When it comes to birth control, the options are endless. Contraceptives take many forms, and you may be taking contraceptives for a number of reasons from preventing pregnancy to regulating your cycle. Birth control can be completely tailored to your needs, and those needs may change over time. You may need or want to switch birth control to alleviate symptoms or side effects and properly align yourself with what you want for your future. 

Depending on a multitude of factors, you or your doctor may consider switching your form of contraceptive. This could mean changing brands, hormone levels, or even the approach itself. Before you commit to a different birth control, it’s important to keep in mind what to expect.

Your body will need time to adjust

Give your body the space it needs to get used to this new medication. All medication has initial side effects, but most will pass over time. Experts say to give your new birth control up to 3 months for the side effects to subside before switching again Many doctors recommend overlapping the old birth control method with the new one to help curb symptoms and ensure there are no gaps in protection. However, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Spotting
  • Cramping

You could gain or lose weight

It is common for those on birth control to experience weight fluctuation. Combination pills and mini pills, the two most common forms of oral contraception, are known to cause weight gain in patients. This is usually due to water retention.

Depending on how much water your body retains, you may experience bloating. However, within 10 days the water weight fluctuation should be out of your system. In order to avoid this bloating, try birth control containing drospirenone.

You could have heavier periods

If switching to a non-hormonal copper IUD, this could cause heavier bleeding the first few months after insertion. You may experience back pain and more cramping during the first few cycles as well, which should lessen over time. Nevertheless, get your hot water bottle at the ready, and let your doctor know if these symptoms do not go away or get worse. 

You could not have your period

Although very similar to the copper IUD, a hormonal IUD is known to stop periods completely. After continued use, many patients report a much lighter or missing menstrual cycle. This is not unusual, but if you believe there is something wrong with your IUD or you believe you are pregnant, get in touch with your doctor. 

Keep tabs on your mental health

Many people experience mood changes when switching birth control. This could be temporary, or it may affect your well-being over time. New research suggests a link between birth control and depression, so be sure to monitor any mood changes you experience while switching your approach. 

Always have a backup plan 

No birth control is fool-proof, and making a change in your birth control plan could leave you vulnerable to a possible pregnancy. Be sure to keep yourself protected if sexually active–you have many options to make sure you stay safe and pregnancy-free. While abstinence is your best bet, spermicide, and condoms also assist.

If you have questions or need help finding the right birth control for you, get in touch with us today. Our team of experts will assist in making sure your needs are met and you are on the right track in your family planning journey. Contact us with any questions