Gynecologist – Common Questions to Be Asked About Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills have come a long way since their introduction in the early 60s. The entire industry has exploded with all kinds of methods of contraception-sponges, diaphragms, IUDs, condoms and more.
But, for as many different kinds of contraception available today, there are as many different formulas for The Pill as well. How do you know what is best for you? Here are some questions you should ask your gynecologist before starting oral contraception:
1. There are so many advertisements for different pills, what is the difference?
* Monophasic-Estrogen and progesterone are equal in each active pill.
* Multiphasic-The levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate depending on the day of the month. It mimics your body’s natural fluctuations and helps keep everything on an even keel.
* Progesterone-only-Inhibits ovulation, blocks sperm and stops fertilized eggs from attaching themselves. Reduces PMS symptoms.
* Low-dose-Lower estrogen and progesterone levels reduces PMS and lowers the risk of clotting and weight gain.
* Extended Cycle-These are taken so that you only have four periods a year instead of every month.
2. Which is best for me?
Pre-existing health conditions and lifestyle are big determinants in which oral contraceptive your gynecologist will recommend. If you smoke, have heart or liver disease or certain types of cancer, birth control pills are not recommended. Also, if you are not in a monogamous relationship, you should use additional protection as oral contraception does not protect against STDs.
3. What are the risks and side effects? Depending on the kind of tablet and preexisting health conditions, blood clots, stroke, weight gain, mood changes, nausea, breast tenderness and spotting may occur.
4. Can I get pregnant on the pill?
The tablet is up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. But, you must take it as directed and pay attention to other medications such as antibiotics and migraine medicines that may reduce the efficacy. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If you miss two or more, follow the instructions on the package because it may differ depending on the type of pill. It is best to use back-up protection until you get back on schedule just in case.
5. What signs indicate a problem?
Leg pain and numbness, chest pain, severe headaches, blurred vision and abdominal pain are all indications that you may need to reevaluate your birth control pill. Be sure to tell your gynecologist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or anything that is not normal for you. You know your body better than anyone.
The most important thing is that you discuss all of your options with your gynecologist. It may take some trial and error to find the pill that works best with your body.