How to Start or Stop Birth Control


Contraception is more crucial than ever when reproductive rights are attacked across.

However, many women are abandoning it or switching to hormone-free solutions. WH breaks through the noisy social media noise to help you choose the right path for *your* health and life. Choice is fantastic, right?

Erin has tried combination pills, minipills, and rings throughout her decade of contraception. “I’ve used six options over 10 years,” she adds. After beginning the Pill at 19, her first five years of birth control were easy. She began to feel strange.

The 31-year-old switched to the ring when she felt the Pill was causing hair loss. She then discovered another drug that worked well until it affected her spirits. She saw everyday videos on social media of people praising their birth control-free choice. It seemed too hazardous, but after a year of talking to her fiancé and doctor about family planning and her difficulties, she decided she was done.

Stop frustrating symptoms. No more fretting about future steps. “I’ve felt better since I stopped taking it,” Erin admits. “I’m only okay with not being on it because I’m going to try to start a family next year. None should quit unless they’re okay with pregnancy.

Erin found that in 2023, young women in America must make difficult decisions about birth control. More than 20 states have made abortion difficult or illegal without Roe v. Wade. Birth control access assaults are also rising. Last December, a Texas federal court banned government clinics from prescribing birth control to teenagers without parental permission. Alecia Fields, DO, a Kentucky ob-gyn and Physicians for Reproductive Health fellow, expects such infringements to persist and have major consequences. “We are seeing ob-gyns leaving some states that are becoming hostile to reproductive rights,” she adds. “That will hinder birth control access.”

Birth control, particularly highly effective hormonal methods like the Pill, is undergoing a reputational crisis. Misinformation about dangers and advantages on TikTok, Reddit, and YouTube is so prevalent that doctors are seeing more patients with baseless contraceptive concerns. “All of a sudden, everyone is coming in worried they’ve been on birth control too long—even bringing screenshots,” says Manhattan ob-gyn Molly McBride, MD.

25% of women don’t use their chosen contraceptive. And just 30% of women believed they got enough information before selecting a BC.

Women like Erin are caught in the midst. Hormonal birth control has risks. It may not suit everyone. However, precise information is essential when trustworthy and effective protection is needed. “You have to be aware of what the algorithm is feeding you,” Erin says, grateful she shared her ups and downs with her spouse.

Finding your BC match is difficult even without the baggage. This is partially because we have many alternatives, from the Pill to the IUD to nonhormonal gel. “Ultimately, it’s your body and your choice,” says Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai assistant clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science Suzanne Fenske, MD. “But you want an informed choice.”

So you may make an informed choice, we’ll discuss the ongoing discourse changes and differentiate reality from myth.

Determining whether taking the pill is right for you

Recent research shows that Pill use has been declining since 2002, even though 25% of U.S. women who use any kind choose it. Some users claim they sometimes feel horrible on their pill after years of using it, others are intrigued about how their mind and body would feel without a regular medication, and others worry about the effects of being on a drug for a decade. Long-term Pill users have said they felt “clear in the head,” “happier,” “seeing the world in color,” or more aroused after going off on Web forums, podcasts, and more.

Dr. Fenske says many physicians dismissed concerns about mood shifts, cognitive fog, and more since there were few research on side effects’ prevalence or who would suffer them. In addition, pregnancy prevention and the Pill’s capacity to cure medical disorders like painful periods frequently outweighed those worries, according to doctors. “For many years, the pendulum swung toward everyone being put on combined hormonal contraception pills in this country without question,” says Dr. Fenske. Now, she sees younger women resisting and asking more questions.

The problem is different from what many women worry about, according to physicians and experts. Drugs like the Pill are safe but not necessarily fun. Sensitive ladies have side effects. However, it is not unsafe or necessary to stop taking it after side effects are gone. More doctors are encountering women who look satisfied with their pill but are worried by the steady stream of patients reporting they are stopping for various reasons.

Most people handle it well and appreciate the baby-free perks, painful, heavy periods, and acne control. “Today’s pills are low-dose. They may enhance your life and provide birth control, says Dr. McBride.

Another comfort: “You can choose a different one or a different generation” if one kind or brand doesn’t fit for you, adds Dr. Fenske. If you don’t want to take pills daily? No issue. “There are always more effective methods coming out,” adds Dr. Fenske. Talk about your doctor about an IUD, implant, ring, or newer nonhormonal treatments like Phexxi, an FDA-approved gel you place into the vagina before intercourse.

However, having a trusted doctor explain your alternatives is most crucial. Dr. Fields says, “The right birth control for you is unique and individual to you.”

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