Weight gain from birth control how to lose

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How to lose birth control pill weight

I Gained 15 Pounds After Going on the Pill—So I Spoke to Gynecologists to Find Out Why

Jazmine Polk, 23, had always been thin and active. But five months after going on oral contraceptives, she no longer fit into her joggers. Was the Pill behind her weight gain—or something else?

I’ve always had a fast metabolism. Thanks to genetics and being an athlete, I never had to think about weight or my diet growing up. (In fact, I was so thin that my high school classmates gave me the nickname “slinky.”) I was also able to maintain my normal weight and avoid the freshman 15 throughout college. But once I graduated, got into a relationship, and decided to get on birth control pills, my body started to change.

After five months on the Pill, I noticed that my favorite joggers weren’t fitting the way they used to and I was hungry all the time, even after a big meal. It wasn’t until my doctor said “wow, you’ve gained 15 pounds since I’ve last seen you” that I realized things were getting out of hand.

I amped up my workouts and tried (emphasis on “tried”) to cut out sugar and fast food, but I was still gaining weight in my face, stomach, and thighs. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening when the only thing I had really changed about my routine was my form of contraceptive. To find out what was up, I spoke to two gynecologists and a nutritionist. Here’s what I learned.

Hormonal birth control doesn’t cause permanent weight gain

“Over 40 studies have basically disproved the theory or myth that birth control is related to significant weight gain,” says Petra Casey, MD, associate professor and ob-gyn at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

However, taking hormonal birth control of any kind, such as the pill, an IUD, or an implant, may prompt your body to retain more fluid before your period. That can cause you to gain a few pounds, but this typically vanishes after your period is over, says Dr. Casey. It’s also normal to gain one to four pounds after starting hormonal birth control, she adds, but this is a temporary side effect that goes away after three months.

The one exception is the Depo-Provera shot, which Dr. Casey says is known to result in significant weight gain. “About 25% of women who start on it gain approximately 5% [of their body weight], and this generally happens within the first six months,” she explains.

Estrogen could be telling your brain to eat

Although estrogen, a key component in most forms of hormonal birth control, doesn’t directly cause weight gain, it might be the reason a woman doesn’t feel as full after she eats—thanks to estrogen’s effect on hormones that affect appetite, explains nutritionist Alisa Vitti, founder of FLOliving.com. While Dr. Casey told me that clinical studies do not prove this, Dr. Ross believes it makes sense. Since my birth control pills contain estrogen, this could be the reason I felt hungrier . . . and as a result, I ate more and gained weight.

Lifestyle changes could be the culprit

If the Pill itself isn’t the reason I’ve packed on some pounds, what is? Sherry Ross, MD, ob-gyn at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California and author of She-ology, advised me that before blaming my birth control for my weight gain, I should first look to my lifestyle.

Other factors happening in a woman’s life at the same time she gets her first rx for the Pill—such as a new relationship, a new environment, depression, or stress—could be making her eat more than usual or choose foods that aren’t healthy without realizing it. In my case, the change to my relationship status and stress from graduating college and dealing with finances could play a part in my extra pounds.

“In adolescence or when they go off to college is when most women start the Pill, and these are also times when young women tend to gain weight,” explains Dr. Ross. “I think it’s important to really look at what’s happening,” she says.

If weight gain bothers you, you have options

Hormonal birth control affects every woman differently, so if you’re taking one type and you think it’s messing with your weight (and no lifestyle factors come into play), switching to a similar type of contraception that has a different hormone combo can nix the weight gain. Dr. Ross recommends talking to your doctor about your medical and lifestyle history, so he or she can suggest a method or brand with the right levels of estrogen and progestin for you.

Just remember that it might take time to find the right type of hormonal birth control that keeps your weight steady. “Sometimes you have to change them two or three times to find the brand that works best for you, and what works best for you may not work best for your closest BFF,” Dr. Ross says.

How I’m handling my extra lbs

As for me, I’ve realized that my new relationship and stressful life as a postgraduate in debt most likely led to my appetite increase. But I’m not ruling out the estrogen level in my birth control pills either. That’s why I’m planning to take a break from them for a short period and then consult with my doctor to find a contraceptive method that might work with my body better.

I’m also making a commitment to control my portion sizes and stick to my workout regimen in hopes of fitting into my joggers again. And I’m seeking out a therapist to help me better handle life’s difficult transitions—instead of turning to sugar for comfort.

