Sometimes it’s out of habit, and sometimes it’s from genuinely not realizing that a change is possible, but many women stick with their current form of birth control even when it’s not working out. Birth control is supposed to make life easier, but this is not always the case. Instead of feeling protected from the possibility of pregnancy and enjoying control over menstrual cycles and other symptoms, sometimes women find that their method of contraception causes more harm than good. Fortunately, it is entirely possible that you can change your form of birth control. It just takes a few steps. 

How do I change my birth control?

The first step to take when you are ready to change your birth control is to schedule an appointment with your provider and to note during this booking that you are interested in changing your birth control. During this appointment, your provider will look to discuss what you are disappointed with in regard to your current form of contraception. 

For example: 

  • Is it causing you to gain weight? 
  • Are you experiencing mood swings? 
  • Are period symptoms not alleviated in the way that you’d hoped when you started birth control? 
  • Is taking a pill every day at the same time not possible for your lifestyle? 
  • Would a longer-term form of contraception better fit my family planning goals?

It’s important to be honest with your provider so he or she can offer the best possible recommendation for new birth control. Also, if you already have a form in mind, you should mention this to your provider so they can let you know if it is in line with your expectations. 

After this, depending on both your current birth control and what you will start using, you can either begin immediately or there may be a necessary waiting period involved. For example, if you have an IUD but wish to start taking the pill, then you’ll need to have your IUD removed first by your provider. 

Ultimately, contraception that is not working for you is not in any way permanent. You can also elect not to use contraception at all, though it is very important that if needed, you continue to take all necessary steps to prevent pregnancy (if desired) and STD transmission. You can learn about what happens when you stop birth control here.