Combined Birth Control Methods

Combined birth control methods, including pills, the patch and the vaginal ring, prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and creating changes in a woman’s body, which include a thickening of the mucus in the cervix, and a thinning of the uterine lining.


These combined methods contain the hormones estrogen and progestin.

Facts about Combined Birth Control Methods

Combined birth control methods, when taken typically (which means the chosen method is not always used consistently or correctly), prevents pregnancy in 9 out of 100 women during the first year of use. With perfect use, fewer than 1 out of every 100 women will get pregnant.

Benefits of Combined Birth Control

There are numerous benefits to using combined birth control methods in addition to preventing pregnancy. These include:

  • Period and pain relief. Regular, consistent use of birth control reduces menstrual cramps, menstruation-related migraines, and creates a lighter, regulated and shorter period.
  • Reduction of cancer and other health problems. Birth control reduces cancer of the colon, uterus and ovaries, as well as reduces acne and unwanted hair growth.
  • Treatment of certain disorders. These disorders include fibroids and endometriosis, which are known to cause heavy bleeding and menstrual pain.


Although birth control methods are safe for most women, risks can still occur. The risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is higher using birth control.


Women above the age of 35 who smoke more than 15 cigarettes, have a history of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, history of stroke, heart attack or DVT,; or migraine headaches with aura are at an increased risk of developing DVT.

Using Birth Control Pills, a Patch or a Vaginal Ring

Birth control pills, a birth control patch  and a vaginal birth control ring all require a prescription before they can be administered to you.

Birth Control Pills

There are many different forms of birth control pills, from a  21-day subscription to a 365-day subscription, that work for you and your lifestyle.


Side effects of using birth control pills include nausea, headache, breast tenderness, and breakthrough bleeding, a temporary side effect that occurs from a change in hormone levels.

Birth Control Patch

A contraceptive skin patch is worn on the buttocks, chest (except the breasts), abdomen, upper back or arm. A patch is applied once a week for three weeks. On the fourth week, you’ll have your period.


To remain a form of continuous-dose birth control, a new patch will need to applied every week on the same day without skipping.


Breast tenderness, skin irritation, headache and breakthrough bleeding are side effects of using a contraceptive birth control patch.

Vaginal Ring

A vaginal ring is inserted by you into your vagina to control pregnancy. The ring remains in the vagina for 21 days, after which you will remove it and wait 7 days before inserting a new ring.


Do not skip a week if you plan to use your vaginal ring as a form of continuous-dose birth control.


Side effects of vaginal rings include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vaginal discharge and irritation
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Breast tenderness

Combined Birth Control Methods and Sylacauga OB-GYN

No matter what form of birth control you choose, Sylacauga OB-GYN can walk you through what to expect with your birth control. Our team of experienced staff can answer any questions you have, so you can feel confident you’re making the most qualified decision for your body.

To schedule an appointment, give us a call at [email protected].