Birth Control Pills
Can Any Woman Take Birth Control Pills?
Birth control pills can be taken safely by most women, but is not recommended for women who are over the age of 35 and smoke. If you don't smoke, you can use hormonal contraceptives until menopause. In addition, you should not take hormonal contraceptives if you have had:
- Blood clots in the arms, legs, or lungs
- Serious heart or liver disease
- Cancer of the breast or uterus
If you are not sure if you are affected by one of these conditions, ask your doctor. Also, inform your doctor if you have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, child) who has had blood clots in the legs or lungs.
Is it OK to Take Other Drugs While Taking Birth Control Pills?
Some drugs, including antibiotics, can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Tell your doctor about all of the medications and over-the-counter agents (including herbs) that you are taking.
Points to Keep in Mind When Taking Birth Control Pills
- Keep another form of birth control, like spermicidal foam and condoms, on hand in case you forget to take a pill.
- Carry your pills with you if you don't always sleep at the same place.
- Take your pill at the same time every day. If you are using the patch, replace your patch weekly on the same day. If you are using the vaginal ring, remove it after three weeks of use.
- Get your refills soon after you start the last prescription. Don't wait until the last minute to request refills.
- Birth control pills, patches, and vaginal rings are all medications. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist you are on the pill, patch, or vaginal ring if you see him or her for any reason.