The Pill(s)

You guessed it, the pill is exactly what it sounds like – a daily pill taken at the same time each day to prevent pregnancy.

The pill is a well known hormonal birth control method that has been around for decades..It requires a good memory (or the help of an app or calendar reminder) and come in small packets that are pretty discrete- can be stored easily in a drawer or purse.The pill comes as either a combination pill containing both estrogen and progestin OR as a progestin only pill.

Combined Hormonal Contraceptives (CHCs) Progestin Only Pills (POPs)
Brands names from Alesse to Yaz and many in between…  CHCs come in many formulations containing both estrogen and progestin. The original POP and known as the “mini pill.” Each tablet consists of 0.35 mg of the progestin norethindrone.  Offered under various brand names like Errin, Heather, Ortho Micronor, and more. Slynd is the new POP available. Each tablet consists of 4 mg of the progestin drospirenone, which is commonly used in CHC pills like Yaz or Yasmin (but without the estrogen).
Pill packs usually contain 3 weeks of active pills and 1 week of inactive pills; the last week of inactive pills is when you usually get your period. Some pill types have more active pills and less inactive pills (24 active pills/4 inactive pills, for example), which shortens your menstrual cycle. Each pill pack has 28 days of active pills. There are no inactive pills. Each pill pack has 24 days of active pills and 4 days of inactive pills.
Options for both monophasic pills (have the same amount of hormone each day) and bi- or triphasic pills (hormones vary with each week in the cycle). The dose of the pill is the same throughout your cycle. The dose of the pill is the same throughout your cycle.
Taken roughly at the same time each day, but it’s okay if you don’t take it at the exact same time (though we recommend it). Must be taken at the same exact time each day, otherwise there is higher risk for pregnancy. Taken roughly at the same time each day, but it’s okay if you don’t take it at the exact same time (though we recommend it).
Cannot be used in women with certain medical conditions (for example: migraines with aura or high blood pressure) or right after having a baby due to the increased risk of blood clots.
Can be used in mothers who are breastfeeding (must wait 6 weeks after giving birth). However, CHC use has been linked to decreased milk supply in some women so it is not the preferred method for breastfeeding mothers.
There are no reports of negative effects on breastfeeding infants with CHC use, but there is a lack of good research in this field on the possible long term effects.
Can be taken by most patients who have health conditions that make it unsafe to take estrogen. Can be safely used in mothers who recently gave birth or are breastfeeding. Can be taken by most patients who have health conditions that make it unsafe to take estrogen. Can be safely used in breastfeeding mothers (must wait 6 weeks after giving birth to start Slynd).
Can help decrease bleeding and cramping. You can have a regular period on the pill or get a prescription to skip your periods. Often cause lighter/shorter periods, or you may not have any period at all. Often cause lighter/shorter periods, or you may not have any period at all.
Some CHCs are FDA approved for the treatment of acne. Great for patients who cannot take estrogen and who want a pill with less “androgenic” effects (such as acne, bloating, changes in sex drive, etc.) and for women with a high body mass index (BMI).
Carry a small, but possible, risk of blood clots due to the use of estrogen in the pill. Safe for most women who cannot use methods with estrogen and does not carry an increased risk for blood clots. Safe for most women who cannot use methods with estrogen and does not carry an increased risk for blood clots.

Please note that NO brand has been shown to be “better” than other brands or to be more effective. Some patients swear by brands that other patients really dislike – it is all about finding the best fit for YOU.

We recommend picking a brand that is the safest option based on your medical history. After that, it’s important to consider your preferences based on the possible side effects/benefits, and cost. At Choix, our medical providers will review your medical, menstrual, and birth control side effect history to help select a brand we think could be a good fit for you. We will also work with you and our partner pharmacy to find brands that work well for you at a low cost.

Click here to review more information on the possible side effects, benefits, and risks of the pill.