The term “birth control” most often refers to the birth control pill, but it is also a broad reference to all contraception, which includes options such as the Mirena IUD or Nexplanon. PGOMG offers women a range of contraceptive options, and each one may have its own impact on the woman who takes it.

Whichever method works best for your body, starting a birth control regimen includes some important questions that help you understand what your birth control prevents – and what it doesn’t prevent.

1. Does birth control prevent against STDs or STIs?

No. Birth control does not prevent against contracting an STD or STI. Only a condom or abstaining from intercourse can keep you safe from contracting a sexually transmitted disease or infection. When used properly, contraception such as the pill, an IUD, or an implant prevents pregnancy.

2. What if I’m on the birth control pill and I forget to take one?

If you are sexually active and miss or skip a birth control pill, then it’s important that you contact your PGOMG provider immediately. If you engaged in intercourse without birth control in your system, PGOMG can provide emergency contraception, also known as “Plan B,” if necessary. Your provider can advise on next steps that are tailored to your individual situation.

3. Will birth control pills stop my period?

Typically, you will still have a period each month, during the week when you are not on the pill. However, there are different types of birth control pills, and each type can vary how often you have your period. For some women, periods may lessen or not come at all after they have been using the birth control pill for a few months or longer. These changes are usually normal due to the hormones in the pill, but women are encouraged to discuss changes to their period with their PGOMG provider.

4. How much does the birth control pill cost?

Birth control pills can cost up to $50 per pack. The cost may depend on your insurance coverage, and some insurance policies offer birth control at no cost to you.

5. Do I need a prescription for birth control?

Yes, certain forms of birth control require a prescription. However, in California, some types of birth control do not require a prescription and can be given by a trained pharmacist. Some of which now include birth control pills, patches or rings. Women are still encouraged to discuss their options with their PGOMG provider in order to determine which types is best for their lifestyle.

6. How long will it take to get pregnant after stopping birth control?

This will depend on the type of contraception you are using. For some methods, your body may need a few weeks or months in order to return to the cycle you had before going on birth control.

7. Will birth control affect a pregnancy test?

No, pregnancy tests measure a hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG) that is found by testing urine or blood. Birth control will not affect this hormone.

8. Is there long-term birth control?

Yes. If you are interested in using a birth control method that does not require a daily pill, speak to a PGOMG provider about your family planning goals and whether the Mirena IUD or Nexplanon is right for you. The Mirena IUD can last up to 5 years and Nexplanon can last up to 3 years. PGOMG also offers the Skyla IUD, Paraguard IUD, Depo Provera and NuvaRing for those interested in long-term contraception.

9. Do I really need to take the pill at the same time every day?

Yes. The birth control pill is at its most effective when taken at the same time daily.

10. What do I do if I have side effects from birth control?

If you experience side effects from any type of contraception, it’s important to discuss these changes with your provider. Sometimes, side effects can be eliminated by simply changing the dosage of your birth control. For others, you may need to change to type of birth control you are using. Examples of side effects from contraception can include breast tenderness, weight gain, nausea, and mood swings.

Contact PGOMG to discuss birth control options today.