When To See A Doctor
Women should speak to a doctor as soon as possible if they suspect that they are pregnant or have had a positive result on a pregnancy test while on birth control.
Conversely, if a woman misses a period and gets a negative pregnancy test result, she should also seek medical advice unless she is taking a form of birth control that prevents regular periods.
Although they are rare, false negatives are possible. There may be other underlying conditions causing missed periods or other pregnancy symptoms.
Is The Birth Control Patch Waterproof
The birth control patch is waterproof, meaning you dont need to take it off before you shower, swim or take a bath. You should not remove the patch before going in water, as this can make the adhesive less sticky and prevent the patch from working effectively.
The patch is also designed to stay on your skin after you sweat, meaning it should stay firmly attached to your skin during and after intense exercise. Just make sure you apply the patch to dry skin when you first use it, as this will help the adhesive stick to your body.
Early Signs Of Pregnancy
If you miss a period, take a pregnancy test to make sure that youâre not pregnant. Other signs include tiredness, bloating, having to pee a lot, moodiness, nausea, and tender, swollen breasts. Most pregnancy tests will be positive by the time you miss your first period, but if yours isnât, itâs still important to see your doctor if youâre more than a week or two late to rule out any other health conditions and to confirm that you arenât pregnant.
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Other Fertility Factors To Consider
As a rule of thumb, your fertility should go back to the way it was before you started birth control. If you had regular cycles before, you should have regular cycles again.
Your age may also play a part. That is because fertility drops as you get older. This is especially true once you turn 35.
There has been a lot of research on the return of fertility after stopping birth control. A review of studies showed that birth control use does not harm fertility. Pregnancy rates within one year of stopping birth control look like this:
- Birth control pill: 72% to 94%
- Condom/barrier method: 94%
- Progestin-only birth control: 70% to 95%
- Natural family planning: 92%
- IUD: 71% to 96%
Birth Control: Contraceptive Patch
The contraceptive patch is a birth control that looks like a small bandage. The patch contains estrogen and progestin. These are like the hormones made naturally in your body. The patch prevents pregnancy by stopping the egg from being released from the ovary. The patch also changes cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching an egg.
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Heavy Bleeding After A Miscarriage
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A miscarriage refers to as a spontaneous loss of a fetus that takes place before the 20th week of pregnancy. The fetus younger than 20 weeks simply cannot survive and it may result in heavy bleeding.
Any pregnant woman suffering from vaginal bleeding should consult her doctor as soon as possible. Even though the bleeding may be harmless she must never neglect vaginal bleeding of that intensity.
However, there is no connection between miscarriages and birth control pills since there is yet a study to be undertaken.
This is a sample of question we received from one of our clients and the research is being undertaken over it by our experts:
I missed the first day of my birth control pills but doubled up the next day. This was the first of June. It is now 14. I have been having heavy blood and cramps. I am not supposed to have my period for another 2 weeks. Could this be a miscarriage or possibility of me being pregnant? Please help.
Those Sugar Pills At The End Of A Birth Control Pack They Have Active Ingredients
Lots of birth control packs have four weeks of pills: three weeks of pills that prevent pregnancy and one week of pills that are inactive.
Women can safely skip that last week of pills and still prevent pregnancy, Cullins said. But that doesnât mean the last weekâs pills are just sugar pills. As it turns out, some of them actually have active ingredients to make the pills work better or aid in womenâs health.
âSome of the pills might have low-dose estrogen for three to four days, to help prevent breakthrough bleeding ,â she said. âOthers sometimes contain iron or folic acid or other vitamins. And the hard part about skipping the pills is that you have to remember exactly when to start back up.â
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How The Female Reproductive System Works
To understand how and when pregnancy actually begins, take a look at how the female reproductive system functions:
- In most females, about once a month, several eggs mature, and one is released from the ovary .
- Up until this time, the lining of the uterus has become thick so it can act as a nest for the egg.
- Once the egg is released, if it is not fertilized within 12 to 48 hours, it disintegrates.
- Approximately two weeks later, the thick lining of the uterus is shedthis is what causes a menstrual period.
- Your menstrual cycle then begins again .
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If You Take Antibiotics While On The Pill
Theres a big, fat warning label on every pill packet that says taking antibiotics may lessen the efficacy of the pill, but many people dont read the fine print. However, theres only one antibiotic thats been proven to interfere with the pill: rifampin, which is used to treat tuberculosis and bacterial infections. Scientists claim that there isnt an issue when using other antibiotics. Their take is that pregnancy may occur because people may skip a pill or two when theyre not feeling well, or their bodies may not be able to absorb the hormones properly if theyre vomiting or have diarrhea. All that said, I know a decent number of pill-popping moms whove gotten pregnant while on antibiotics, so you probably dont want to chance it.
