Updating your status from being in a relationship to married means all kinds of changes are likely to occur in every part of your life including legal documents, bank accounts, name changes—and yes, even contraception. While to some, getting married means finally being able to ditch that pack of condoms in the nightstand drawer, there is a lot more than that to consider about birth control after you tie the knot.
If you’ve been thinking about switching your contraception, now might be as good time as any to change things up. Here are six reasons why you might want to consider changing your contraception methods as a newlywed.
1. You Aren’t a Fan of Your Current Birth Control Methods
No matter what type of birth control methods you use—the pill, the ring, the shot, the IUD—there are serious pros and cons to each. And what works for your sister or your cousin may not work at all for you, and may even make you feel downright miserable.
If you aren’t a huge fan of your current contraception method, you may want to visit your doctor to see if switching things up will clear any side effects like headaches, severe mood swings, or even something more severe like chest pains.
2. You’re Moving—and You Have to Switch Doctors
If getting married means an impending long-distance move and you’re currently on the pill, you may want to consider a more permanent form of contraception as you get settled. It can take a while to get set up with an OB-GYN in a new city, and while you’re waiting for your new patient appointment, your birth control prescription can run out. Even a small lapse in your birth control methods can throw your body into a loop, not to mention leave you unprotected.
And if you have a three-month supply, keeping up with your pills on a long-distance move can be a stressful endeavor. (Did you put your pills in the bathroom essentials box, or did you actually leave it behind in a hotel in New Mexico?)
Before you move, make a visit to your doctor and see if you would be a good fit for an intrauterine device, more commonly known as an IUD. This can ensure that you’ll be protected against an unexpected pregnancy as you wait to see your new OB-GYN.
3. You Don’t Want to Have a Baby Any Time Soon
If you’ve been on the pill for the better part of a decade but still aren’t ready to start a family, talking to your doctor about more permanent birth control solutions like the vaginal ring or the IUD may be appropriate. Not only will you not have to remember to take a pill every day, but you’ll also have more freedom when you travel (no more triple-checking that you packed your birth control) and better peace of mind.
4. You Want to Have a Baby Pretty Soon
Now that you’re officially married, you may be eager to start a family. In most cases, simply stopping your current form of contraception is enough to get your body ovulating normally once again, but with the Depo-Provera shot, it may take some extra time before your fertility is back to its old self. In certain women, it can take up to a year before this form of birth control is completely out of your system. So, if you’re considering having a child within the very near future, it may be worth it to talk to your doctor about switching your contraception methods.
5. You Keep Forgetting to Take Your Pill
There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and panicking because you completely forgot to take your pill before you went to bed. Now you have to double-up and use a backup condom for a week, worrying that this may be the time that you accidentally get pregnant.
In order to avoid this whole mess, you should seriously consider switching your birth control methods to something more permanent like the vaginal ring or an IUD. Remember, the birth control pill is one of the most effective forms of contraception—that is, until you forget to take it for the third day in a row. Talk to your doctor about which type is best for you.
6. You Have a Lot of Breakthrough Bleeding
One of the most un-fun parts of being a woman is ruining that pretty new pair of underwear with breakthrough bleeding. This unexpected bleeding between your menstrual cycle is not just a sign that you’ll need to buy new underwear soon—it also may be a sign that your birth control isn’t working for you. Although breakthrough bleeding is common when you skip a dosage of your birth control or if you’ve just recently started a new type of birth control, if it subsists you should talk to your doctor about making a switch to something that’s better suited for your body.