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Hormonal Contraceptives

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What are hormonal contraceptives?

Hormonal contraceptives are birth control medicines. These medicines help prevent pregnancy. Hormonal contraceptives may also decrease bleeding and pain during your child's monthly period.

What may affect hormonal contraceptives?

Some health conditions can be affected by hormonal contraceptives. Examples include high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Certain medicines can also prevent the contraceptives from working properly. Examples include seizure medicines, antivirals, antibiotics, and blood thinners. Tell your child's healthcare provider about any medical conditions she has. Give the provider a list of all your child's medicines. This will help the provider recommend the right kind of contraceptive for your child.

What kinds of hormonal contraceptives are available?

Hormonal contraceptives may contain one or both of the female hormones. Both estrogen and progesterone are found in combined oral contraceptives (COC), the skin patch, and the vaginal ring. Progesterone-only contraceptives include the mini-pill, and injectable hormone medication. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about what birth control is best for her.

What are the risks of using hormonal contraceptives?

Hormonal contraceptives may not prevent pregnancy, even if they are taken as directed. Your child may not want to take the medicine because of side effects, such as mood changes or weight gain. Other medicines, such as antibiotics, can decrease how well the contraceptive works. Hormonal contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. If your child uses a skin patch, the skin around the area may become red, itchy, or irritated. The patch may not work properly if your child is overweight. The vaginal ring may be uncomfortable. It may come out by accident if your child strains to have a bowel movement. It may also come out when your child removes a tampon or has sex.

When can hormonal contraceptives be started?

Your child will need to see a healthcare provider for an exam before hormonal contraceptives can be started. He or she will ask about your child's medical history and any medicines she takes. Her blood pressure will be checked and she may need blood or urine tests. A breast and pelvic exam may also be done. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when your child can start to take the contraceptives.

Call 911 for any of the following:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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