So the old classic form of birth control “The Pill. Been around for ages, but has gone through several changes to make it safer for women.

Is there just one pill, or are there different types? Are there any side effects? Did you know that the pill can do more than just prevent pregnancy?

 The Pill is a medication to prevent pregnancy. The Pill contain hormones – either estrogen and progestin (combination) or just progestin – that you can take either every day for a 21 day period, with one week off (to have your period).

Depending on the type of pill, you should take the pill daily, at the same time each day, to ensure maximum protection.

With Progestin only pills, you may only get your period on the fourth week, stop getting your period, or have spot bleeding throughout the month.

How to Use

After just starting either the combination pill or the progestin only pill, you should use other birth control for the first week.

You can start either type of pill at anytime (except during pregnancy).

Side Effects

The pills do not protect against STI’s or HIV infection.

Common side effects: bleeding between periods (mostly progestin-only), tenderness in the breasts, nausea and vomiting, hormones may change a woman’s sex drive (libido). For some  women, the hormones in pills can throw off your mood…if you’re noticing that you are not feeling yourself… think about talking to your provider about changing the hormonal amount or switching to another form of birth control.

Serious but less likely side effects: clotting, strokes, heart attacks, developing high blood pressure, liver tumors, gallstones, jaundice. Check with your physician about any health concerns.

The pill may not be as effective for women who have extra curves to love.

Note to Self

It’s important to use birth control consistently- everyday and at the same time. If you are using the pill, leave in a place you see everyday about the same time to make sure you take it on time. For example put it in the cabinet with your toothbrush or by your alarm clock/cell phone charger.

Cost about $15–$50 each month

There is little link between the pill and breast cancer, DON’T believe the rumors.

The Pill can be a private form of birth control.