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Chances Of Pregnancy After Tubal Ligation
Tubal ligation, colloquially referred to as having ones tubes tied, is a surgical procedure to block or close the fallopian tubes so that the sperm cannot reach the egg for fertilization.
Most are permanent, resulting in less than a 0.5%chance of getting pregnant after tubal ligation. However, some women might undergo a tubal ligation reversal to achieve pregnancy or relieve post-procedure side effects.
Bleeding In The Patch
Some women don’t always have a bleed in their patch-free week. This is nothing to worry about if you’ve used the patch properly and have not taken any medicine that could affect it.
See a GP or nurse for advice if you’re worried, or do a pregnancy test to check if you’re pregnant.
If you miss more than 2 bleeds, get medical advice.
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You Missed One Or Several Pills
Missing one or several birth control pills is one of the most common reasons for hormonal birth control failure.
Birth control pills prevent pregnancy by releasing certain hormones into your bloodstream. For example, combination birth control pills release a combination of ethinyl estradiol and progestin hormones to stop your ovaries from releasing eggs.
In order to keep your levels of these hormones consistent, youll need to take your pill every day without failure.
When you miss a pill, the amount of these hormones in your bloodstream drops, increasing your risk of becoming pregnant. Your risk of pregnancy increases even more if you miss several pills in a row.
Who Can Use The Patch
The contraceptive patch isn’t suitable for everyone, so if you’re thinking of using it, a GP or nurse will need to ask about you and your family’s medical history. Tell them about any illnesses or operations you’ve had, or medicines you’re taking.
You may not be able to use the patch if:
- you’re pregnant or think you may be pregnant
- you’re breastfeeding a baby less than 6 weeks old
- you smoke and are 35 or over
- you’re 35 or over and stopped smoking less than a year ago
- you’re very overweight
- you’re taking certain medicines, such as St John’s Wort, or medicines used to treat epilepsy, tuberculosis or HIV
You may also not be able to use the patch if you have or have had:
- blood clots in a vein or artery
- a heart problem
- migraine with aura
- disease of the liver or gallbladder
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Can You Get Pregnant If You Have An Implant
The birth control implant is a flexible plastic rod about the size of a matchstick that is placed under the skin of your upper arm. It releases a low, steady dose of synthetic progestin to thicken your cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus, preventing pregnancy.
Nexplanon is actually the most effective birth control option out there, with a failure rate of only .05 percent. That means that out of 10,000 women, only five using the implant will get pregnant within a year. This is almost always due to incorrect insertion rather than the implant itself.
What Are The Benefits Of The Birth Control Patch
The patch is considered to be a highly effective method of birth control when used perfectly. According to three large clinical trials of more than 3,000 women over one year, just 1 out of 100 people became pregnant while using Xulane in one year.
That said, perfect use isnt always the same as actual use. Forgetting to pick up your monthly refill or swap your weekly patch isnt unheard of, so the typical success rate is closer to between 91% and 93% meaning approximately 7-9 out of 100 patch users get pregnant each year.
Beyond clinical efficacy, there are other benefits to choosing the patch. Compared to swallowing a pill each day, the patch is a fairly simple choice:
- The patch can be removed at any time, allowing for more flexibility and freedom with your fertility future
- The patch remains on your skin at all times so need to interrupt sex by reaching for a barrier method like a diaphragm or sponge
- The steady dose of hormones in the patch can help with menstrual cramps
- A more regular and predictable period
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Can You Get Pregnant Right After Stopping The Pill
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Is pregnancy possible?
Birth control pills are among the most popular pregnancy prevention tools for women. They may also be used to help treat acne and uterine fibroids. The pill works by delivering hormones that prevent an egg from being fertilized.
There are different types of pills with varying amounts of hormones. For pregnancy prevention, the pill has a high efficacy rate when taken every day, and at the same time of day.
The question is, what happens when you stop taking the pill? The answer ultimately depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
If you stop taking the pill in the middle of your pack, you could get pregnant right away. On the other hand, if you finish out the months pills, pregnancy may be possible after your cycle gets back to normal. Its important to know that simply taking the pill for a while doesnt offer long-term effects after you quit it must be taken every day to prevent pregnancy.
Keep reading to learn how the type of birth control pill can affect your chance of pregnancy, what you can do to prevent pregnancy between birth control methods, and what to do if youre trying to conceive.
