Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Birth Control  

Contraception methods cartoon icons set with calendar injection and oral contraception symbols. Birth control vector illustration.

Whether it’s your first-time starting birth control or you want to switch to a different form, having a thorough discussion with your doctor is always recommended before making any decisions. 

There are several birth control options, so it’s important to research before your appointment and get a general idea of what you want or think would be best for your body and lifestyle. 

Here are a few important questions you should ask your doctor while discussing birth control. 

How do I know which birth control is right for me?

There is no one-size-fits-all birth control. What works for one woman may not work for another. However, some factors your doctor can discuss with you affect your birth control options like:

Medical History

Your medical history can indicate whether a particular type of birth control may or may not be a good fit for you. For example, birth control pills with a combination of estrogen and progesterone may not be safe for someone with a history of blood clots.

Lifestyle and Preferences

Depending on your lifestyle, certain types of birth control may be more convenient than others. If you are naturally forgetful or have a very busy schedule, you may not be able to take a pill at the same time every day. If this sounds like you, it may be best to consider a long-term birth control method like an intrauterine device (IUD) that doesn’t require any action from you to be effective.

Additional Benefits

Yes, birth control helps prevent pregnancy, but that is not all it is good for. Some forms of birth control offer added advantages for people with certain conditions. For example, if you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and irregular periods, a hormonal pill might help regulate your menstrual cycle. Some contraception may also relieve severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and acne.

Will my current medications make my birth control less effective?

If you’re currently taking medications, you may be worried about how they might react with your birth control. “It is critical that you tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking so that they can prescribe the best birth control for you. Some medications can interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills, like HIV medications, antibiotics, anti-seizure, antifungals, and some herbal treatments.

It’s also important to disclose if you have any medical conditions that might react with your form of birth control. Some medical conditions don’t react well to synthetic hormones like migraines. and hormone birth control may not mix well with certain seizure and blood pressure medications. Be certain to review your complete medical history and all your current medications, even supplements!

Will I get my period on birth control?

If you want to use birth control to regulate or control your period, you might want to ask your doctor how exactly you can use your contraception to do so. Birth control pills can be taken in a way that allows for a period every month, but there is also a way to take birth control pills that allows you to skip periods. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in skipping your period.

Sometimes your period will be affected by some birth control methods whether or not you purposefully manipulate it. Most people who choose the implant or the hormonal IUD will usually get to a point about six months after the implant or IUD is placed where they will have very light or no periods. This can be freeing for some people and a source of anxiety for others.

Does birth control have any side effects?

Like all medications, most birth control options come with the risk of a few side effects, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Breast tenderness

Every person’s body will react differently to a new form of birth control, so it’s important to educate yourself and speak with your doctor about any symptoms that concern you.

Non-oral forms of birth control can cause side effects too. The Copper IUD can cause heavy periods initially. If you find that after starting your birth control, you experience side effects that you aren’t comfortable with, you can talk to your doctor about switching to another method that might react better with your body.

At South Avenue Women’s Services, we can provide you with all the information you need to know about starting or switching to a new birth control method. Our professionals will discuss every birth control option available and decide what will be best for your health and lifestyle.

Contact us at (585)271-3850 to schedule an appointment with a caring and knowledgeable physician today!