Things You Should Know About Birth Control

We just lately asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to inform us questions that they had about contraception that they have been too scared to ask.

Then we spoke with Dr. Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, who’s an Affiliate Professor of Pediatrics within the Division of Adolescent Drugs at Stanford Medical Faculty and CEO and Co-Founding father of Pandia Health, to get her professional responses on these questions.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed


“Can contraception tablets render ladies infertile in the long term?” — zahra09h

Dr. Yen: “No. What it’s, is that 10% of girls have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome). PCOS ladies could have a tough time getting pregnant. So for those who put all ladies on contraception, after which take them off, you anticipate 10% of girls to have a tough time getting pregnant. It’s NOT due to the contraception, it’s due to the PCOS. Oddly sufficient, for PCOS ladies, generally being on the contraception (which normalizes their hormones) then coming off is when they’re most fertile as a result of that’s when their hormones are most conventional.”


“Can an IUD be punctured via the uterine wall in case your accomplice/partner has a big penis?” —loraafinley

Dr. Yen: No. Often it occurs on insertion of the IUD by the practitioner. Or the practitioner caught it within the wall and the uterine contractions pushed it via. However not by penis.”


“Is there a ‘window’ of time for me to take my oral contraception? I do know you need to take it on the similar time every single day for it to be efficient, however what if I miss the mark by 15 minutes? Am I nonetheless OK?” —emilys44b743fcd

Dr. Yen: “In case you are on the progesterone solely tablets, you might have a Three hour window. In case you are Three hours or extra late, you must use emergency contraception for those who had intercourse throughout the previous 5 days and use a backup technique or abstain for the following 5 days (whilst you catch up). In case you are on the ‘common’ estrogen AND progesterone ‘mixed’ tablets, then there’s a bigger window. You’ll be able to miss 1 tablet and nonetheless be OK. 2 tablets generally OK. However at Three tablets, positively contemplate emergency contraception for those who had intercourse throughout the previous 5 days and use a backup technique or abstain for the following 5 days (whilst you catch up).”


“Can contraception trigger vivid or actually bizarre goals?” — preistessofsass

Dr. Yen: That isn’t a reported aspect impact, however something is feasible. Every particular person is completely different and may reply in another way to the remedy.”


“Is it potential that contraception isn’t proper for me? I’m attempting actually arduous to be secure however I’m getting so exhausted from having unwanted effects.” —jordans4bf42d485

Dr. Yen: There may be the IUD with hormone, the IUD with out hormone, the implant, the shot, the vaginal ring, the patch, then there are like 40 different pills. One in every of these ought to give you the results you want, but when not, utilizing condoms plus spermicide is 97% efficient in stopping being pregnant.


“Do you must be on contraception earlier than you might have intercourse for the primary time or is a condom sufficient to forestall being pregnant?” — OliviaR821

Dr. Yen: “It relies upon how unhealthy getting pregnant could be to you. I counsel everybody with a uterus who just isn’t attempting to get pregnant to make use of condoms PLUS a hormonal technique or copper IUD to keep away from being pregnant.”


“I take contraception tablets in order that I can skip my intervals (that are fairly debilitating) however I’m fairly unhealthy at taking them usually so I all the time want a secondary contraceptive. Might an IUD imply that I nonetheless get no intervals or no less than simpler ones?” —RachelDiz

Dr. Yen: “You may wish to strive the IUD with hormone. 19–37% of girls on the common energy IUD with hormone lose their intervals. And the remainder get simpler/lighter ones. You may additionally use the contraception ring (Nuvaring) for that. And there’s a new vaginal ring Annovera which might be used for as much as 1 12 months.”


“Is it regular for my zits to appear to worsen after beginning the tablet? (I’m taking the one with estrogen and progestin.)” —madelynf487f41e0c

Dr. Yen: Happening the tablet modifications up your hormones. Typically it takes 1–Three months to get used to the hormones after which issues to settle down. Theoretically, all contraception tablets ought to assist with zits. Typically it’s the hormone within the tablet that you simply have been prescribed. For zits we suggest much less androgenic progestins resembling norgestimate (in case you are not skipping bleeds), desogestrel (in case you are skipping bleeds) and drosperinone (if the opposite two don’t work and you’ll drink Eight glasses of water a day). There are additionally a couple of others you possibly can strive.”


