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Switching Birth Control

Switching From an Intrauterine Device (IUD)
You will need to make an appointment with your healthcare provider to have the IUD removed. Once your IUD is removed, you can begin your new birth control pills in one of the following ways:
  • Take the first pill on the first day of your period. If you choose this option, you will not need to use a backup method of birth control.
  • Take the first pill on the first Sunday after the start of your period (even if you are still bleeding). If you choose this option, you will need to use a backup method of birth control for the first seven days of your first birth control pill pack.
  • Begin taking your birth control pills any time after your IUD is removed, as early as the day it is removed. If you choose this option, it is best to use a backup method of birth control for the first seven days.
Switching From a Non-Hormonal Birth Control Method
Examples of non-hormonal birth control methods include condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and abstinence. If you are currently using a non-hormonal option for birth control, you can switch to birth control pills the same way you would start birth control pills (see Starting Birth Control for more detailed instructions).

Final Thoughts

It is important that you feel comfortable with the instructions for switching birth control methods. If done correctly, you can remain protected from pregnancy even while switching methods. If done incorrectly, however, you may increase your risk for birth control failure.
It is important to keep in mind that everyone's situation is a little different. Therefore, if you have any questions, or just feel a little unsure, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she knows your situation, and can help you in the process.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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