How Does Birth Control Work To Prevent Pregnancy

How To Prevent Pregnancy Without Birth Control

What is an IUD? Learn About IUD Effectiveness | Planned Parenthood Video
  • You may try to avoid becoming pregnant without resorting to other methods of birth control by keeping track of the natural monthly rhythms that occur within your body.
  • This is an excellent approach to be in tune with your cycle.
  • The monitoring of your basal body temperature, vaginal mucus, and monthly cycle, which is commonly referred to as natural family planning, has the potential to be as effective as 99 percent when all three are monitored correctly combined.
  • They include:

  • 2. Female condoms. Additionally, female condoms are accessible for purchase without the need for a prescription.
  • Is Male Birth Control Effective

    Different male birth control options have different success rates. Using birth control correctly or utilizing more than one type of contraception can significantly reduce the chances of an accidental pregnancy.

    Perfect vs. Typical Use of Birth Control

    Its important to note that the success of birth control is based on perfect use. Perfect use describes how effective contraception is when used precisely as instructed, every time. Whereas typical use is how effective birth control is when its only used perfectly sometimes. Even with perfect usage, no form of contraception is 100% effective.

    How Do No Period Birth Control Pills Work

    Planned Parenthood, an advocacy group, says that combination birth control pill packs tend to come with 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills. That means youll take hormone-containing pills for 3 weeks and placebo pills for the final week each month.

    That final week is when youd traditionally have withdrawal bleeding. But if you carry on taking the hormone-containing or active pills continually, youll skip the bleeding part.

    Why? Because the drop in hormones triggers the body to release blood and mucus from the uterus lining. This is similar to a regular period, except the uterus lining doesnt thicken each month.

    If theres no change in hormone levels, 2008 research shows that the body will continue as it is. However, spotting, or light bleeding, can still occur in some people.

    While you can opt for an extended or continuous schedule with any combination pill, some pills also have few or no placebo options.

    And these options are specifically designed for fewer or zero periods.

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    Oral Contraceptives May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

    • light-colored stool
    • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
    • depression, especially if you also have trouble sleeping, tiredness, loss of energy, or other mood changes
    • unusual bleeding
    • menstrual bleeding that is unusually heavy or that lasts for longer than 7 days in a row

    Oral contraceptives may increase the chance that you will develop liver tumors. These tumors are not a form of cancer, but they can break and cause serious bleeding inside the body. Oral contraceptives may also increase the chance that you will develop breast or liver cancer, or have a heart attack, a stroke, or a serious blood clot. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using oral contraceptives.

    Some studies show that women who take oral contraceptives that contain drosperinone may be more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis than women who take oral contraceptives that do not contain drosperinone. However, other studies do not show this increased risk. Before you begin taking oral contraceptives, talk to your doctor about the risk that you will develop blood clots and about which oral contraceptive or other method of birth control may be the best choice for you.

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    How Effective Is The Birth Control Implant

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    Hormonal implants work more than 99% of the time. How do they stack up to other birth control methods?

    • Intrauterine devices are also 99% effective.
    • Birth control injections are 94% effective.
    • The pill is 91% effective.

    But none of these methods protect you from sexually transmitted diseases . Only condoms prevent STDs.

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    How To Take Every Day Pills

    • Take the 1st pill from the section of the packet marked “start”. This will be an active pill.
    • Continue to take a pill every day, in the correct order and preferably at the same time each day, until the pack is finished .
    • During the 7 days of taking the inactive pills, you will get a bleed.
    • Start your next pack of pills after you have finished the 1st pack, whether you are still bleeding or not.

    So How Fast Do Birth Control Pills Work

    For combination pills, it depends on when you begin your first pack.

    If you begin the pill on the first day of your period, theyll work right away to prevent pregnancy. However, if you start it any time after your period, give it 7 days before they start protecting against pregnancy. In that time, be sure to use condoms or a female condom if you have sex.

    You can start taking POPs at any time during your menstrual cycle. However, the amount of time for it to take effect isnt quite the same as the combination pill. According to Planned Parenthood, it takes 48 hours for the mini-pill to take effect when you start it. So, if you have sex any time between then, be sure to use a backup method as well!

    Its important to keep in mind that the mini-pill has a lower dose of hormones than the combination pill. The hormones are effective for only around 24 hours which is why its important to take it at the same time every day. So, if youre late in taking it or miss a pill, be sure to use back up contraception during those 48 hours again.

