Five signs it's time to change your birth control

December 07, 2017 Alexandra Rank

Not feeling like yourself

Not feeling yourself? It might be time to change your birth control.  

Finding the right kind of birth control can be hard. It's an extremely personal choice, and there are so many contributing factors. Plus, it seems like there are new types of birth controls available all the time.

Some forms of birth control, like the pill, require a lot more maintenance than others. Many people don’t mind the responsibility of remembering to take a pill every day at a set time, but for others, it's a deal breaker. Alternatively, a lot of birth control options market convenience as their main appeal. After you get the implant, for instance, your work is essentially done. There’s no maintenance to make sure that the birth control is working, you simply must make sure to replace the implant after the allotted period of time as instructed by a physician (usually between three and five years).

Different types of birth control affect people differently. While your friend might rave about how consistent her period is and how her mood swings have completely gone away after getting the Nuva Ring, that may not be the case for you. Finding what birth control best suits your body may take a few tries, and it can be hard not to get discouraged. Sometimes it can feel like a process of elimination. Ultimately, if you're experiencing any of these side effects, you're probably on the wrong birth control.

These five signs are all indicators that you may want to switch to a new form of birth control:

Spotting. A little bit of spotting isn’t anything to be concerned about, but if you’re consistently bleeding intermittently between cycles then that may be a sign that something isn’t quite right.

Mood swings. If everyone around you knows when it’s “that time of the month” then you may want to explore birth controls with different hormone levels. Although slight adjustments in mood are expected, if your period is affecting your interactions with others negatively and causing you to feel upset for long durations of time, it may be an issue of hormonal imbalance.

Headaches. Tweaking your body’s estrogen levels can result in intense, regular headaches, sometimes even followed by changes in vision. As with most of the symptoms of birth control, frequent headaches during the first week of starting a new birth control isn’t anything to worry about. But if the frequency and magnitude of the headaches do not decrease after your first cycle, consider changing birth control methods.

Bloating. Bloating is directly correlated to high estrogen levels, which cause the body to retain more water. If you feel bloated or are tortured by uncomfortable gas and cramps during your period, it is likely a result of too much estrogen, and switching to a birth control without hormones may help.

Acne. Altering your body’s hormones can either hurt or help your skin. If you experience abnormal skin irritation or blemishes after starting a new birth control, you may want to explore different options that better fit your needs.

Birth control should make your life easier, not harder. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for an extended period of time, it could be beneficial to talk to a doctor about trying a new form of birth control that is better suited to you. It can be daunting, but the upside is huge.

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