Birth control can be very helpful for women who are sexually active and who do not want to become pregnant. However, certain forms of birth control (specifically hormone-based birth control) can affect a woman’s body in different ways. This includes potential effects to the menstrual cycle. Since some of these effects can be positive in nature, certain forms of birth control may be prescribed to women experiencing issues with their period. Still, many women select their preferred method of birth control without even considering the impact it can have on their periods. That’s why our board-certified gynecologists have provided some details on how the most common types of hormonal birth control can affect a woman’s menstruation.
Birth Control Pills
The most common form of birth control, birth control pills are made up of the hormones progestin and estrogen. Although taking “The Pill” can have different effects depending on each person taking it, it is somewhat common for women on birth control pills to experience shorter or lighter periods. This can mean a cycle that normally lasts 5 – 7 days being cut down to 3 – 4 days. Birth control pills can also be used to help women who experience irregular bleeding, endometriosis pain, and more.
IUDs (Intrauterine Devices)
An IUD is a highly effective, long-term birth control method that is inserted into the women uterus to prevent the eggs from being fertilized during sex. IUDs have come a long way over the years. Women with hormonal (progestin-based) IUDs may experience a significant decrease in their monthly menstrual bleeding. However, some women with IUDs do not experience any changes to their menstruation.
Birth Control Implant
Nexplanon® birth control implants (available at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett) work by releasing hormones through a device that is inserted just under the skin. The implants may have a similar effect on your period as a hormonal IUD, meaning potentially much lighter periods. While birth control implants can last up to 3 years, some women have them removed sooner due to issues with spotting.
Depo-Provera shots are a form of birth control in which a woman is injected with progesterone to provide 12 – 14 weeks of contraceptive protection. Some women experience irregular bleeding for a few months after receiving their shot, but this is temporary and will stop over time.
NuvaRing® uses a small, flexible contraceptive ring to release a steady, low dose of hormones directly to the vagina. Similar to birth control pills, NuvaRing® can help minimize menstrual bleeding and help women better regulate their periods.
If you’re still unsure of which birth control is the best fit for your personal needs, our gynecological healthcare providers can help. We invite you to request an appointment where we will walk you through all of your available options at-length to help determine the most helpful birth control method for you. For more information or to request an appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.