after the shot, then you need to wait for a few months to over a year. Because even after you stop the treatment, your fertility takes to bounce back.
So, if you have to go over to another birth control because of your pregnancy plans, speak to a doctor. He/she will analyze your health and response to the current contraceptive. He/she will also advise you on the list of options that will prevent pregnancy for a short/long time.
A Change in Your Relationship Status
The choice of contraception also depends on your current relationship status. What if you are single at the moment and do not want to get intimate? In this case, you do not need birth control at all. But if you are going in for casual encounters now and then, then you may use a one-time contraceptive like a condom.
Or, you may continue to utilize the daily birth control to stay protected from pregnancy. The choice for the same is entirely yours. Changes in your love life will also mean alternations in your sexual preference. Sometimes couples going through a rough patch tend to get intimate often, or vice-versa.
So, the frequency of intimacy will also have a say in if you have to switch birth control or not. If you are planning for a baby, then again you may have to rethink the option for contraception. Or, if as a partner, you both decide to avoid pregnancy for some time, then longer protection from conceiving is necessary.
Change the Date of Getting Your Periods
If you want to skip or delay your periods, then birth control pills may help. You can have better control over your menstrual cycle with these pills. Sometimes you may have to alter the dates of your periods if you are going away on a trip, or have other important things to take care of.
For those who have irregular periods, it is advisable to follow the advice of a physician before taking such a step. For instance, you had your menstrual cycle a week back. But have a meeting coming up in two weeks. You want to get the periods wrapped up before the meeting happens.
In this case, you need to understand if altering the date of your periods is beneficial for your health or not. Reinitiating periods in a short interval or delaying them over the expected menstruation date is good for health or not, is something to think about. Talk with your healthcare provider and then take the decision to switch birth control or not.
Symptoms Such as Breakthrough Bleeding
The older versions of hormonal birth control pills came with high hormone doses. These gave rise to several side effects. One of these was regular breakthrough bleeding. But with time, medical science also came up with better-controlled pills. And now, breakthrough bleeding or spotting does not happen often.
However, a few women may experience this symptom in the initial few weeks or months of use. So, if you wish to avoid this side effect, then have a word with your healthcare provider. Usually, females do not have complaints about spotting much. But for some, this effect may remain prominent.
In this case, the person may switch birth control to another one. However, the bleeding may also indicate a sexually transmitted infection. So, it is best to consult a doctor for a health review. Do it before assuming that your contraceptive pill is responsible for the spotting.
Frequent Headaches or Mood Swings
Combination pills have estrogen and progestin. These may cause a change in the estrogen level in your body. For some, this may lead to consistent headaches. If the headaches are mild and last for a week or two, you may adjust a bit or may want to switch birth control.
These effects are temporary and wear off as the body copes with the hormonal changes. You can give a few weeks for your body to deal with the changes. But even then, if you have pounding headaches, then reconsider the choice. You may want to look for a replacement for contraceptives in this case.
Similarly, mood swings may affect a few users. This again boils down to hormonal changes in the body after intake/administration of the female hormones. You may feel irritable, depressed, and even have a reduction in sexual desire. If this is the scenario, then consult your doctor.
Discuss the side effects with the physician to note if something is possible to reduce the impact. The provider may either alter doses or switch birth control pills to progestin-only pills. The latter does not have estrogen. So, you may feel some respite from headaches and mood swings.
There is Swelling in Legs and Chest Pain
In rare cases, hormonal birth control can lead to serious side effects. These include blood clots or deep vein thrombosis. The clot formation results in legs at first. Then these go up towards the lungs. This is the reason why some may complain about swelling in the legs and pain in the location.
The swelling may redden in colour. This is an indication of a blood clot. If it breaks off, the same may travel to the lungs and lead to chest pain. So, the immediate effect thereby is difficulty in breathing. If you notice these symptoms, then without delay switch birth control after consulting with your doctor.
Change in Your Body Weight
One of the common symptoms for those with premenstrual syndrome is bloating. Now, the same is possible when you are on contraception. But before you switch birth control thinking the one you use is responsible for weight gain, check with your doctor. Understand if it is a PMS effect or not.
When the body gets a dose of female hormones, some changes are possible in weight. But this is mostly because of water retention. This may not mean that you have put on mass on yourself. Once the bleeding cycle is over, you may feel lighter as well.
Before you switch birth control you use, get a health examination. Also, discuss contraception options with the physician. This will give you all information you need to choose by changing the contraceptive to another or not.
May 11, 2021 Sam Bell