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Birth Control/Birth Control Pill

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Question
I am a 16 year old cisfemale. I want to begin taking birth control pills because I am considering becoming sexually active soon. I also want to take birth control pills so that I won't have a period every month and my menstrual cramps will be less severe. Could you please explain to me the difference between estrogen-only pills, progesterone- only pills, and pills with both estrogen and progesterone? In general, what are the differences in effects on one's body caused by these pills? Also, is it necessary that I talk with a doctor about which brand of birth control pill is right for me, or would it be okay if my mother came home with a random brand of birth control pills for me to take without discussing with a doctor which brand is right for me? If my mother were to come home with a random brand of birth control pills, it would most likely be Loseasonique. If it is necessary that I discuss with a doctor which brand of birth control pill is right for me, which questions do you recommend I ask in order to get the most out of my appointment? Thank you so much for the time and dedication required to answer my questions.

Answer
There are no estrogen only birth control pills.  The usual birth control pill is called the combined pill, which has both estrogen and progesterone.  These work best to relieve menstrual cramps and to regulate periods.  Progestin only pills generally are associated with irregular spotting and bleeding.

Since you're first starting pills, it would be best to talk to a knowledgeable professional so that you know what to expect and understand how to take the pill.  Probably you would do fine to take Loseasonique as long as you start early during a period.  Most combined birth control pills (like Loseasonique) will work well for most women.  You may have some spotting before you finish the first pack, and you would likely have a lot of spotting if you didn't start early during a period.

If you do see a doctor, I would just ask whatever questions you don't understand about the pill.  Hopefully the doctor will explain about the pill and give you some reading information about the pill, which you can also find on line.  The Planned Parenthood web site is good for learning about birth control.

Birth Control

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Norman Solberg

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I am an OB-GYN physician. I can answer almost any question related to women's health.

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35 years in an active OB-GYN practice.

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Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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MD OB-GYN specialist

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