Switching Birth Control

If you are thinking about changing your birth control method, it's important to know how to make the switch without increasing your risk of pregnancy. When switching to an oral contraceptive, for example, a backup birth control method may be necessary when first starting the pills. Several birth control methods are available; you may need to try a few before deciding what's best for you.

An Introduction to Switching Birth Control

If you are unhappy with your current birth control method, you might be considering other options. Although switching birth control methods may feel a little overwhelming at first, it is a worthwhile process to find a method that works for you. In fact, many people may need to try a few different types of birth control before finding the right one for them.

Initial Considerations When Making a Switch

First, you need to decide which birth control method you want to try. Choosing a birth control method is a very personal decision. There are many different methods of birth control, and one method does not work for everyone.
It may help to think about the reasons you no longer want to use your current birth control method. You might also think about the pros and cons of other methods as you choose a new one (see Choosing a Birth Control Method for more information). Finally, you may find it helpful to talk to your partner and your healthcare provider.
It is important to keep in mind that different oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may have different side effects. Therefore, if you are currently taking a birth control pill and do not like the way it affects you, you do not necessarily have to completely give up on oral contraceptives. You may find another birth control pill that is more tolerable.

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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