FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Many women have heard that it's good to have a break from hormonal contraception. Women might want to check that their periods are still normal, or to give their bodies a rest.4
It does no harm to be on contraception for many years. There is no medical need to have a break from hormones, and it's safe to be on hormonal contraception as long as a woman wants to (unless her health changes).4
Even if hormonal contraception changes the pattern of periods, fertility will come back once contraception is stopped.4
Most combination pills come in 28-day or 21-day packs. Take 1 pill every day for 28 days (four weeks) in a row, and then start a new pack on day 29. The last pills in 28-day do not have hormones in them called "reminder".5
Take 1 pill every day for 21 days (3 weeks) in a row. Then don’t take any pills for seven days (week 4). There is no reminder (hormone-free) pills.5
Progestin-only pills only come in 28-day (4 week) packs. All 28 pills have hormones. You must take every pill in a progestin-only pack to be protected from pregnancy there is no hormone-free week.5
Having an IUS fitted can be uncomfortable, but you can have a local anesthetic to help. Discuss this with a GP or nurse beforehand. Some women experience headaches, acne and breast tenderness after having the IUS fitted. Some women experience changes in mood and libido, but these changes are very small.6
Pulling out is exactly what it sounds like: pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. If semen (cum) gets in your vagina, you can get pregnant. So, ejaculating away from a vulva or vagina prevents pregnancy. But you have to be sure to pull out before any semen comes out, every single time you have vaginal sex, in order for it to work. The best way to make the pull- out method effective is to use it with another type of birth control.7
If you have taken all pills correctly and have a very light or miss a period, keep taking your pills. If you miss two periods in a row, call the clinic. If you miss any pills and miss a period, call the clinic. You may need a pregnancy test.8
Douching is not an effective method of contraception. After ejaculation, the sperm enter the cervix and are out of reach of any douching solution. Also, douching is not recommended as it can disrupt the delicate bacterial balance of the vagina, causing irritation or infection.9
1-WHO. Family planning/contraception methods. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/family-planning-contraception, Last Accessed : (7/7/20210.
2-Newzeland Family Planning. HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR CONTRACEPTION. Available at: https://www.familyplanning.org.nz/news/2014/how-effective-is-your-contraception, Last Accessed : (7/7/2021).
3-NHS. What is contraception?. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/what-is-contraception/, Last Accessed : (7/7/2021).
4-Contraception Choices. Taking a break. Available at: https://www.contraceptionchoices.org/did-you-know/taking-break, Last Accessed : (7/7/2021).
5-Planned Parenthood. How do I use the birth control pill? . Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-pill/how-do-i-use-the-birth-control-pill, Last Accessed : (7/7/2021).
6- NHS. Intrauterine system (IUS). Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/ius-intrauterine-system/, Last Accessed : (7/7/2021).
7-Planned Prenthood. Withdrawal (Pull Out Method). Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/withdrawal-pull-out-method, Last Accessed : (7/7/2021).
8-University of IOWA. Birth control pill fact sheet. Available at: https://uihc.org/health-topics/birth-control-pill-fact-sheet, Last Accessed : (7/7/2021).
9-Clevlandclinic. Contraception Myths. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9137-contraception-myths, Last Accessed : (7/7/2021).