Bridgercare offers a variety of oral contraceptive pills- or “the pill.” Your health care provider will help you decide which pill is right for you. If you have specific concerns like acne or painful menstrual cramps, this may help you choose the best method. This method works by taking a pill every day at the same time.

 

What kinds of pills are there?

Combined Oral Contraceptives (COC’s): There are many kinds of COC’s, as these pills have a combination of both estrogen and progestin. They prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation (release of an egg) from the ovaries. In addition to preventing pregnancy, most women who use COC’s will experience other benefits such as regular periods, less cramping, less low blood iron, less acne, less non-cancerous breast tumors and ovarian cysts, and lowering the chance of ovarian and uterine lining cancer. Side effects can include headache, nausea, breast tenderness, mood changes, and irregular bleeding. Most side effects are mild and resolve within 3 months of starting.

Progestin Only Oral Contraceptives (POP’s): Known as the minipill, POP’s contain only the hormone progestin and do not include estrogen. These pills MUST be taken within a 3 hour time frame daily to be effective. They work by thickening the mucus in the cervix so sperm can’t get into the uterus. They’re safe for people who shouldn’t use estrogen and while breastfeeding, and may lessen period cramps and PMS symptoms. Common side effects can include less frequent periods, irregular vaginal bleeding, or spotting.

 

Birth control pills do not protect against STIs. If any you experience any serious side effects, contact Bridgercare, the Bozeman Health Hospital Emergency Department, or a clinic near you.