Pharmacy Corner
Pills, Patches & Rings General – Hormonal contraception

  1. What is hormonal contraception (birth control)?
    Hormonal birth control is a medication you can take to prevent pregnancy
  2. How well does it work?
    With perfect use, birth control prevents almost 100% of pregnancies; however, most women don’t use them perfectly.1,2 Things such as missing pills or not taking it at the same time each day will lower how well the birth control works and puts you at higher risk of getting pregnant.
  3. What are the different types of hormonal birth control?
    • Pill that you take by mouth once a day
    • Patch you apply on your body once a week
    • Ring you insert vaginally once a month
    • Intrauterine device (IUD) a doctor inserts

Note: all forms of hormonal birth control require a prescription. Please see your doctor or nurse practitioner for further information.

  1. Which birth control method is the best for me?
    Your doctor or nurse practitioner has customized the choice of birth control just for you. Some women prefer the patch, ring, and IUD when you don’t want to or can’t remember to take a pill every day.
  2. What is the risk of a stroke or blood clot when taking hormonal birth control?
    The risk of having a stroke or blood clot when taking hormonal birth control is higher than the risk for women not taking hormonal birth control. However, this risk is very small and lower than the risk of having a blood clot when you become pregnant.3
  3. Can I be on hormonal birth control if I am breastfeeding?
    Breastfeeding women can take hormonal birth control. However, it is recommended to take a progestin-only birth control pill, Micronor®, also known as the “mini-pill” if starting immediately after birth.2 Breastfeeding women should wait at least 6 weeks or until the milk supply has been established before starting combined hormonal birth control, which most women traditionally take.
  4. Am I protected from sexually transmitted infections (STI)?
    Hormonal birth control do not protect you against sexually transmitted infections. For protection against STI and the best protection to prevent pregnancy, use a condom in combination with the hormonal birth control.
  5. Can I have my period less often and how can I do this?
    It is possible to have less frequent periods when taking birth control. There are birth control options such as an injection or continuous-use birth control pill that can do this. Talk to your doctor, nurse practitioner or pharmacist to see if these options are suitable for you.

To help select which birth control is most suitable for you, visit Choosing Wisely (Birth Control Selection Tool)