How to Lose the Weight I Gained on Birth Control

While weight gain is listed as one of the common side effects on most types of birth control, this may be misleading. Birth control itself doesn’t cause weight gain. It can, however, cause you to retain water, which can create the appearance of weight gain. The hormonal changes may also increase your appetite. If you eat extra calories that aren’t offset by exercise, you’ll gain weight. If you feel you’ve gained weight since starting birth control, take steps to get your former body back.

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Use your current method of birth control for three months — it may take your body this long to completely adjust to the medication, according to KidsHealth.org. After this three-month window, women often notice the side effects lessening or going away.

Start a food journal. Write down all your meals and snacks. Study your daily entries to ensure you’re not eating too many calories. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, recommends the American Heart Association.

Increase the amount of physical activity you do to offset any additional calories you’ve been eating and to help burn off excess body fat. Choose an activity you love and do it at least five days a week for at least 30 minutes a day, recommends the American College of Sports Medicine.

Increase your fluid intake. Adequate water consumption helps decrease water retention. Limit the amount of salt you eat to prevent your body from holding on to excess fluids.

Switch your birth control pills to a different formulation if you continue to have problems. Birth control pills that use a combination of estrogen and progesterone may cause water retention, which leads to weight gain-like symptoms.

Will Birth Control Pills Make Me Gain Weight?

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It’s rare, but some women do gain a little bit of weight when they start taking birth control pills. It’s often a temporary side effect that’s due to fluid retention, not extra fat.

A review of 44 studies showed no evidence that birth control pills caused weight gain in most women. And, as with other possible side effects of the pill, any weight gain is generally minimal and goes away within 2 to 3 months.

If you happen to be one of those few women who put on pounds, talk to your doctor. She may suggest a different type of birth control pill. Why? Because all pills are not the same.

There are two types:

  • Combination pills, which contain estrogen and progestin
  • Progestin-only pills.

Most birth control pills use the same type of estrogen in various doses, but each brand of pill may offer a slightly different type of the hormone progestin, at different doses. The result? Potentially different side effects.

Whichever one you try, give it at least 3 months for any side effects to pass.

Today’s Pills Are Different

When birth control pills were first sold in the early 1960s, they had very high levels of estrogen and progestin. Estrogen in high doses can cause weight gain due to increased appetite and fluid retention. So, 50 years ago they may indeed have caused weight gain in some women.

Current birth control pills have much lower amounts of hormones. So weight gain is not likely to be a problem.

Planned Parenthood: “History & Successes;” “Birth Control Q&A;” and “Birth Control Pill.”

4Parents.gov: “Birth Control Chart.”

MedicineNet: “Birth Control Myths” and “Oral Contraceptives, Birth Control Pills.”

University of Cincinnati: “UC HEALTH LINE: Oral Contraceptive Myths.”

Mayo Clinic: “Edema: Causes” and “Birth Control Pill FAQ: Benefits, Risks and Choices.”

The Relationship Between Birth Control and Weight Gain

The connection between oral contraceptives and weight gain has been the subject of many studies. One of the main conclusions of these studies is that birth control pills are able to cause weight gain in more than one way. Fortunately, there are ways of minimizing this side effect.

Comparison between the Effects of Various Contraceptives

According to several studies, both birth control pills and contraceptive shots, such as DeproProvera, can have weight gain as a side effect. The test involved teenagers who used these contraceptive measures for one year. After this period, the average weight gain of contraceptive shot users was of 6.6 pounds, while the teenagers that took birth control pills had an average weight gain of 5.3 pounds. In 7 percent of birth control pills users, the weight gain exceeded 10 percent. On the other hand, the weight gain exceeded 10 percent of the body weight in 25 percent of contraceptive shot users.

Oral Contraceptives and Water Retention

Birth control pills based on estrogen often lead to water retention. The amount of fluid that is retained is directly proportional with the quantity of estrogen found in the pill. The explanation is given by the fact that estrogen directly stimulates several compounds from the kidneys that lead to fluid retention. The compounds are known as renin-angiotensin. Oral contraceptives that contain around 20 mcg of estrogen are recommended for women who want to avoid fluid retention. Such a low concentration is known to be safe, according to several studies.

Birth Control Pills as Appetite Stimulants

The oral contraceptives that were developed in the past affected insulin resistance, and to some extent even the newer pills are able to elevate insulin levels. When these levels rise, the energy obtained from the ingested carbohydrates is distributed mainly to fat cells. As a consequence, weight loss is prevented, even when a diet is followed.

