Contraception and Irregular Bleeding: Which Is Better the Ring or The Pill?

When a woman takes a contraceptive like the pill, or the vaginal ring, or a patch, she expects to be able to control her menstrual cycle, and know when to expect the bleeding. And for the vast majority of patients that is true. Women have contraceptive choices, and how much they bleed is an important factor when you are making that choice with your gyno. Common experiences on the pill include staining when you don't expect bleeding, spotting in the cycle, and getting one's period "too early" before you take the hormone free pills or "too late." Of course in cycles where you are only supposed to get your period ever 3 months, it's a bit different. Studies of the vaginal ring, NuvaRing, compared to the birth control pills said that about 5% of ring users can experience these side effects as compared to almost 38% of pill users. Of course there was a range and in some studies only 1% of ring users and 5% of pill users experienced the side effects of unscheduled bleeding. None of these studies have been done with the very newest pills available, and you can speak to your gyno about your chances for unscheduled bleeding when you take the pill. Factors to consider: do you smoke, are you consistent about your pill use, do you take other medicines and do you use herbals or herbal teas. All these can affect the amount of irregular bleeding, and some might even affect the effectiveness of the pill.


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