Someone asked us:
I’ve been on low dose birth control for a couple months now to regulate my period. My boyfriend and I have been talking about having sex sometime soon. Is this birth control an adequate way to protect myself? Or is a stronger dose safer?
Birth control pills are 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when they’re taken correctly. This is true for all birth control pills – even those that are labeled as “low-dose” or “low-hormone.” If a birth control pill didn’t contain enough hormones to actually prevent pregnancy, it wouldn’t be on the market. As long as you’re taking birth control correctly, you can feel confident that it’s working to prevent pregnancy.
So why are some pills called “low-dose”? When the pill was first invented, it contained way more hormones than necessary to prevent pregnancy — up to 1,000 times more. Since then, scientists have figured out how to improve the pill’s formula, and there are lots of different kinds of birth control pills with different levels of hormones on the market. And they’re all effective at preventing pregnancy.
But no birth control pills provide protection against STDs — for that, condoms are your best bet. You can use both condoms and birth control pills together for increased protection against pregnancy and STDs.
-Nina at Planned Parenthood