Sometimes, women start taking contraceptives, but they are not satisfied with the pills use and its results. It is perfectly fine to visit your doctor and tell your concerns about changing contraceptive.
Why do you need to change birth control pill?
Side effects of pills and uneasiness of their use are major concerns that push you to change your contraceptive. You should consult your doctor if you experience severe acne, headaches or migraines, rise in blood pressure and breakthrough bleeding while on the pill.
Some hormonal problems may occur like mood swings, change in sex drive which signal that you should consider some other contraceptive options.
When you can change your pill?
In general, you can switch from one type of pill to another immediately. But, keep in mind that if you are changing your contraceptive in week 2-3 of your prior pill pack, you can change your pill straight away. However, if you have decided to change your contraceptive in week 1, then:
- Wait and complete seven days in a row with your current contraceptive
- After 7 days you may switch to new contraceptive
How to switch properly?
If you are switching from mini-pill to combined pill or vice-versa, then you can switch straight away and it would be good if you take additional contraceptive like condoms for the first seven days of the switch.
The idea of switching contraceptive from one method to another always depend upon an expert’s advice. So, do conversate with your doctor or consult our health advice service, as our contraception experts are always pleased to give you fruitful assistance for your better health.
- How to remember to take your pill on time?
It is completely normal if you forget to take the pill every day on the same time. Here are few options that you can adopt to remember taking your contraceptives:
- Take the pill at the same time every day, so that it would become your habit and you won’t forget daily.
- You may set an alarm that would prompt you daily.
- You may create visual reminders like sticking some labels on your front wall or bathroom door that would constantly remind you of taking the pill.
- Set a schedule and stick to it. This will make a habit of taking pill same time every day.
If you still forget taking the pill on same time daily, then possibly pill is not suitable contraceptive for you. Talk to your doctor for expert advice and you should go for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) like IUDs, implants or injections.
- Missed pill advice
It can be a nerve-wracking situation if you missed taking your oral contraceptive. The outcomes of missing a pill and your next actions depend upon these factors:
- The type of pill you are currently taking
- Number of pills you have missed
- Time passed since a pill should have been taken
First thing you have to consider is to be relaxed, and be mindful about what to do next in case you missed a pill. If you are not well-informed about how to handle this situation, get your free prescription online from our expert clinicians in Ireland, or read further to know other recommended actions.
Which pill you are currently taking?
As we know, oral contraceptives fall in two broad categories, namely combined pills having oestrogen and progesterone, and progesterone only pills (POPs) that lack oestrogen. It would be specific missed pill advice for missing different types of pills.
- If you have missed a combined pill, patch or ring
If one pill is late or missed for 24-48 hours since the pill should have been taken, then it is recommended that:
- Take the pill immediately
- Continue taking your pills at the same time even if you have to take 2 pills in a day
- No additional contraception option is needed
- No emergency contraception is needed
If two or more pills have been missed for more than 48 hours, then:
- Take the most recent immediately
- Keep taking your remaining pills at the usual time
- Use additional contraception option (e.g., condoms) for the next 7 days, or avoid any sexual intercourse.
- Emergency contraception may be considered if you missed the pills in first week of your contraception method.
- If you have missed a POP
If you missed a desogestrel pill for 3 hours or less than 12 hours, you don’t need to be worried about being late if:
- You are taking a conventional POP like Micronor, Norgeston or Noriday.
- You are taking a desogestrel pill like Cerazette or Cerelle.
If you missed a POP or desogestrel pill for more than 3 hours or 12 hours, then you are susceptible of getting pregnant. You should:
- Take the missed pill immediately, only 1 even if you missed more than 1.
- Keep taking the remaining pills as usual.
- Take back-up contraception methods like condoms.
- Consider taking emergency contraception if you are in the first week of your contraception course.
Where to get advice?
If you are still confused about how to deal with missed pill situation, get a free advice online from our contraception advice hub in Ireland. Or you may visit:
- Family planning clinic
- A GP
- A nurse near you
- A pharmacist near you
- Long term effects of the pills
Contraceptive pills provide safest and most-convenient method of contraception, and millions of women trust their effectivity around the globe. Most of the pills are required to be taken for longer periods, usually from months to years. Although, it has been theorized that side effects of contraceptives are very rare, some women perplex about the pill’s long-term effects.
Remember! Birth control pills are formulated in a manner that there is no harm in taking them for longer times.
If you are using your prescribed contraceptive and they don’t exhibit any adverse effects, it is safe to keep on using as long as you wish to use them. However, if your lifestyle is getting changed with your increasing age, your doctor may change your contraceptive or may advice its alternative in case of any side effects. Like other drugs and medicines, contraceptives also come up with few side effects that you should keep in mind. They include:
- Blood clots formation
- Stroke and high blood pressure
- Delayed menstrual periods, which become normal after few months
- None of any report exists advocating their effects on fertility. You can become pregnant again soon after stopping contraception.
Rather, one study theorized benefits of using contraceptives in long cycles, which are centered around easing menstrual pains, and symptoms of endometriosis.
- Types of contraception and how long they take (HSE)
- Types of contraception (HSE)
- What you need to know about contraception (HSE)
- Combined pill -Your contraception guide (NHS UK)
- Contraception – choices (Better Health Channel)
- Continuous use of oral contraceptives: an overview of effects and side-effects