    So, to sum up the answer to how fast do birth control pills work?, check out the chart below:


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    How Do I Change To A Different Pill

    If you want advice about changing your contraceptive pill, you can visit a GP, contraceptive nurse , or sexual health clinic.

    You should not have a break between different packs, so you will usually be advised to start the new pill immediately or wait until the day after you take the last of your old pills.

    You may also be advised to use alternative methods of contraception during the changeover, as the new pill may take a short time to take effect.

    What Other Information Should I Know

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    Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. You should have a complete physical examination every year, including blood pressure measurements, breast and pelvic exams, and a Pap test. Follow your doctors directions for examining your breasts report any lumps immediately.

    Before you have any laboratory tests, tell the laboratory personnel that you take oral contraceptives.

    If you wish to stop taking oral contraceptives and become pregnant, your doctor may tell you to use another method of birth control until you begin to menstruate regularly again. It may take a long time for you to become pregnant after you stop taking oral contraceptives, especially if you have never had a baby or if you had irregular, infrequent, or complete absence of menstrual periods before taking oral contraceptives. However, it is possible to become pregnant within days of stopping certain oral contraceptives. If you want to stop taking oral contraceptives but do not want to become pregnant, you should begin using another type of birth control as soon as you stop taking oral contraceptives. Discuss any questions that you may have with your doctor.

    Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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    Early Signs Of Pregnancy

    If a person is concerned about contraceptive failure and the possibility of being pregnant, they should speak to their doctor. However, there are also some early signs that can indicate pregnancy:

    • Bloating. While bloating is often a symptom of premenstrual syndrome, it can sometimes also be a sign of early pregnancy.
    • Breast tenderness. Raised levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can cause breast tenderness early in pregnancy. Some women may also experience symptoms, such as tingling, heaviness, or feelings of breast fullness.
    • Light spotting. A small amount of bleeding or spotting can occur when an egg attaches to the uterine lining. If spotting occurs outside of an expected menstrual cycle, it may be an early symptom of pregnancy.
    • Unexplained fatigue. Hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy can make a person feel tired, even during the early stages.
    • Urinating more often. Hormonal changes can increase a womans need to urinate during early pregnancy.

    Anyone who thinks they could be pregnant may wish to take an at-home pregnancy test. These tests have become more sensitive to a persons hormone levels and better at detecting pregnancy in its earliest stages.

    However, at-home pregnancy tests still may not reliable if an individual takes it too early or does not follow the instructions correctly. According to the United States

    Medications That Interfere With The Pill

    Some medications can make the pill less effective. These medications include certain antibiotics, such as rifampicin, and antifungal drugs, such as griseofulvin.

    A person backup contraception while taking these medications and for 48 hours after finishing the course.

    Other long-term medications and supplements may also affect how well birth control pills work. These include:

    • epilepsy drugs, such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, and carbamazepine
    • antiviral medications for the treatment of HIV

    Birth control pills are very effective if a person takes them correctly and does not miss any pill days. People can also take steps to prevent unintended pregnancies while taking the pill. These include:

    • reading the packaging and following the instructions carefully
    • taking the pill at the same time every day
    • using an app that tracks periods and provides pills reminders, such as these period tracking apps
    • always getting a new pill pack at least 1 week before the last pill pack is due to run out
    • always taking missed pills as soon as possible
    • using a backup method of contraception, such as a condom, if a person misses two or more pills in a row

    If a person is concerned about not being able to take their pills consistently, they should speak with a doctor or gynecologist about other birth control methods. Several options are available that do not require people to take a pill daily, such as an IUD.

    Below, we answer some of the questions that people often ask about birth control pills.

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    Preventing Pregnancy Without Hormonal Birth Control

    Even though the majority of research shows hormonal birth control doesnt cause infertility, there are other risks and side effects associated with it and some people simply prefer to avoid it. Does this mean you have no way to prevent pregnancy? Of course not!

    You may want to consider barrier method options that can provide an effective way to avoid pregnancy while not interfering with your hormones. These options include contraception like condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps.

    How To Take 21

    Does Birth Control Actually Work?  Emme
    • Take your 1st pill from the packet marked with the correct day of the week, or the 1st pill of the 1st colour .
    • Continue to take a pill at the same time each day until the pack is finished.
    • Stop taking pills for 7 days .
    • Start your next pack of pills on the 8th day, whether you are still bleeding or not. This should be the same day of the week as when you took your 1st pill.

