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Switching Birth Control Pills

Switching Birth Control Pills

Have you been experiencing severe side effects due to the use of birth control pills? If so, opting for different pills will be a good option, as it will suit your body and alleviate the side effects. However, before you take this step, it is important for you to have a complete information on how to switch birth control pills.
Deepa Kartha
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Birth control pills are a form of contraceptive that are very common with women all over the world. These pills, also known as oral contraceptive pills, are made of hormones that help in preventing unwanted pregnancy. There are basically 2 types of oral contraceptive pills, one is the combined oral contraceptive pill which is made of estrogen as well as progesterone, while the other type contains only progestin. Though both the types of pills are known to prevent pregnancy, combination birth control pills are more frequently used by women.
However, some women may experience certain side effects after taking the pills depending on their hormone levels. One way of preventing this is by opting for contraceptives that have different levels of hormones in them. Nevertheless, this is easier said than done, as an abrupt change in the pills intake can cause certain fallouts. Hence, one has to remember certain important things to make the process of this switch more effective.
How do Birth Control Pills Work
➜ During every menstrual cycle, ovulation takes place due to the effect of the hormones, thus, making the body ready for pregnancy. When the sperm from the male fertilizes this ovum, conception takes place and the woman gets pregnant.
➜ This process is stalled by the oral contraceptive pills. There are actually 3 ways by which these pills can avoid the occurrence of pregnancy, which will depend on the type of pill used. These pills try to stop the body from producing the ovum or aid in thickening the cervical mucus in the uterus due to which the sperms are unable to enter the body.
➜ Some pills make the lining of the womb unsuitable for the fertilized egg to attach itself. For the effective prevention of pregnancy, these pills should be taken for 21 days at the same time everyday.
➜ Skipping the pill even for a single day can increase the risk of pregnancy. After 21 days, one can either stop taking the pills or consume the non-active pills or placebo for 7 days before starting the next dosage.
Changing Your Birth Control Pills
➜ Though oral contraceptive pills are said to be an effective way of controlling pregnancy, it has certain side effects too. Some of the common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and bloating.
➜ Some women may also experience headache, dizziness, and fatigue. Weight gain is also one of the common side effects of birth control pills. These side effects usually occur for the initial few days after taking the pills, as the body takes time to adjust to them.
➜ However, sometimes, these adverse effects linger for a long time and can affect your routine life. Nevertheless, not all oral contraceptives are the same, and there will be some brand or the other that may suit you.
➜ Hence, you will have to try different types of pills before you find the one that suits you. However, you cannot just switch your birth control pill whenever you feel like, as this may cause certain health problems. On the other hand, one has to take extra precautions before opting to switch.
How to Switch Birth Control Pills
► If you are finding your oral contraceptives unsuitable due to certain side effects or some other reason, the first thing to do is to consult your gynecologist who will help you find an alternative pill. Most commonly, fallouts are caused due to the level of progesterone and estrogen.
► Your doctor will recommend a pill that has a different level of these hormones. However, if you are switching pills for other reasons, like the cost of these pills, then choose the one that has the same level of hormones like your previous one.
► Many people commit the mistake of changing the pills during the menstrual cycle, i.e., while they are taking their old pills. This has to be avoided because the change can result in symptoms, like heavy bleeding, headache, nausea, etc.
► Instead, continue taking the old pills till they are complete and start the new pill on the day you usually begin a new pack. This is also important to experience the effectiveness of new pills and also to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
► One very important thing to remember is that the new oral contraceptives will not be effective from day one itself. Instead, it will take the body some time to adjust to the new pill. So, there are chances that you might get pregnant even if you take the pills regularly. Therefore, you have to take the help of some other contraceptive for at least the first 7 days of starting the new birth control pills to avoid getting pregnant.
► You may experience certain effects similar to those that you had experienced when you took the previous pills. These side effects are actually normal and a part of the adjustment process. Therefore, one need not get worried and think of switching pills again. On the other hand, one should wait for at least 2 - 3 menstrual cycles to check whether the pills are really effective or not. If the adverse effects continue to occur very severely, your gynecologist should be consulted immediately.
Though there is nothing wrong in switching from one brand to another brand of oral contraceptive pills, it is important to be a little cautious about what you are taking, because any wrong move can severely effect your reproductive system. Take care!
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.