REVEAL Q3 2017 - Page 31

bloodstream. Often women will experience lighter or non-existent periods but IUDs have been associated with an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. Although there is question about the difficulty to conceive after using an IUD, there is no substantiated evidence to show that use of an IUD decreases fertility. “My pharmacy switched my birth control. What should I expect.” Like all medications, birth control pills are offered in brand and generic form. Here’s the tricky part: unlike other medications, birth control generics of the same brand all have different names. For example, the brand Loestrin comes in several generics including Microgestin, Junel, or Gildess to name a few. Generic equivalents of the same birth control are usually equally tolerated. Some women may respond to the very small differences in hormones from one manufacturer to another, but this is rare. If you find that you do not tolerate a new manufacturer, simply ask your pharmacy to order your preferred generic manufacturer. “What happens if I miss a pill?” If you miss one pill the rule of thumb is to take your next pill as soon as you remember, even if it is time for your next dose. If you miss two pills, consult your package insert attached to your pill pack as the instructions may vary based on the pill you’re taking. “How long should I try my new birth control before deciding to switch?” And finally, you will likely be instructed to give a 2-3-month trial of your birth control so that your body has time to adjust to the change in hormones you have introduced. Often it will take more than one cycle to regulate your menstruation and for side effects to subside. However, intolerable side effects may warrant a change prior to 2-3 months. Selection of birth control can be a very frustrating ordeal. But, with background knowledge, patience, and open communication with your healthcare provider, you will be in the best position to choose the best option for you. Asia is a graduate of the University of Florida and works as an Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and as an Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice. Originally from Orange Park, Florida, she has called the metro Atlanta area home for 5 years. Asia enjoys kayaking, tennis, and spending time with her two dogs in her spare time. This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult your primary care or gynecological practitioner for advice as it relates to your decision for method of birth control. The opinions expressed herein may not represent the views of the Atlanta Social Club, its officers, or other affliliates and should be used for informational and entertainment purposes only. Risks associated with birth control are patient- specific. Although estrogen- containing pills carry a relatively low risk of major side effects, they have been associated with an increased risk of clot formation and some types of cancer. Consult your provider to review your medical history and risk potential. REVEAL | Q3 2017 31