The method of birth control that a woman decides to use is personal. There's no one-size-fits-all method and, in some cases, there may be changes to your preferred birth control method over the course of your life. You might see the pill as your best option in your teens or 20s and then switch to an intrauterine device (IUD) later on in life. Then, further down the line, you may think a ring is the best option. If you're planning to switch your method of birth control, you might be interested in knowing about the surprising things you should never do right before you switch birth control.
If you're on the pill, you may know that certain antibiotics or anti-fungals, vomiting, or contracting a case of diarrhea may lower the efficacy of your birth control method of choice. But when switching from one method of birth control to another, it can be easy to overlook some seemingly not that important, but actually very important, details. The actual transition from one birth control method to another doesn't have to be overly complicated, but you don't want to accidentally sabotage yourself before you even begin. Thinking through the following details and discussing them with your doctor can ensure that you don't.
1. You Shouldn't Wait To See Your Doctor
Dr. Katharine O'Connell White, chief of general obstetrics and gynecology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, told Glamour that when some women stop taking their current birth control and then make an appointment with their doctor, which might not be for weeks or months. That's not an ideal solution. Continuing to deal with what you've got until after your next appointment is the best way to prevent any lapse in birth control if that's something you want to avoid.
2. You Shouldn't Stop And Switch
If you decide to switch from one pill to another pill for whatever reason, obviously, eventually, you'll need to stop taking the original and move on to the new prescription. But simply abruptly stopping wherever you left off and beginning a new regimen isn't ideal. According to VeryWell, you should always finish your current cycle of birth control pills before moving on to the next. You could suffer from more side effects by switching abruptly and, potentially, the birth control will be less effective.
3. You Shouldn't Take Your Pill At A Different Time Than Normal
Whether you're switching to a new one or not, it's important to continue to take your birth control pills at the same time each day. According to Healthline, delaying a dose of birth control by even a few hours can increase the likelihood that you'll start to ovulate. If you're not looking to go off birth control entirely, that's probably not the outcome you'd prefer.
4. You Shouldn't Have Unprotected Sex
Ideally, you should be regularly using a condom with birth control because forms like the pill do not prevent STDs. It's especially important when you're transitioning to a new form a birth control, however. Back-up birth control methods while going through the process of switching methods will, according to the aforementioned article from Healthline, provide peace of mind until you've fully transitioned to the new method. Additionally, according to the previously mentioned Very Well article, switching from some methods to other methods require back-up birth control (like condoms) for a period of time to ensure that there's no risk of unplanned pregnancy.
5. You Shouldn't Let It Lapse
When switching from one method of birth control to another, one of the biggest mistakes people make is letting it lapse. Overlapping forms, such as starting the pill before having your IUD removed, could be important (or may be essential), according to the aforementioned article from VeryWell. Talk to your doctor to get all the specific and requisite details.