What To Do If Youre Switching Birth Control Methods
Although your cycle might take time to normalize, its still possible to get pregnant during the first month after you stop the pill. If youre not looking to get pregnant right now, youll want to consider another birth control method to use after you stop the pill.
Numerous over-the-counter barrier methods, when used correctly, can prevent pregnancy.
Spermicide: This is a gel or cream that contains nonoxylnon-9, a chemical that kills sperm. Although spermicide may be used alone, its more effective when used with other barrier methods.
Condoms: Available in both male and female versions, condoms prevent sperm from entering the uterus. These are made even more effective when used with spermicide. Never use both male and female condoms at once, as this can increase the risk of tearing.
Diaphragms: Made for women only, a diaphragm is placed in the vagina and acts as a barrier along the cervix. Diaphragms must be used with spermicide to work effectively. Unlike a condom, which is removed immediately after sex, a diaphragm must stay in place for at least six hours after intercourse. After your six hours are up, you must remove it within the next 18 hours.
Sponges: These foam structures are also placed in the vagina to cover the cervix. They already contain spermicide. Like diaphragms, sponges must stay in place for at least six hours after sex. You should remove the sponge within 30 hours after sex.
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What Are The Side Effects And Risks Of The Birth Control Patch
The patch is pretty dang good at preventing pregnancy, but it doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections . Depending on your situation, you may want to consider also using a condom to best protect yourself from pregnancy and STIs.
The patch tends to be well-tolerated, but these are some of the more common side effects reported.
Side effects for Xulane may include:
- Breast tenderness , discomfort, swelling, or pain
- Nausea or vomiting
Side effects for Twirla may include:
- Skin reactions at the patch site
- Menstrual cramps
- Weight gain
Although rare, Xulane and Twirla can both cause serious side effects including blood clots, stroke, and heart attack . The risk of blood clots or venous thromboembolism is highest when you first start using the patch, or when you restart the patch or another hormonal birth control after a month or more break.
Seek immediate medical advice if you experience any of these symptoms on Xulane or Twirla:
- Sudden shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Trouble speaking
- Severe chest pain or pressure
- Sudden, severe headache that differs from usual headaches
- Weakness or numbness in arm or leg
- Leg pain that wont go away
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
How Does The Patch Prevent Pregnancy
- In order to get pregnant, sperm must enter your vagina*, swim up into your uterus and fertilize an egg that has been released from your ovaries during ovulation. The patch prevents you from ovulating.
- The patch thickens the mucus on your cervix . This makes it harder for sperm to travel into your uterus and fertilize an egg.
- The patch thins the lining of your uterus . This makes it harder for a fertilized egg to implant in your uterus and become a pregnancy.
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Are There Any Problems With The Birth Control Patch
The birth control patch is a safe and effective method of birth control. Most people who use the patch have no side effects. Smoking cigarettes while using the patch can increase the risk of certain side effects, which is why health professionals advise those who use the patch not to smoke.
Side effects that can happen with the patch are similar to those with the birth control pill. These may include:
- irregular menstrual bleeding
- nausea, headaches, dizziness, and breast tenderness
- mood changes
- blood clots
Other possible side effects seen in patch users include:
- skin reactions at the site of application of the patch
- problems with contact lens use a change in vision or inability to wear the lenses
- menstrual cramps
Many of these side effects are mild and tend to disappear after 2 or 3 months.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Patch
- You may experience minor side effects such as nausea, sore breasts, moodiness and/or spotting . These usually go away within the first 3 months of using the patch.
- You may experience skin irritation on the spot that you wear your patch. Every time you change the patch, switch sides or apply it to a different site to avoid skin irritation.
- If after 3 months you are still experiencing side effects or your side effects are severe, you may want to try a different method of birth control.
- There is a rare risk of getting blood clots, or having a heart attack or stroke while using the patch. Smoking, obesity, and other health conditions increase this risk. Speak to your clinician for more information.
- Signs of a blood clot include: blurred or loss of vision, chest pain or difficulty breathing, migraine headaches, severe abdominal cramps, or severe pain in the leg. If you experience any of these symptoms, get medical attention right away.
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Where Is The Birth Control Patch Available
A doctor or a nurse practitioner must prescribe the patch. They’ll ask questions about your health and family medical history, and may also do an exam, including a blood pressure check and possibly a pelvic exam. If recommending the patch, the doctor or NP will write a prescription and give you instructions on how to use it.
Those who start using the patch may be asked to return within a few months for a blood pressure measurement and to make sure that there are no problems. After that, a doctor may recommend routine exams once or twice a year or as needed.