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How to Start Birth Control Like a Boss


Are you thinking about going on birth control? Millions and millions of women around the globe use birth control to regulate their bodies and control their destinies.  While there are hundreds (yes hundreds!) of different pills to choose from, and all work in the same basic way, they can have very different uses and side effects for different women. 

You should always start with being fully honest with yourself about what you need and what you want from your pill.  It’s your body and your life! Your pill should conform to your lifestyle, you shouldn’t have to conform your lifestyle to the wrong pill.

Now that you know you are in the driver’s seat, here is what you need to know as you make your decision.

You Need a Doctor

In the United States, Canada, and most countries with developed health care systems, birth control pills require a prescription.  That means seeing a doctor.  Yes, going to the gynecologist is kind of like going to the dentist.  It might not be the most exciting event in your calendar, but you’ll be so glad you went when it’s done. When it comes to getting on the right birth control, your gynecologist is your new best friend.

Your Biggest Goals Are Most Important

There are a variety of reasons women use birth control pills, ranging from contraception to regulating periods, to controlling migraines.  Be candid with yourself and your doctor about the most serious reasons you believe the birth control pill is something you need. 

You might be tempted to give in to the awkwardness of discussing the details of your menstrual periods or sexual activity.  Don’t.  Your doctor has already heard it all and is already on your side. For example, if the truth is that you have no intention of giving up condoms as your method of contraception, you just want to have more regular, predictable periods, you just need to say so.  The more open you can be about what’s going on with your body and life, the better your doctor will be able to help you.

Don’t Be Shy About Shopping for Perks

Birth control pills can have some pretty fabulous side effects, like giving you clearer skin, milder PMS, or lighter periods.  Feel free to ask your doctor if the pill being suggested offers the benefits you’d prefer.  If it doesn’t, the two of you can discuss whether there are other options that would work and give you those pleasant extras.  Do your own research too.  With so many varieties of pills on the market, you’re sure to find the best birth control pill that works for you and your lifestyle. 

Your Lifestyle Matters

If you have an erratic schedule, or a super tight budget, let your doctor know.  Some pills are much more sensitive and must be taken at precisely the same time every day.  Some pills cost more than others.  Let your doctor know about any risk factors you might have, also, such as if you smoke, are breastfeeding, or have a condition in which adding estrogen to your system is risky. 

Ask About Side Effects

Fortunately, birth control pills are a very safe medication.  Unfortunately, no medicine is 100% without risks.  The upside to meeting with your doctor for a prescription is that you have the opportunity to ask your doctor all about the potential side effects that might come with your new pills.

Expect Some Trial and Error

You are unique!  Any medication you take, including the pill, may react differently for you that it does for others.  There’s a reason they made so many varieties of the pill, right?  It’s perfectly normal and expected that you might try one type of pill, not love it, and then try something else.  Although your doctor will always start you on what seems to be the best fit, there is very likely going to be some trial and error before you find the one that suits you best. 

You’ve Got This

You have already taken the most important step, which is thinking about taking control of your own health.  Keep doing your research.  Keep talking to your doctor. Trust yourself.  You’ve got this. 

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