Birth Control Pills

What is it?

Birth control pills are medications women can take daily to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pills are also called “The Pill” or “Oral Contraception”

Most “pills” contain both estrogen and progestin and are called combination pills because they have both hormones.

How does it work?

The most important way in which the pills work is that the hormones in the pill keep the eggs from leaving the ovaries (ovulation). No egg? No Pregnancy!

How well does it work?

9 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they always take the pill each day as directed.

Combination pills work best when taken every day. Try to take them at the same time when you are doing another regular activity, like before brushing your teeth or before you eat. Project STAY has a text message app to help you remember to take your pill every day. Since it takes about a week for the pill to begin working, we recommend you use a back up method like condoms to protect yourself. Condoms are a good idea to keep using anyway since they prevent sexually transmitted diseases which the pills don’t…

Certain medicines and supplements may make the pill less effective. Talk to your health care provider about the medications you are taking when you go to discuss the birth control pill.

What are the benefits?

  • Birth control pills are easy to use, safe, convenient and very effective.
  • You don’t have to think about birth control each time you have sex.
  • Many women’s periods become lighter and have less cramps when using the pill.
  • There are also health benefits to using the pill such as: clearing up acne, protection against certain types of cancers, reducing chance of getting anemia (low iron), PMS symptoms, and period related migraine headaches
  • For women who want to get pregnant, it is easy to do as soon as you stop the pill.
  • You are in control! They last for years so you can deal with all the other important things in your life…like school, your job, family, relationships and whatnot.

What is the downside?

  • Birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • You need a prescription to get birth control pills which means you have to meet with a health care provider first
  • It is easy to forget to take a pill everyday for a long period of time. Make sure to contact your health care provider if you forget to take a pill.
  • There are some side effects that some women get when they first start the pill like breast tenderness or nausea. Most symptoms go away within the first few months. Talk to your health care provider if you are uncomfortable when you start the pill. They can reassure you and answer any questions.
  • Women with certain health conditions shouldn’t use the pill. Your health care provider will talk with you about your health history and help you decide if the pill is right for you.

How can I get it?

A prescription for the pill is provided to you by your health care provider. You can fill the prescription at any drugstore. Some clinics or health centers can provide the Pill at their site after you’ve seen a provider.

How much does it cost?

Usually birth control pills cost between $0 to $50 a month, depending on health-insurance coverage and type of pill. If you need help finding insurance, log onto SingleStop to find a site near where you live or work to get assistance with getting medical insurance. Also, Project STAY can help you get what you need.