Signs it’s time to switch your prescription birth control

A young woman smiles, looking confident.

Should I change my birth control prescription? If you’re asking yourself that question, chances are it may be time to make a switch.

Every woman’s body and life circumstances are different, and they can change over time. With that said, here are a few reasons you may want to reevaluate your birth control prescription.


If you often forget to take your daily birth control pill, you may need something longer-acting. Progestin shots last three months; the implantable rod lasts up to three years; and, depending on the type, an intrauterine device (IUD) can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years.

If you prefer to stick with daily pills, set an alert or alarm so you remember to take them at the same time each day. The Express Scripts® Pharmacy app makes it easy. You can set up dose reminders and you’ll get daily notifications on your mobile device when it’s time to take your pill.

To make sure you don’t run out of pills, order a 90-day supply and set up automatic refills. Express Scripts® Pharmacy offers both, as well as $0 copays for many birth control options with free standard shipping.

Side effects

Like most medications, hormonal birth control can cause side effects. Usually these are mild and can include changes to your cycle, headache, mood changes, and lower sex drive.

Some more serious — and rare — side effects can include ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.

If you experience anything unusual or are at risk for any of these conditions, your doctor or pharmacist may suggest a different brand or form of birth control.

Life changes

Maybe your needs have changed and you don’t need daily protection. Maybe you are planning to grow your family soon and want flexibility to become pregnant when the time is right. Or maybe you want to prevent pregnancy for at least a few years.

Discuss your plans with your doctor, so they can help you find the right birth control for you. Visit Birth Control | FDA to learn about different methods, including how effective each is at preventing pregnancy over the course of a year.

Managing a change in birth control methods

If you choose to change the brand or type of birth control you’re using, you may need to use a second form of birth control during the transition. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist for what is right for your specific situation.

24/7 support with Express Scripts® Pharmacy

If you have questions about your birth control method, or about possible interactions or side effects, give us a call. Our pharmacists are available 24/7 and have knowledge and special training around prescription methods of preventing pregnancy.

Posted date: September 21, 2022

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