Finding the right pill

What is the best birth control for me?

There are numerous different types of the contraceptive pill so it’s not always easy to figure out which one is best for you. For many women, it’s a case of trial and error. Your friend might swear by one brand, but you might not get on with it. Everyone’s body is different and you can’t expect to have the same experience as your friends or family with the pill. 

 

Which contraceptive pill is best?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. There are two main types of the pill: the combined pill and the progesterone-only pill which is also called the mini pill. Some women cannot take the combined pill as it contains oestrogen which can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of developing a blood clot. In this case, the mini pill is a better option. The same is also true for women who are sensitive to the effects of oestrogen and experience prolonged side effects from taking it. 

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How do I know which contraceptive pill to take? 

If you are going on the pill for the first time, your doctor or a nurse will discuss the options with you. They will assess your medical history, check your blood pressure and ask you a series of questions about your family history to ensure that the pill is suitable for you before prescribing you with it. It’s likely that you’ll be given the combined pill in the first instance, such as Microgynon, Cilest, Rigevidon or Loestrin

 

Which contraceptive pill causes the least side effects?

One of the main complaints about the pill is the side effects associated with it. These can include mood swings, nausea, headaches, breast tenderness and a lowered sex drive. Brands of the pill which contain lower doses of hormones are less likely to produce side effects. With the combined pill, these contain 20mg of oestrogen in comparison to the standard dose of 30mg. For example: 

  1. Femodette
  2. Millinette 
  3. Sunya
  4. Gedarel 
  5. Mercilon

Some newer types of the pill, known as the 3rd and 4th generation pills, contain even lower doses or different types of progesterone. These include Yasmin, Marvelon and Cliest. 

The mini pill is less likely to cause mood changes but you may still experience some minor side effects at the beginning. 

 

Which contraceptive pill is most effective?

When taken correctly, all contraceptive pills are equally effective. The combined pill is generally more reliable. If you forget to take one, this won’t cause any issues. In comparison, the mini-pill must be taken at the same time every day or within 3 or 12 hours of your scheduled time. If not, then you are at risk of pregnancy. 

 

Which contraceptive pill helps with acne?

If you are suffering from acne, the combined pill might be given as a treatment option. Due to the fact that hormones cause acne, the pill can be effective in clearing your skin as it controls your body’s hormone production. Yasmin has a good reputation for combating acne. The progesterone-only pill has the opposite effect and can cause or make acne worse. 

 

Which contraceptive pill is best for PCOS? 

The pill can be an effective way of managing the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, triggering regular periods and reducing period pain and PMS. Both the combined pill and mini pill can be used in this way. 

 

Which contraceptive pill stops your period? 

The combined pill gives you control over your period due to the way it works. It basically overrides your natural cycle, preventing ovulation from occurring. Usually, you’ll take the pill for 21 days and then wait 7 days before starting the next pill pack. If you want to skip your period, simply skip the 7 day break and start the next pack right away. 

 

Which pill is best if I’m breastfeeding? 

Breastfeeding women cannot take oestrogen so you’ll need to stay away from the combined pill during this time. The mini pill is usually suitable for women who are nursing as it only contains progesterone. However, it needs to be taken in either a 3-12 hour window each day and might cause side effects like headaches or nausea at first. 

 

Sources

The Health Line> Which is the Best Birth Control for Women with PCOS?: https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control/best-birth-control-for-pcos

Cosmopolitan> Which contraceptive pill is best for me?: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/body/health/a21392/which-pill-is-best-for-me/

NHS> The Combined Pill: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/combined-contraceptive-pill/

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