“Do you need to take the inactive tablets? Or are you able to simply skip taking tablets for the week whenever you’re presupposed to take them?” —madisonpaigearthur

Dr. Yen: You do NOT need to take the inactive tablets. They’re only a placeholder so that you don’t get out of shape taking your tablets 1 week out of 4 (25% of the time).”


“Inside the previous few months, I’ve began recognizing whereas on a sure sort of tablet. Why would that begin occurring after I by no means had that drawback earlier than?” — PaopuFruitNoot

Dr. Yen: “When you’ve got been on that tablet awhile, then almost definitely it’s as a result of you might have modified one thing else — for instance, a complement (which might have an effect on absorption) or an over-the-counter chilly medication like pseudoephedrine or one other medication (which revs up your liver and chews via hormones extra). Different issues which may trigger recognizing are a polyp, a sexually transmitted an infection inflicting your cervix to be friable (straightforward to be irritated and bleed), or weight achieve/loss.”


“Do you ovulate whereas on the tablet?” —sarahm46a7cbcdf

Dr. Yen: “The tablet works by stopping ovulation, thinning your endometrium, inflicting a cervical mucus plug (with progesterone). Nonetheless, some folks might ovulate on the tablet, particularly heavier folks, as a result of the tablet was made for a “normal weight” and the dose will not be ample to dam ovulation at days 5–7 of the tablet on the placebo/sugar tablet/bleeding week. At Pandia Well being we suggest ladies both #SkipTheBleed or solely be off for five days most and possibly Four in case your BMI is >26.”


“Do you continue to ovulate with an IUD?” —courtneyjok

Dr. Yen: “With the copper IUD, sure. With the IUD with hormone, 65% of women still do. And in case you are on the “decrease hormone” IUD, then you definitely’re extra prone to have extra ovulation given the decrease hormone.”


“Is it true that oral contraceptives may give you signs of despair?” —TessMess01

Dr. Yen: “Current research point out that ladies who don’t endure from PMDD-induced despair signs are at a slight improve of despair when taking sure hormonal types of contraception. Though the danger of despair is elevated for all sorts of hormonal contraception, the possibility is extremely small. As a result of studies on this enviornment are new and the science behind it rising, there isn’t a conclusive information on who’s most prone to this elevated threat but.”


“I believe my contraception provides me cramps exterior of my interval. Like, painful sharp ache in my pelvic space fully exterior of my menstrual cycle — is that this potential?” —rebeccan4bb72d040

Dr. Yen: “That is almost definitely NOT from the contraception. It’s extra possible from ovulation ache, endometriosis, or one thing else. Contraception stabilizes and calms issues down. Sharp ache just isn’t a side of contraception — boring cyclical ache, presumably — however sharp recurrent ache, no.”


“What are the failure charges of getting your tubes tied vs. a vasectomy? Which one is extra painful or has longer restoration time?” —speaktruthnoharm

Dr. Yen: “Vasectomy beats tubal ligation (i.e. getting your “tubes tied”) in efficacy. It’s 3x as efficient as tubal ligation in typical use and is way much less invasive. Attending to the fallopian tubes you undergo the stomach (which has many layers of muscle) and is way more invasive. Additionally, with tubal ligation, there are much more dangers, it is extra expensive, and the unwanted effects are much more critical.”


“Can contraception assist with regulating hormones from a low-functioning thyroid?” —Courtiepaigee

Dr. Yen: “It’s essential to deal with the thyroid drawback. However you should utilize contraception hormonal strategies with thyroid remedy.”


“I’ve had an IUD for nearly 5 years and it is about time to alter it. I’ve just lately been questioning if there’s any long run results I must be involved about?” —gej617

Dr. Yen: “There aren’t any long run results identified from having an IUD in for five years. And it’s ‘identified’ that having an IUD doesn’t have an effect on your future fertility.”