However, not all women who take birth control pills are predisposed to weight gain. This side effect of oral contraceptives is most frequently observed in women with an abnormal glucose metabolism. Insulin resistance should be analyzed if there are no other explanations for weight gain when taking birth control pills.

Measures to Minimize Weight Gain

As explained before, there is a tight connection between the estrogen concentration found in oral contraceptives and the number of extra pounds gained. Consequently, women are recommended to take birth control pills that contain as little estrogen as possible. At the moment, there are no contraceptives with less than 20 mcg of estrogen. You are highly recommended to talk to your health care provider if you gain weight while taking birth control pills with more estrogen. If the gained weight exceeds 5 percent of the body weight, this may indicate that you have either an abnormal glucose metabolism or insulin resistance. Besides changing the type of oral contraceptive that you take, you can also follow a diet that is low in carbohydrates, as these are the main cause of weight gain when you have an unusual glucose metabolism. By taking these measures, you may be able to avoid gaining extra pounds.

Is there a way to lose weight on birth control?

Some women may discontinue their birth control medications because of concerns about weight gain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

In this article, we evaluate the data that is available about birth control and weight gain, as well as provide tips for losing or preventing weight gain.

Do all birth control pills cause weight gain?

Scientific studies draw mixed conclusions in the debate over whether birth control pills, otherwise known as oral contraceptives, cause weight gain.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the potential ways that women could gain weight include:

  • fluid retention
  • muscle gain, as muscle weighs more than fat
  • increase in body fat

These, however, are theoretical scenarios when someone is using hormonal contraceptives for birth control, and they remain unproven.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, some women taking combined contraceptives believe that they increase their appetite and cause them to feel hungrier. Again, this is not easy to establish, as those who do not take contraceptive pills can gain weight as they age.

Why is it hard to prove birth control causes weight gain?

Scientists have difficulty creating large-scale studies to prove or disprove the theory that birth control pills cause weight gain.

To do this, researchers would have to take two groups of women and give some birth control pills with hormones, while giving placebos, or birth control pills without hormones, to others.

However, this would be difficult because people could not be sure they were in control of preventing pregnancies. Launching a very conclusive study is, therefore, difficult.

What do scientific reviews suggest?

The Cochrane Library, which conducts reviews of scientific research and evaluates available references, has published some information on birth control pills and weight gain.

The first systematic review evaluated the effects of progestin-only contraceptives on weight gain, concluding that the evidence of more than half the studies was “low-quality.”

In the studies, participants gained fewer than 4.4 pounds, on average, after 6 or 12 months of starting progestin-only birth control pills.

The second Cochrane Library review looked at the effects of combined hormone birth control pills on weight gain. These pills contain progestin and estrogen. The researchers found there was insufficient evidence to conclude that these birth control pills caused weight gain.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it is “unlikely” that birth control pills cause significant weight gain. The organization did, however, acknowledge that individual women might respond differently to medications taken.

Ways to prevent weight gain

Many of the methods of avoiding possible birth control-related weight gain are also those that prevent weight gain overall.

Examples of these methods include:

  • Exercise: This consists of a person doing 30 minutes of physical activity each day, such as walking, running, aerobics, swimming, dancing, or other activities.
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water each day helps to reduce bloating and thirst-related hunger. People may know if they are drinking enough water because they do not feel thirsty and their urine is light or pale yellow in appearance.
  • Calorie restriction: Reducing calorie intake by 500 calories per day and eating between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day for women, is one way to lose weight, according to the journal American Family Physician.
  • Nutrition: Eating a healthful diet of nutritionally rich foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, and fruit encourages good weight balance. This includes avoiding foods that are not nutritious, such as those with added sugars, salt, and saturated fats.

If a woman is concerned that her birth control pills are causing her to gain weight, she should talk to her doctor.

A doctor may recommend another contraceptive type or a lower hormone dose to see if this could help a person lose weight.

How to Lose Weight on the Pill

Weight gain is a common complaint among women taking oral contraceptives. According to The Mayo Clinic, birth control pills do not contribute to weight loss or weight gain, but they can have side effects that create the illusion of weight gain. Mitigating these side effects and following a food and exercise plan can not only help you avoid weight gain, but also contribute to weight loss while on the pill.