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    How Long Does It Take For Contraceptive Pill To Work

    How soon does the pill work? It can take up to seven days for the pill to become effective in preventing pregnancy. During this time, you should use another form of birth control. If the pill is used to control symptoms such as acne or abnormal bleeding, it can take three to four months to see true benefits.

    How Should I Use Birth Control Pills

    You use birth control pills by following the instructions on the pack. Combination pills come in many formats, such as a monthly pack which can follow 21-day, 24-day, or 28-day cycles, or an extended cycle pack which can follow 91-day cycles. For all of these pill types, you need to take your pill every day.

    Mini pills come in a pack of 28. You need to take a pill within the same three-hour window every day.

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    We Dont Know Whether Most Antibiotics Make Birth Control Less Effective

    There are two antibiotics that researchers have found make birth control pills less effective: griseofulvin, an antifungal used to treat athletes foot and ringworm, and rifampicin, which is typically used to treat tuberculosis.

    The reason that happens is that these drugs speed up the livers metabolism, which makes the liver metabolize the hormones in the birth control faster. As a result, hormones leave the blood stream faster and are unable to adequately affect the ovaries to prevent ovulation or the cervix to prevent thickening of the cervical mucus.

    Lots of antibiotics, not just the two listed above, come with warnings that theyll make birth control ineffective and suggest using a backup method of contraception. While a backup method is never a bad idea, theres actually sparse evidence that these other drugs make birth control less effective. Uncertainty persists with respect to the other broad-spectrum antibiotics, researchers in the journal Contraceptionwrote in a review article about interactions between birth control and antibiotics. They argue that in light of that uncertainty, it is completely appropriate for women to use a backup method but not to ditch their antibiotics out of concern over interactions.

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    Coso Contraception: The Future Of Birth Control For Men

    How Do Fertility Awareness-Based Methods Prevent Pregnancy?

    German designer, Rebecca Weiss, has developed coso, a form of contraception based on ultrasound technology. While currently only in concept design and a long way from clinical trials, the device has already won a James Dyson award and could be the future of male birth control.

    Coso contraception is a long way from being used, but in theory, coso would use ultrasound to immobilize sperm, temporarily inhibiting the production of new sperm. Thereby preventing sperm from reaching a womans egg. It should be effective for up to two months at a time.

    To set up coso, the user would fill the device with water, which would heat up, before the user would sit with their testicles dipped into the water. An accompanying coso app would tell you when the correct amount of time has passed and sperm have been immobilized.

    If you would like to discuss male birth control options and the right choice for you, consider speaking with a specialized mens health physician.

    Here at Opt Health, we have specialized mens health doctors who are on hand 24/7 and can provide treatment and test results from the comfort of your home. We use preventative medicine to help you feel like you again.

    Dont hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to book an appointment.

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    Is It Ok To Take Other Drugs While Taking Birth Control Pills

    Some drugs, including antibiotics and anti-seizure meds, can make birth control pills less effective. Some herbal supplements like St. Johnâs wort and some drugs used to treat HIV can also affect how well your pills work.

    Tell your doctor about all medications, over-the-counter agents, herbs, and recreational drugs that you take. They can tell you about any possible effects on the pill.

    When Should I Seek Medical Attention While Taking Birth Control Pills

    Birth control pills can cause some unwanted side effects, especially when you first start taking them. Some of the side facts are minor and are likely to wane with time. Common minor side effects include:

    • Small amounts of menstrual bleeding, or spotting, between periods

    Apart from these, there are some side effects that are more serious and require immediate medical attention. Some of them include:

    • Swelling or aching in the legs and thighs

    These side effects can be remembered using the acronym ACHES and require urgent medical attention. They might be signs of gallbladder disease, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, or blood clots.

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    How Can I Get Free Or Low

    Under the Affordable Care Act , most insurance plans cover FDA-approved prescription birth control for women, such as the pill, IUDs, and female sterilization, at no additional cost to you. This also includes birth control counseling.

    • If you have insurance, check with your insurance provider to find out what is included in your plan.
    • If you have Medicaid, your insurance covers birth control. This includes birth control prescriptions and visits to your doctor related to birth control. Programs vary between states, so check with your states Medicaid program to learn what your benefits are.
    • If you dont have insurance, dont panic. Family planning clinics may provide some birth control methods for free or at low cost. Call your local clinic or enter your ZIP code in this clinic finder tool to learn more.

    For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit

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    The Combined Pill With Other Medicines

    Oral contraceptive pill

    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:

    A GP or nurse may advise you to use an alternative or additional form of contraception while taking any of these medicines.

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