We may have a long way to go before we have gender equality, but we are making significant strides towards it. A case in point is a female’s increasing accessibility to healthcare providers such as gynaecologists. Why is this such an important step, you ask? Consulting a gynaecologist allows females to gain knowledge and resources about conditions such as PCOS and certain cancers that affect the female organs.
Such access also empowers them to practise bodily autonomy by consulting with a gynaecologist to understand and choose the kind of birth control or contraception they can use to prevent or plan a pregnancy.
Now that we understand the importance of a gynaecologist, let’s look at the questions to ask a gynaecologist about birth control, one of the most common contraception methods used by females. Also, if this is your first -time consulting, then you will surely be wondering, “what should I ask my gynaecologist?
Read on to find both the questions and the answers.
- What are the different durations of birth control that I can use?
Most females use birth control pills, such as Mankind’s Unwanted 21, a regular oral contraceptive pill where the female needs to take the pills for 21 days, followed by her period, and then start another pack. However, suppose you are looking for something with a longer duration. In that case, you can ask your gynaecologist about birth control with extended cycles where you take the active pills for 12 weeks, followed by your period.
- What are the potential side effects I need to be aware of?
Not all those who take birth control pills will experience its side effects, and not all of them will experience it in the same way. Some of the common side effects which the gynaecologist will list are weight gain, mood shifts, bloating, nausea, headaches, spotting, breast tenderness, blood pressure fluctuations, amongst others.
However, your gynaecologist will guide you on managing these side effects, maybe along with a consultation with your general physician. Make sure you give your doctor complete and accurate medical and lifestyle history so that they can effectively guide you.
- Is birth control a suitable option for me?
Based on your medical history, lifestyle, and personal preferences, the gynaecologist will determine whether birth control pills are the way to go for you. For example, if you are over 35 and a regular smoker, they will recommend that you not opt for birth control pills.
Similarly, suppose you have an erratic routine and stressful lifestyle where forgetting to take the pill every day is a real possibility. In that case, they will advise against opting for birth control pills.
- What to do if I miss a dose of my birth control?
Your gynaecologist will list out various scenarios and the next steps for each. They will tell you the best course of action based on where in your menstrual cycle you were when you missed a pill and how many times you missed the pill. They will most likely recommend using Mankind’s Unwanted 72, Emergency Contraceptive Pills, India’s No.1 Emergency contraceptive pill.
- If I intend to get pregnant, when should I stop taking birth control?
While you can get pregnant within days and weeks of getting off the pill, when you conceive depends on a lot of variables, including your and your partner’s fertility and lifestyle. Your gynaecologist will help you understand these variables.
- Will taking a birth control pill also help with preventing STDs and STIs?
Preventing pregnancy and preventing a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection do not necessarily overlap. Your gynaecologist will inform you that your male partner will need to use a condom or any other barrier contraceptive method to prevent any potential transfer of disease or infection.
- Will I get my period while I am on birth control?
The gynaecologist will explain how often you will get your period based on the type of birth control you take- whether it is the 21-day pack or an extended pack.
Once you have the answer to these questions, you can make an informed decision about the suitability of oral contraceptives for you. At the end of the day, what matters is your comfort and peace of mind.