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Choose a birth control pill with the lowest amount of estrogen possible. Estrogen sometimes increases your fat cell’s size, making you feel as though you’ve gained weight, but it doesn’t actually add new fat cells to your body. Switching to pills with less estrogen, according to The Mayo Clinic, can help you avoid this effect. Your doctor will be able to recommend a pill with the appropriate level of estrogen based on your specific needs.

Dink plenty of fluids. Oral contraceptives can cause water retention and bloating in some women. This water retention may account for a small amount of weight gain, according to The Mayo Clinic. Increasing your fluids will help flush excess water from your system and prevent more water retention. Once you establish the right fluid balance and maintain it, you will lose your excess water weight.

Monitor your caloric intake. Birth control pills increase appetite in some women. You may be eating more calories than you take in without realizing it, due to this increased appetite. Use a program like LiveSTRONG’s Daily Plate to track the amount of calories you eat and compare it to the amount of calories you burn. Adjust your daily caloric intake or physical activity to strike the right balance for steady weight loss.

Take your pills at the same time each day for hormonal stability. As your hormones shift, your mood and sense of well-being shifts. This can cause fatigue and changes in appetite. It can also contribute to emotional eating or lack of energy to complete your exercise routine.

Exercise more. If your appetite increases while you take birth control pills, naturally the amount of food you will need to feel satisfied will also increase. In order to lose weight rather than gain, you’ll need to increase your physical activity. Even if you don’t experience increased appetite, adding regular exercise to your schedule, like a daily walk, will burn additional calories and support your weight loss efforts.

Lift weights to increase muscle mass. Muscle mass increases your metabolism and helps you naturally burn more calories through day-to-day activities. According to the Mayo Clinic, the pill has a testosterone-like effect on some women, enabling them to naturally or more easily gain muscle mass.

Birth Control Pills and Weight

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“>From the WebMD Archives

Q: Is it true you’re likely to gain weight after going on birth control pills?

A: Sorry, but if the numbers on the scale are higher than you’d like, you probably can’t blame that little blister pack.

“On average, for women on birth control pills, as many will lose weight as will gain weight,” says Vanessa Dalton, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Health System.

Although some women gain weight while on the pill, it’s hard to say whether the pill is actually the culprit. “Women do tend to gain weight over time, and they may be blaming the pill when it’s really not the reason,” says Dalton. “They may be exercising less, or they’ve changed their diet in some way. Even if the pill does cause a few individuals to gain weight, we’re talking about a pound or two, not 15 or 20.”

One exception is the birth control shot Depo-Provera. “Depo probably does cause people to gain a little weight. Exactly why is unclear,” Dalton says. The shot may increase fluid retention as well as appetite, she adds. So if you’re having weight issues, think about whether Depo should be your birth control of choice.

Birth Control Weight Gain: How To Lose It?

Birth control pills are consumed by more than a million women every single day. Birth control pills have their share of side effects and this however doesn’t stop women from popping in the pills.

One of the major side effects of the everyday pill is weight gain. According to experts, it is stated that birth control pills have properties that can increase your appetite and, at the same time, make your body more vulnerable to be inactive, which thereby is the main cause of weight gain.

If women control their appetite and eat healthy and are on a balanced diet, there will be no reason for you to gain weight when on a birth control pill.

So, today Bolsky suggests some of the best ways for you to lose and not gain weight when popping in those birth control pills.

On the other hand, going the distance and taking a brisk walk each morning will help you in reducing your weight otherwise as well.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a look at these positive ways in which you can lose weight and not gain by being on a birth control pill.

Watch What You Eat:

To lose weight, you first need to watch what you eat. By consuming the foods you love, you are only feeding your body with high calories and less of protein. Follow a balanced diet and watch what you eat right through the day.

Are You Drinking Enough Water?:

Water not only helps to keep the body active, it also improves on the metabolism as well as helps in flushing out toxins, thus reducing weight gain even though you are on a birth control pill.

How to lose birth control pill weight

Fall In Love With Lemon Juice:

Lemon juice is healthy and it should be added to your daily diet, especially in the summer. Lemon juice aids in cutting calories, and therefore leads to weight loss when you are on a birth control pill.

Curb That Appetite:

Curb your appetite with fibre. Eat foods that contain a rich source of fibre to help curb your cravings and the want for eating more.

Make A Lifestyle Change:

It is time you make a lifestyle change in order to lose weight when on a birth control pill. Go for brisk walks, have an early dinner and drink a lot of fluids to keep you active and fit.