“How uncomfortable is it actually to get an IUD inserted or eliminated? It does not look like it might be all that nice to get it inserted or eliminated so I am a bit cautious of it.” —b49a5393c6

Dr. Yen: “Every particular person is completely different and it is dependent upon the way you ‘really feel’ your month-to-month cramps in comparison with one other particular person with a uterus. It additionally is dependent upon in case you are in your interval or not whenever you get it performed or whether or not your supplier makes use of a paracervical block or not. Typically, I counsel ladies to get it on their interval. NOT the primary day however the final days — so, like, days 4–5 of bleeding. I additionally recommend to premedicate with 600 mg of ibuprofen with meals 30 minutes to 1 hour forward of time. Deliver a warmth pad, some music to distract you. Ask for the paracervical block. “


“I used to be instructed mixture contraception shouldn’t be taken by individuals who have migraines with aura. Why? What are the dangers?” —OMGitsaClaire

Dr. Yen: That is appropriate. You threat blood clots in your head and thus strokes and demise. The CDC has labeled migraines with aura as class 4! It is a well being threat and this technique mustn’t for use.


“Can contraception assist together with your interval? Like make it lighter and make your cramps go away? I’ve the heaviest circulation, I’ve to maintain altering pads each hour or two, additionally my cramps are the worst the place i can not eat or transfer that a lot.” —merp626

Dr. Yen: “It’s best to get checked for a bleeding dysfunction. That’s lots of blood. And get checked for anemia, too! Von Willebrand’s Illness is the commonest bleeding dysfunction and infrequently exhibits up this fashion — a number of bleeding with the primary interval or general.”


“Can IUDs “journey” via your physique?” —isabelamogo

Dr. Yen: “They may theoretically perforate via the uterus into the stomach after which stick into your bladder or gut. They used to assume that it ‘wandered there’ however almost definitely it’s from insertion and supplier error.”


“Is it regular for contraception to trigger lots of white discharge?” —nachocheez

Dr. Yen: That could be Bacterial Vaginosis, which isn’t a problem except it bothers you or you might be pregnant and have a historical past of preterm births. BV is extra prone to be introduced on by month-to-month hormonal modifications, international our bodies (e.g. penis, condoms, intercourse toys), douche, or oral intercourse. See your supplier to get it checked. They’ll see if it’s regular or irregular if they’ve a microscope of their workplace. (Not all docs have the microscope).”


“Did taking contraception tablets for Eight years or having a copper IUD for 7 years contribute to me now having extreme endometriosis?” —profdaniella

Dr. Yen: “We don’t know what causes endometriosis precisely. However contraception tablets are sometimes a therapy for it. So it is unlikely the contraception tablets contributed to it. The copper IUD is understood to have unwanted effects of heavier intervals and extra cramps. So the heavier intervals may exacerbate the endometriosis.”


“Would contraception have an effect on me in another way now that I have been in menopause for over a 12 months?” —theKatherine

Dr. Yen: “In case you are in menopause, you don’t want contraception.”


“I reside in a rustic with restricted tablet choices, however would nonetheless like to have the ability to management my cycle. Is there any option to take multiphase contraception to forestall or delay your interval?” —megh6

Dr. Yen: “It’s best to have the ability to cease your intervals with any estrogen/progesterone tablet. Nonetheless some tablets could be simpler than others. Those with greater progestin impact work higher for skipping the month-to-month bleed.

To study extra about #PeriodsOptional and how you can use the contraception tablet or ring to skip or cease intervals go here.”


“My contraception has fully tousled my cycle. I by no means know after I’m going to get my interval. Is that standard?” — alleycat93

Dr. Yen: “Are you on the Progesterone solely tablet, the implant, the IUD with hormone, or the shot? That occurs usually with progesterone solely strategies. With the estrogen containing strategies — the ring, patch, tablet — the bleeds may be underneath your management.”


“I have been on the tablet for about Four years now however I can’t assist however discover the libido that got here with it. I have been to 2 OB-GYNs and each have mentioned to simply pump up the foreplay, however it does not actually assist. Ought to I be switched to a special sort of contraception or is it the kind of tablet that I am on?” —a42dffea4a

Dr. Yen: “In case you are experiencing much less libido, then there are 30+ formulations of the tablet (with completely different ranges of estrogen and eight several types of progestins) that you could strive that could be higher with libido. Normally, ones with a extra androgenic impact have extra libido. However in addition they might need extra zits related to it.”

Questions and responses have been edited for size and readability.

Wish to be featured in related BuzzFeed posts? Comply with the BuzzFeed Neighborhood on Facebook and Twitter!

— Crystal Ro to