6 crucial birth control questions you must ask your doctor without feeling shy

Contraception is your best bet to prevent pregnancy! Here are some birth control-related questions you must ask your doctor for safety.
Birth control FAQs
Ask birth control questions freely. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Swetha M.P Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 12:04 pm IST
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There are various birth control methods available on the block in today’s time. These are being increasingly used by women all across the globe. Contrary to popular belief, contraceptive methods are not just used to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, but it is also used by women who suffer from conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) to manage symptoms and regulate their menstrual cycles. Moreover, some contraceptive methods are also used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases to a certain extent. If you’re confused about the birth control method you should use or why one is better than another, head to a doctor!

There are some common set of FAQs that experts receive around how to prevent pregnancy.

6 questions to ask your doctor before choosing a birth control method!

1. Which birth control method is best suited for you?

With medical science having progressed tremendously over the last few decades, there are many options with regards to contraception available in the market. Your doctor will be able to choose the best possible method for you after factoring in your age, lifestyle, health, family history etc. for you to make an informed decision that is best suited to your body type.

birth control methods
Birth control methods are not a one-size-fits-all. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Should you go for a hormonal or a non-hormonal contraception?

Non-hormonal birth control methods do not impact your hormones in any way. This method usually includes various contraceptive methods such as usage of condoms, copper IUDs, spermicides or gels. Hormonal methods usually consist of injections, pills, vaginal rings or skin patches.

Both hormonal and non-hormonal contraception have their pros and cons which need to be discussed carefully with your doctor. Hormonal methods usually restrict the ovaries to release eggs to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

Also read: Here’s how different contraception methods can affect your periods

3. Will an existing medication impact contraception?

You need to discuss in detail about any medicine that you have been taking regularly or otherwise with your doctor. This is so that it does not interfere with your contraception, either to make the latter less effective or produce any unwarranted side effects.

4. How soon can you see the effects after starting contraception?

Based on the contraception method that you choose, your doctor will be able to properly advise you upon the time it take for the results to show. For instance, in case of pills or injections, the effects will depend on the exact time during your cycle you started taking them. Even a Hormonal IUD is effective for seven days post insertion and not beyond that. You should also know about side effects of IUD for contraception.

Plan your pregnancy well
Plan your pregnancy and stop your pills accordingly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. When should you stop taking birth control pills when planning pregnancy?

In case you have been taking birth control pills for some time and you now want to stop taking them because you are planning to start a family, it is advisable to consult your doctor regarding the same. This is because, it could be possible that you might be taking birth control pills because your cycles were irregular in the first place. In such a case, the problem might return once you stop taking contraceptives. Only a doctor will be able to properly based on your situation.

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6. Will a contraceptive safeguard you against Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

A gynecologist will be able to clearly state the safety precautions associated with your health when it comes to contraception. Usually, hormonal methods cannot combat any sexually transmitted diseases because it obviously does not act as a barrier to any infection or virus that enters your body. Condoms and UIDs can still help you prevent STI/STDs as they physically prevent any foreign substances to enter your vagina.

The last word

It is best to carefully study the pros and cons associated with each birth control method so that implementing one does not show adversely impact your body. Hence, before starting one, it is advised to properly consult your doctor based on your reasoning to start using one. Feel free to bombard your doctor with any questions that you have regarding the same, and remember that no question that you ask a doctor is a dumb one.

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About the Author

Dr Swetha MP is a gynaecologist who completed her MBBS from MS Ramaiah Medical College (2008) and DGO from M S Ramaiah Medical College (2012). With her experience of over a decade, she is well-versed in simple and complex gynaecological and obstetric surgeries. Her legacy in handling several complicated cases independently make her among the best gynaecologists and IVF doctors in Bangalore. She has a special interest in High-Risk Pregnancy Care, Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD), Menopause, Infertility Evaluation, Laparoscopy, Hysterectomy, Ovarian surgery, Vaginal Surgery, PCOD screening, and Adolescent counselling. She is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals.

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