Birth Control

Birth control can be used for more than just preventing pregnancies. Learn more about birth control, side effects and benefits.

What Is Birth Control?

Birth control is used to prevent pregnancies. Hormonal birth control can also provide benefits such as lessened cramps during a period as well as less acne. 
Birth control can come in a few forms: medications, procedures and devices. Talk to your provider about your options to find out which will work best for you.

How Long Does It Take for Birth Control to Be Effective?

The type and method of birth control you choose will determine how quickly birth control can take effect. Condoms can take effect right away, but a method like oral contraceptives (“the pill”) takes longer due to the hormones adjusting in your body. When you start taking the pill, you can start on any day but it’s important to use a backup method of birth control such as a condom to prevent pregnancy as your body adjusts to the pill.

Types and Methods of Birth Control

There are a variety of types and methods of birth control. The benefits you’re looking for – used on a schedule, low maintenance, permanent – can help determine the best type or method for you. Options include:

  • IUD
  • Oral contraceptives or the pill
  • Condoms
  • Tubal ligation (permanent)
  • Contraceptive Patch
  • Contraceptive ring
  • Depo-Provera injection

Discuss what you’re looking for with your doctor to ensure you get the best option for you.

Potential Side Effects of Birth Control

While birth control can prevent pregnancies, medication can come with side effects, such as:

  • Acne
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Mood swings

Be sure to talk with your doctor if you experience any severe or unusual side effects after you begin using birth control.

Birth Control Risk Factors

Depending on the type of birth control you choose, there may be risk factors involved. While complications are rare, it’s important to talk to your provider about medications you’re currently on and your medical history. Some risk factors may include:

  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attack
  • Does not protect against STI/STD

While most birth controls do not protect against STI/STDs, it’s important to talk to your partner about their sexual history, testing options as well as talking about protection that does help protect against STI/STDs such as condoms.

Banner Health providers are here to answer any questions you may have about birth control. Schedule your visit today.