Women's Health Guide & FAQs
Here are some guides and FAQs to help you on your journey
Are all pills the same? What is the difference between brands?
No, there different brands of contraceptive pills available, and each of them is slightly different in terms of pack size and hormonal composition. Finding which brand works best for you is important, and this can differ from person to person.
- Pills can come in packs of 21 or 28 pills. 21 pill packs contain 21 active pills. You take 1 pill a day for 21 days and then either take a 7 day break (during which your period will come) or take no break at all, before starting your next pack. 28 pill packs contain 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills, which contain no hormones. You take 1 pill a day for 28 days, and t
- Although all pills have the same efficacy rate, they differ in hormonal composition. Some compositions might work better for some people than others, in that they result in fewer side effects. Hence, if you have been using a brand of pills for 3 months, and it is causing you negative side effects, it might be worth switching brands.
How effective are birth control pills / patch?
When used perfectly, the pill / patch is 99% effective. This is much higher than condoms and other forms of birth control. The more regularly you take your pills, the more effective they will be.
However, because many people don’t use the pill perfectly (e.g. missing their pill / patch), it can end up being around 91% effective. This is why we strongly recommend that you do your best to use to take your pill / apply your patch consistently, and in the manner prescribed by your medical provider.
What are some side effects of the pills / patch?
Some common side effects include headaches, nausea, spotting (light bleeding between periods), breast tenderness, and/or changes in your menstrual cycle (it might come early, late, or stop altogether). Good news is that they don’t affect everyone and they tend to go away in 2-3 months as your body gets adjusted to the hormones.
What can the pill do aside from preventing pregnancy?
- Regulating Periods – The pill / patch usually makes your periods more regular, shorter, lighter and less painful.
- Reducing Acne – The hormones in combination birth control pills can help reduce acne. The pills decrease the circulation of androgens, which decreases the production of sebum.
- Relieve/lessen PMS / PMDD symptoms – Hormonal birth control pills prevent ovulation. Hence, they may improve PMS/PMDD symptoms by preventing ovulation-related hormone changes. Although most brands of hormonal birth control can help with PMS / PMDD, Yaz is the only hormonal birth control that has been FDA-approved specifically for preventing pregnancy and treating PMS and PMDD.
How long can I be on the pill / patch? Will I have trouble getting pregnant later on?
As long as there is no medical reason to stop taking the pill / patch, you can be on it for years, whether to regulate your menstrual cycle, treat cramps or prevent pregnancy. The best part? You can stop taking the pill at any point if you decide you do want to get pregnant; there is no change in long-term fertility with the use of birth control pills.
Should I get the patch or pill?
The patch and the pill work similarly by releasing hormones to prevent pregnancy, or to regulate your hormones (with benefits such as, lightening cramps, periods and managing acne). Just like the pill, with perfect use (i.e. no missed patches, and patches are applied and changed correctly), the patch is up to 99% effective at preventing pregnancies.
Unlike the pill, the frequency of use for the patch is different. While the pill comes in packs of 21 or 28 pills depending on the brand, the patch comes in packs of 3, of which you apply once a week, for 3 weeks each month and have one patch-free week before starting again.
The patch is best applied to the upper outer arm, butt, stomach, or back areas. It should not be applied on your breasts. You can stick it on the same area each time, however it is recommended that you switch areas inbetween patches to prevent skin irritation.
What happens if i miss a patch / pill
A pill is considered missed if not taken within 12 hours after the time you’re supposed to.
If you just missed 1 pill: take it right away. If you don’t remember until the next day, take 2 pills and use a secondary contraception method for a week (e.g. condoms).
If you’ve missed 2 or more active pills: take one missed pill immediately and throw away the other missed pills. Then, continue taking the remaining pills in your pack as usual. Consider using emergency contraception if you’ve had unprotected sex in the last 5 days and don’t want to become pregnant. Use a secondary method (e.g. condoms) until you’ve taken birth control pills for 7 days in a row.
If you are less than 48 hours late for your patch, put on a new patch as soon as you can and change the patch again on your usual change day, even if less than a week away. Use a secondary method of protection(i.e. a condom) for the next 7 days.
If you are more than 48 hours late on your patch, Put on the new patch immediately. Consider using emergency contraception if you’ve had sex since the patch was missed. Use a secondary method of protection (i.e. condoms) for the next 7 days. Change the patch on your usual change day, even if less than a week away.
If the patch falls off, and it’s been off for less than 48hrs, stick the patch back as soon as you can. If it’s no longer sticky, put a new patch on, and change your patch on your usual change day.
If it has been more than 48hrs, put a new patch on, and change your patch on your usual change day.
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