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How do I know which birth control to take?

August + Twentyeight Health, Verified by Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, FACOG, Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, MD, IBCLC, and Dr. Karla Robinson, MD, FAAFP | 8.18.2022

Birth Control Options

Entering the world of birth control can be a bit overwhelming since there are many different methods, options, and opinions out there.

Particularly in our current times, as reproductive healthcare rights are being questioned at our highest levels of government – it’s important to know your options.

August and Twentyeight Health have come together to help you through the process of deciding on which birth control makes sense for you, making it simpler and less stressful.

When should I start thinking about taking birth control?

There is no set age on when you should start taking birth control. Starting birth control is a personal decision. The reasons and circumstances for considering birth control will vary from person to person.

Twentyeight Health provides online birth control services to individuals starting as young as 13 years old. Some states do require parent/guardian consent for individuals under the age of 18 to be prescribed birth control.

If you’re interested in learning more, find additional information on Twentyeight Health's FAQ page or message our team at contact@twentyeighthealth.com. If you’re starting birth control for the first time and need some guidance, you can check out this article.

What are the different types of birth control available?

There are many birth control options that are simple and easy to use. Some options include:

On Twentyeight Health’s Sex + Health blog, you can find answers to many of your questions about all of the different forms of birth control.

What birth control methods do I need to see a doctor for?

You should absolutely consult a doctor if this is your first time considering birth control and/or if you are curious about switching methods!

Birth control pills, patches, rings, as well as the Depo Sub-Q shot all require a prescription from the doctor, but you can use them in the comfort of your home.

There are also longer-term birth control methods that require professional medical assistance to get started, such as the IUD and the arm implant. You can schedule an appointment with an in-person doctor at a clinic or OB/GYN office near you.

How should I talk to my doctor about birth control?

There are few topics that are great to bring up with your doctor when discussing birth control:

  • Permanent or temporary contraception
  • Control over fertility
  • Menstrual patterns
  • Existing medical issues or medications
  • Personal preference about hormones
  • Ability to tolerate a procedure
  • Access and insurance
  • Number of sexual partners
  • Personal preference if you’ve done independent research

We want you to feel empowered about speaking up about your needs to your doctor – check out this quick guide put together by August and Twentyeight Health!

What are some reasons people take birth control?

Although the name implies that you are preventing pregnancy (which happens through penetrative sex), you do not need to be sexually active in order to start taking birth control.

Many people begin using birth control to help ease symptoms that come from a period like:

While birth control can ease the symptoms mentioned above, it may not be fixing the underlying cause. Check in with your doctor if any of the mentioned symptoms persist.

How does birth control affect my period?

It is common for your period to change when you start birth control.

Irregular bleeding is a very common side effect when starting a new birth control method, including the pill. With time, bleeding becomes more regular and breakthrough bleeding ('spotting') becomes less common. This type of bleeding pattern is most common with ultra low-dose,multiphasic or progesterone-only type methods.

For persistent or worsening symptoms, check in with your health care provider to ensure there is no other issue of concern. If you are a Twentyeight Health user, you can message your doctor directly on your dashboard about side effects you might be experiencing.

Wondering how different birth control affects your period?

Thanks to the Medical Advisors from the August Medical Board + Twentyeight Health’s Team who reviewed all of the necessary questions to ensure medical accuracy on the information provided!

  1. Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, FACOG is a practicing gynecologist who has a special interest in sexual health and medical sex therapy.
  2. Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, MD, IBCLC is a board-certified OB/GYN and Hospitalist who you’ve probably seen educating about the anatomy of a vagina on Tiktok! She’s all about shame-free, easy-to-understand sex ed. – us too!
  3. Dr. Karla Robinson, MD, FAAFP is a licensed, board-certified family physician with over 15 years of clinical experience. She is passionate about women’s health and improving access to care for the medically underserved.
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