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Should you stop taking birth control pills if you have side effects?

ANSWER

You should take all your pills as directed, no matter what. Skipping a pill for any reason can increase your chances of becoming pregnant. If you’re tempted to skip a pill because they are causing side effects, talk to your doctor, but continue taking them. Many women who experience side effects when they first start taking the pill feel better after 3 months.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods,” “Contraceptive Effectiveness.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Birth Control Pill Fact Sheet.”

HealthyWomen.org: “How to Effectively Use Your Birth Control Pills.”

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: “Using Birth Control Pills Regularly for Successful Contraception.”

MedlinePlus: “Estrogen and Progestin (Oral Contraceptives).”

Bedsider.org: “Which medications can mess with birth control?” 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on October 12, 2016

SOURCES:

CDC: “Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods,” “Contraceptive Effectiveness.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Birth Control Pill Fact Sheet.”

HealthyWomen.org: “How to Effectively Use Your Birth Control Pills.”

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: “Using Birth Control Pills Regularly for Successful Contraception.”

MedlinePlus: “Estrogen and Progestin (Oral Contraceptives).”

Bedsider.org: “Which medications can mess with birth control?” 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on October 12, 2016

NEXT QUESTION:

What should you do if you accidentally miss a birth control pill?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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