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Birth Control Bingo

Newly updated, our big 25-page guide to birth control options provides in-depth info on contraceptive choices to help you find your BC BFF.

A Birth Control Pill Five by Five

Sensei Martini asks:

I want to begin taking the birth control pill for the first time. Is it possible for me to start taking my first birth control pill on the SECOND day of my period? I won't be having unprotected sex. But if I start taking the birth control pill on the 2nd day is it less affective? And also after taking the birth control pill for a series of time, when is it 95% affective? It obviously doesn't begin on the first day I start right?

Is birth control safe? Are certain brands best?

Gwenaly asks:

I've been wondering if using birth control is safe? And is there a certain brand of birth control that I can use that will be the best to use?

You Decide: Making Informed Health Choices about Hormonal Contraception

Designed to help health care providers better understand and speak to the risks and benefits of hormonal contraception, and helpful for patients to choose for themselves.

When is it safest? What about medications?

Anonymous asks:

Lemontree asks: I am 20 years old and have been on the pill for about 2 years now and at first me and my boyfriend (coming to our 3.5 year anniversary! yay) would always use a condom as well just to be that extra safe. But awhile back we discussed not using a condom for our first time and seeing as I was on pill (which I have never missed) knew we would be safe. We also tried researching online about when the safest time on the pill would be and I couldn't find much information...just that if you take the pill on time etc. then you should be safe all the time and other sites saying always use a condom no matter what (which me and my boyfriend disregard because we are each others firsts and only so no risk of catching anything).

Birth Control Comparison Charts

Want to compare and contrast different methods of birth control? Take a look at The Feminist Women's Heath Center/Cedar River Clinics' comparison charts on both English and Spanish, including links to printable PDFs.

How do I know my pill is working?

Anonymous asks:

Hi. I've actually never had intercourse before, but my gynecologist suggested that I begin taking birth control pills about 2 months before my wedding date to make sure that everything is on the up and up with them (& that I wouldn't have any adverse reactions to them). So far I've been taking them around the same time (anywhere between 6:00 and 6:45am) for about 5 and a half weeks and I've noticed no real side effects or anything. The first 3 days I had a headache, but that's about it. The wedding is in 24 days. How do I know that these birth control pills are actually working inside of me? I guess I'm kinda nervous, and was wondering if there are any for sure ways to tell that the pills are running their course? Thank you.

Can birth control cause dryness?

adele27 asks:

Can my birth control be drying me out? My boyfriend and I have tried to have sex 3 times and we can't get it in. Should I switch my birth control?

I'm not sure if I want the pill or not!

Confuseddd asks:

I'm really torn on what to do. I'm a 17 year old, sexually active girl and I've been thinking about getting on the pill. My boyfriend and I use condoms every single time, but he wanted me to get on the pill because he says it feels better without one and also because pregnancy is something we both don't want. It took me forever to get up the courage to make an appointment at Planned Parenthood, and when I finally did, I canceled 5 hours before my appointment. I just couldn't go through with it. I think I want to get on the pill but I'm scared my mom will find out since I have to take it everyday, and I also don't want all of the side effects like mood change and weight gain. My boyfriend now says that I can do whatever I want, and that after getting used to condoms, he thinks that they feel the same as not using one. That's great and all that he's putting the decision completely in my hands but it also doesn't help because I have no idea what I should do. Is it okay for me to just use condoms? Is that safe enough, if we use them properly? Will the pill be too much of a hassle if I have to hide it, and does it really cause you to gain weight and get all sensitive? I don't know what to do at all. I want to be responsible with this but I just want to make sure I'm not choosing the wrong thing by sticking with only condoms.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.