Turn To Meditation:

Meditation helps in weight loss. It is said that to lose weight, it all depends on the mind. Therefore, for rapid weight loss, get your mind prepared with the help of meditation. This makes the process easier and leads to a healthier weight loss plan.

Opt For Other Birth Control Methods:

If you are putting on too much of weight with a birth control pill, it is best to ditch the pill and opt for other ways to avoid pregnancy. Here are some tricky tips to prevent pregnancy.

What do I need to know about birth control?

If you have vaginal sex and you don’t want to get pregnant, use birth control. Birth control can have other benefits, too (like helping with PMS and acne).

Should I get on birth control?

You can get pregnant anytime you have penis-in-vagina (AKA vaginal) sex, including the very first time you have sex. So if you have vaginal sex — or think you might sometime soon — and you don’t want to get pregnant, use birth control.

There are lots of different kinds of birth control. Some work better than others. But using any type of birth control is better than using nothing at all. People who have vaginal sex without birth control have an 85% chance of getting pregnant within a year.

Preventing pregnancy isn’t the only reason people use birth control — it can have lots of other benefits, too. Some kinds of hormonal birth control (like the pill, patch, ring, shot, implant, and the hormonal IUD) can do things like ease cramps and PMS, and make your periods lighter. The pill, patch, and ring can also help with acne and make your periods more regular. Almost everybody uses birth control at some point.

Bottom line: if there’s a chance you’ll be doing any sexy stuff that can lead to pregnancy, birth control is your friend. You can ask your doctor or local Planned Parenthood health center about getting on birth control, whatever your reason.

How do I get birth control?

You can get some types of birth control, like condoms, at drugstores or convenience stores. Anybody can buy condoms, and you don’t need to show your ID. Sometimes you can get free condoms from community clinics, your school nurse, or Planned Parenthood health centers. Condoms help protect you from STDs, too! So it’s good to use condoms even if you’re on another method of birth control.

Some types of birth control work better than others. You need to see a doctor or nurse to get the types of birth control that work best to prevent pregnancy — like the IUD, implant, shot, pill, patch, or ring. You can get these kinds of birth control from your regular doctor or gynecologist, or at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center.

Usually you don’t need a full exam to get birth control. But what happens at your appointment depends on your personal health, the doctor’s policies, and the kind of birth control you want. Here’s some stuff you can expect:

Your nurse or doctor will talk with you about your medical history (ask you questions about your health in the past) and check your blood pressure. Sometimes they do a pelvic exam, but they usually don’t need to.

The nurse or doctor may ask about your sex life: whether you’ve ever had sex, what kinds of sex, how many people you’ve had sex with, if you’ve used birth control before, etc. It’s super important to be honest so they can give you the best possible care. Doctors aren’t there to judge and they’ve heard it all before — they just want to help you stay healthy.

You can also ask any questions you have about birth control. You might want to talk with your doctor about the IUD or implant — these types of birth control are the easiest to use and work the best.

If you get the IUD, implant, or shot, your doctor will give it to you in the health center. If you choose the pill, patch, or ring, you’ll probably get a prescription. You can use the prescription to pick up your birth control at a drugstore or pharmacy. Some doctors might even have pills, patches, or rings in the health center to give to you at your appointment.

If you have health insurance, you probably won’t have to pay anything for your birth control. If you don’t have health insurance, ask your local Planned Parenthood health center about how to get free or low-cost birth control.

Will your parents find out if you birth control from your doctor? It depends on the laws where you live and/or your doctor’s policies. But many places have special laws that let teens get birth control privately. Either way, talking to your parents about birth control can be really helpful. Read more about birth control, your parents, and privacy.

What if I mess up or don’t use birth control?

If you make a birth control mistake or have sex without using birth control at all, don’t freak out — you still have a few days to try to prevent pregnancy.

Emergency contraception is a kind of birth control that can help prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex. Emergency contraception means taking a “morning-after pill” or getting a copper IUD.

You can get some kinds of morning-after pills (like Plan B) at the drugstore or at your local Planned Parenthood health center without a prescription. But it’s important to take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex, or it won’t work as well. Another kind of morning-after pill, called ella, is more effective than morning-after pills like Plan B — but you need a prescription from a nurse or doctor to get it.

Getting a copper IUD within 5 days after unprotected sex is the most effective kind of emergency contraception. But a doctor needs to put the IUD in, and sometimes it can be hard to get an appointment on short notice.

