The best thing about birth control is that it, well, controls you from having birth. You don’t want a baby, but you want to practice making a baby so, alas, you pop some pills or you get some shots or whatever it is to keep you from growing an infant every time you get some. The worst thing about birth control (besides some of the horrible side effects) is when it goes wrong. Maybe it broke. Maybe you forgot to take it. Maybe it just feels *weird.* Whatever it is, here’s how to deal with those need-to-know BC questions for when you don’t know what to do.
1. I Missed A Pill, Now What?
Most of the time, when you miss a pill, it’s not thaaaaat big of a deal. They say if it’s within 24 hours of when you were supposed to take it, then just toss it back and go on with your life. If you remember the day you’re supposed to take it, just have it as soon as you remember. If you remember the next day, just take the one you missed and the one for the day at the same time. Some brands suggest using a backup method of BC for a week (remember condoms?) but others say you don’t need to do that. Check the instructions in the pack or just Google your brand to be sure.
tl;dr: Take is as soon as you remember. Use condoms for a week just in case.
2. I Missed 2 Pills, Now What?
So not only did you forget to take one pill, but you forgot to take your second pill. Yikes. But for most birth controls, they advise taking TWO the day you remember, and then TWO the next day so you’re back on track. Easy peasy. Buuuuut you might not be 100 percent protected against babies. Again, it depends on what kind of pill you’re taking, how your body works, so on. Read the instructions or even call your doctor. You might need to use a condom for the rest of the week OR the rest of the pack. And maybe consider switching to a different type of birth control, just sayin’.
tl;dr: Take two the day you remember and two the next day. Use a condom. Stop being dumb.
3. I Got My Period Even Though I’m Not On The Brown Pills.
This could mean a few things. Maybe you missed a pill and your body is a little out of whack. Maybe you were late one day. Maybe you started a new brand and your body is still adjusting, or maybe for whatever reason, your body said “fuck it” and decided to ruin your perfectly set period schedule. What it means is that for some reason your hormone level dropped slightly. You might want to use condoms until the end of the pill pack just to be extra safe, but that’s your call. If it keeps happening contact your doc — it might mean that these pills aren’t right for you, or something else is going on down below.
tl;dr:You’re probably fine. If it keeps happening see your doctor.
4. I Didn’t Get My Period Even Though I’m On The Brown Pills
It happens. The point of the pill is to *stop* you from ovulating, and it decreases the lining it your uterus because hello? You’ve told your body that you don’t want no babies. That being said, that pill isn’t 100 percent effective. If you’re nervous and think that you miiiiight have messed up, you can consider taking a pregnancy test or just wait it out. If your stomach starts getting huge and kicking, you’re probs pregnant. Just fyi.
tl;dr:Unless you think you’re pregnant, it’s fine. Take a test anyway because I’m sure you’re freaking out.
5. Can I Skip My Placebo Pills So I Can Skip My Period?
I know a lot of girls who do this. They don’t want their period to fall on a specific event so they start a new pack instead of taking the brown pills. This is okay sometimes for SOME types of pills. It doesn’t work for all of them, and can result in your pills being ineffective. Shitty, right? Ask your doctor before doing this or risk having an offspring.
tl;dr:Sometimes. Maybe. It depends. Ask your doctor because it doesn’t work with some pills.
6. The Condom Broke.
You have three options. Figure out when you’re ovulating (but unless you’ve been keeping track, this might be hard to tell). Ovulation usually happens about two weeks before your next expected period. But if you’re not sure, it’s not so helpful. You can hightail it to the store and get Plan B (the best choice). Or you can pray to any and all deities that you won’t make a baby and move on with your life. Fun choices, right?
tl;drPlan B, baby.
7. Okay, Fine. We Didn’t Use A Condom. Now What?
First, is this someone you’re monogamous with or just a random? If it’s a random (come ON, don’t have condomless sex with randoms), grab Plan B on your way to getting an STD test. Like now. Right now. If it’s your boyfriend and you’re on birth control, then whatever. You’re fine. That’s why you’re taking birth control. If you’re not on BC, then make your way to the drug store and get some emergency contraceptive and make an appointment with your gyno to get on something more effective. You’re smarter than this.
tl;dr:Plan B. An STD test. And a stern talking to from your best friend.
8. I’m On Antibiotics. Will My Pill Be Ineffective?
This is really iffy. A good rule of thumb is that yes, it will be ineffective. That being said, some antibiotics don’t fuck with the pill. Confusing, right? When you pick up your prescription ask them. Otherwise use this as an excuse to not have sex when you really want to catch up on Netflix. Your call.
tl;dr:Most of the time, yes.
9. Is Pulling Out *Actually* An Effective Form Of Birth Control?
So this topic gets a lot of heat. According to some studies yes. Pulling out is just as effective as condoms. But that’s only if you do it right, which most people don’t. That means you’re tracking your ovulation and don’t get any of his swimmers near your lady parts — which means you have to have amazing timing. Plus, it doesn’t protect against STDs, and it’s really hard to perfect. Save yourself the headache and use something that you can count on, even when you’re drunk.
tl;dr:For the most organized person in the world, yes sort of. But don’t risk it.
10. I Got The IUD, But It Hurts.
From what I’ve heard (I’m still too much of a little bitch to get it) this is common. Most women feel pain upon insertion and up to eight days after. This includes cramping, some bleeding, and aching. If you’re still in pain long after insertion, make an appointment with your gyno. The point of the IUD is to be pain, and baby, free.
tl;dr: If you just got it, it’s normal. If it’s been awhile, see a doctor.
11. What Other Type Of Birth Controls Are There And Which One Is The Best?
Tons. There are literally tons of different types of birth controls. From male condoms to female condoms, sponges and diaphragms, shots and pills and patches and things inserted into your body — there are so many to choose from. Some people like the simplicity of the pill, others like the effectiveness of the IUD (it’s more effective than getting your tubes tied!). It just depends on you, your body, and what you’re looking for. Talk to your friends, talk to your doctor, and don’t be afraid to try something new. The world is your not-baby-having oyster.
tl;dr: It just depends on what you’re looking for.
Here’s to alcohol, not having to plan a gender reveal party, and having (safe) sex whenever the hell we want..