Oral and Topical Contraceptives

Benefits of Oral/Topical Contraceptives

-decreased menstrual cramps & bleeding

-decreased ovulation pain mid-cycle

-Improved regularity of menstrual cycle over time

-reduced risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian, and endometrial cancers

-reduced risk of ovarian cysts, breast disease

-may improve PMS in some patients

-improvement of acne after 2-6 mths

-reduced body hair


Major Risks of Oral/topical contraceptives

-low risk of developing blood clots or stroke which is increased in smokers and in women over 35 yrs of age

-Very low risk of heart attack, benign liver tumors, gallbladder disease, death

Minor Risks of Oral/Topical Contraceptives

-Nausea, breast tenderness, breakthrough bleeding or spotting (usually goes away after first three cycles)

-Worsening pms/depression symptoms

-Reduced sexual drive with long-term use

-High blood pressure

-Infections of the vagina such as yeast

-Darkening of facial skin

-Increased risk of failure resulting in pregnancy in women over 155lbs

**Please call the office if you experience the following:  chest pain/severe abdominal pain/shortness of breath/blurry vision/or severe leg pain in the calf or thigh.

Antiobiotic Use:  There are a few medications that may interfere with the effectiveness of the pills such as Phenobarbital, Rifampin, Dilantin, Tegretol, and Mysoline.  Backup birth control methods must be used for the entire month when using these medications.

Oral and/or topical contraception WILL NOT prevent sexually transmitted diseases.


Take a pill every day at around the same time each day.  If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember.  If you miss two pills, use backup birth control for the remaining part of them month.  If you miss your period you should call the office if you are at risk for pregnancy.  If you miss more than three pills, stop taking the birth control and call the office.

Starting birth control

You can start on the first day of your period

You can start on the Sunday following the first day of your period if you want to avoid getting your period on a weekend.  If your first day starts on a Sunday, you can start that day.

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