Signs Your Current Birth Control Is Not Working

Women around the world use various types of birth control methods ranging from birth control pills, condoms, and intrauterine contraceptive device (IUDs) which is a type of long-active reversible birth control (LARC). In the United States alone, 12.6% women use birth control pills and 10.3% use IUDs.

When it comes to selecting a birth control method, different methods suit different women. The contraception method your friend is using may not be right for you and vice versa. This means figuring out if the contraception method you are using is working for you or not.

There are a few signs to look for to determine if your current birth control method is working or you need to switch to another.

Your Birth Control Method is Making You Sick

One of the most common side effects of taking birth control is nausea. Identify the difference between temporary episodes of nausea and intense episodes of nausea. If you throw up or feel extremely sick, visit a doctor.

It is not unusual to feel nauseous while starting a birth control method, as it brings on hormonal changes within your body, but anything long-term — more than three months — is a sign you need to switch to another birth control method.

If you feel nauseous, do not take a birth control pill on an empty stomach. If you do not want to wait till three months for the symptoms to subside, you can always discuss using other types of birth control methods with your doctor.

Your Birth Control Method is Causing You Pain

Most birth control methods come with side effects, but pain is not one of them. For birth control methods IUD, vaginal ring, and hormonal implant, pain and discomfort are felt when these are not properly implanted or placed in the body.

If you have an IUD and you feel pain, ensure the strings are even and not out of place. If the strings are not even and your IUD is not in the right place, visit your doctor because it can cause serious medical complications in the future.

If your vaginal ring is the cause of your pain, take it out immediately and read the instructions for proper insertion. The vaginal ring should fold and sit comfortably in place in your vagina. If you experience pain each time you try to insert the vaginal ring, contact your doctor and switch to another birth control method. In short, any birth control method that causes pain is a sign that you need to switch to a different one.

You Cannot Use Your Birth Control Method Effectively 

When used correctly, most birth control methods are very effective in avoiding unwanted pregnancies. However, you may find it hard to use your birth control method perfectly due to various factors such as a change in schedule.

Schedule changes may make it hard for you to remember to take your birth control pill, administer your shot, or change your birth control patch. Your current birth control method may cause chronic diarrhea or vomiting as well due to your body unable to absorb it properly. You need to change your birth control method if you constantly forget to use it or you stress about using it properly.

Your Birth Control Method Makes You Feel Different 

If you feel different when on your current birth control, such as experiencing unpleasant side effects, switch to another one. With a large variety of birth control methods available, you don’t have to rely on just one to avoid pregnancy.

You can try different ones until you find the one that suits you. There is no reason for you to compromise on your physical and emotional health by using a birth control method that you do not like.

Your Birth Control Method is Not Meeting Your Needs

Women use birth control for several reasons besides protecting themselves from pregnancy. If your birth control is not meeting your needs, time to switch. For instance, you may use birth control to reduce your acne and may want to change your birth control method due to your current not working for the purpose you are taking it for.

With so many birth control methods available through your doctor or gynecologist, you have the option to try various ones before you settle on using one. For this reason, when you are on birth control, stay vigilant to the various symptoms and signs so you know when it is time to switch to another one.

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Written by Emily Scott

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