Call your doctor or your local Planned Parenthood health center as soon as possible after unprotected sex for help figuring out the best type of emergency contraception for you. Learn more about emergency contraception.

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What do I need to know about birth control?

If you have vaginal sex and you don’t want to get pregnant, use birth control. Birth control can have other benefits, too (like helping with PMS and acne).

Should I get on birth control?

You can get pregnant anytime you have penis-in-vagina (AKA vaginal) sex, including the very first time you have sex. So if you have vaginal sex — or think you might sometime soon — and you don’t want to get pregnant, use birth control.

There are lots of different kinds of birth control. Some work better than others. But using any type of birth control is better than using nothing at all. People who have vaginal sex without birth control have an 85% chance of getting pregnant within a year.

Preventing pregnancy isn’t the only reason people use birth control — it can have lots of other benefits, too. Some kinds of hormonal birth control (like the pill, patch, ring, shot, implant, and the hormonal IUD) can do things like ease cramps and PMS, and make your periods lighter. The pill, patch, and ring can also help with acne and make your periods more regular. Almost everybody uses birth control at some point.

Bottom line: if there’s a chance you’ll be doing any sexy stuff that can lead to pregnancy, birth control is your friend. You can ask your doctor or local Planned Parenthood health center about getting on birth control, whatever your reason.

How do I get birth control?

You can get some types of birth control, like condoms, at drugstores or convenience stores. Anybody can buy condoms, and you don’t need to show your ID. Sometimes you can get free condoms from community clinics, your school nurse, or Planned Parenthood health centers. Condoms help protect you from STDs, too! So it’s good to use condoms even if you’re on another method of birth control.

Some types of birth control work better than others. You need to see a doctor or nurse to get the types of birth control that work best to prevent pregnancy — like the IUD, implant, shot, pill, patch, or ring. You can get these kinds of birth control from your regular doctor or gynecologist, or at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center.

Usually you don’t need a full exam to get birth control. But what happens at your appointment depends on your personal health, the doctor’s policies, and the kind of birth control you want. Here’s some stuff you can expect:

Your nurse or doctor will talk with you about your medical history (ask you questions about your health in the past) and check your blood pressure. Sometimes they do a pelvic exam, but they usually don’t need to.

The nurse or doctor may ask about your sex life: whether you’ve ever had sex, what kinds of sex, how many people you’ve had sex with, if you’ve used birth control before, etc. It’s super important to be honest so they can give you the best possible care. Doctors aren’t there to judge and they’ve heard it all before — they just want to help you stay healthy.

You can also ask any questions you have about birth control. You might want to talk with your doctor about the IUD or implant — these types of birth control are the easiest to use and work the best.

If you get the IUD, implant, or shot, your doctor will give it to you in the health center. If you choose the pill, patch, or ring, you’ll probably get a prescription. You can use the prescription to pick up your birth control at a drugstore or pharmacy. Some doctors might even have pills, patches, or rings in the health center to give to you at your appointment.

If you have health insurance, you probably won’t have to pay anything for your birth control. If you don’t have health insurance, ask your local Planned Parenthood health center about how to get free or low-cost birth control.

Will your parents find out if you birth control from your doctor? It depends on the laws where you live and/or your doctor’s policies. But many places have special laws that let teens get birth control privately. Either way, talking to your parents about birth control can be really helpful. Read more about birth control, your parents, and privacy.

What if I mess up or don’t use birth control?

If you make a birth control mistake or have sex without using birth control at all, don’t freak out — you still have a few days to try to prevent pregnancy.

Emergency contraception is a kind of birth control that can help prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex. Emergency contraception means taking a “morning-after pill” or getting a copper IUD.

You can get some kinds of morning-after pills (like Plan B) at the drugstore or at your local Planned Parenthood health center without a prescription. But it’s important to take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex, or it won’t work as well. Another kind of morning-after pill, called ella, is more effective than morning-after pills like Plan B — but you need a prescription from a nurse or doctor to get it.

Getting a copper IUD within 5 days after unprotected sex is the most effective kind of emergency contraception. But a doctor needs to put the IUD in, and sometimes it can be hard to get an appointment on short notice.

Call your doctor or your local Planned Parenthood health center as soon as possible after unprotected sex for help figuring out the best type of emergency contraception for you. Learn more about emergency contraception.

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How to lose weight gained from birth control pills
Weight gain from birth control how to lose

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