This is probably the most comprehensive question and answer on contraceptives.

Short-acting oral contraceptives are currently a relatively convenient and reliable contraceptive method. However, Chinese people are always not used to [taking medicine] and may still have many doubts in their hearts.

How should short-acting oral contraceptives be used? Is there any potential impact on health? What are the precautions? Let’s take a look at the common questions about short-acting oral contraceptives.

Note that the contraceptives mentioned in this article are [short-acting oral contraceptives], not [emergency contraceptives].

About taking medicine

1. How to take contraceptives?

Traditional short-acting oral contraceptives are usually taken in 21 tablets for 21 consecutive days, one tablet a day, then stopped for 7 days, and then continued to take the medicine. Some drugs are taken for 21 days of contraceptives and 7 days of placebo without drug ingredients to avoid missing the medicine after 7 days of withdrawal.

There is now a 24-day contraceptive plus a 4-day placebo. The 24-day medication cycle is longer than the 21-day medication cycle, which makes the fluctuation of hormone levels relatively small and can reduce the discomfort caused by medication.

2. What discomfort when taking contraceptives?

During taking the medicine, there may be irregular vaginal bleeding, and there may be some other discomfort symptoms caused by hormone level changes, such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, dysphoria, etc.

In the first few weeks of using short-acting oral contraceptives, irregular vaginal bleeding may occur, which will generally disappear in the process of continuing to take drugs. There are also some women who will still have irregular bleeding even if they continue to take drugs. In this case, it is recommended to go to the hospital for examination to eliminate the possibility of other diseases.

About Side Effects

Does taking contraceptives make you fat?

Many women believe that contraceptives can lead to obesity. But studies have shown that if there is an effect, the effect of contraceptives on body weight is also very small. Estrogen in contraceptives can indeed affect adipocytes, increasing the volume of adipocytes, but the number will not increase.

The third generation of short-acting oral contraceptives can cause water and sodium retention, making some parts of the body, especially breasts, buttocks and thighs, retain more water, making people feel as if they have gained weight. The fourth generation of drugs can effectively inhibit this side effect.

Does contraceptive pill affect blood pressure?

Contraceptive pills may cause hypertension symptoms in some users.

Please monitor your blood pressure regularly during taking contraceptives. If you are a patient with hypertension, please consult your doctor if you need to switch to other contraceptive methods.

Does contraceptive pill affect cholesterol level?


The degree of influence depends on the type of drug and the proportion of estrogen and progesterone in the drug. Contraceptives with high estrogen content have certain benefits to the overall blood lipid level.

However, in general, the effect of contraceptives on blood lipid level is not significant and will not affect the overall health.

About Risks and Taboos

6. Will contraceptives increase the risk of cancer?

Studies have shown that long-term contraceptive use may increase the risk of certain cancers, such as liver cancer, but it can also reduce the risk of other types of cancers, such as ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.

The impact of contraceptives on the risk of cervical cancer and breast cancer is still controversial. Although some studies have shown that contraceptives are associated with breast cancer, recent studies have found no similar evidence.

If it is a patient with liver disease or a woman with a family history of liver cancer and cervical cancer, she should consult a doctor to choose a more appropriate contraceptive scheme.

7. What are the taboos in taking contraceptives?

Short-acting oral contraceptives are not suitable for all people and are not recommended for the following groups:

    Lactating; Over 35 years old and smoking for a long time; Hypertension control is not good. History of deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism; There is a history of ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular accident, valvular heart disease with complications, etc. Have a history of breast cancer; Complications caused by diabetes, such as nephropathy, retinopathy, nervous system diseases, etc. Liver disease; Vaginal bleeding of unknown cause; An ominous migraine; Taking antifungal, tuberculosis or epilepsy drugs; For some reasons, they are unable to move for a long time or have coagulation-related diseases.

8. Can women over 35 continue to take contraceptives?

Contraceptive pills are not recommended for smoking women over 35 years old because they increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. If you are over 35 years old and smoke for a long time, you need to quit smoking to continue taking contraceptives with confidence.

However, if it is a healthy and non-smoking woman, she can use drugs safely under the guidance of a doctor before the age of 40.

About stopping drugs

9. If you want to stop taking contraceptives after many years, can you stop taking them at any time or must you complete the current course of treatment?

When to stop taking contraceptives has little effect on the overall health. You can choose to stop taking contraceptives at any time.

There is no problem stopping the drug at the end of a cycle. If you stop taking the drug in the middle of a cycle, you may have irregular vaginal bleeding. Whenever you stop taking the drug, you may change the rhythm of the menstrual cycle.

10. After stopping the drug, how does menstruation not recover?

If menstruation does not resume after stopping the drug for several months, it may be amenorrhea after contraception, i.e. The contraceptive causes the body not to produce hormones related to ovulation and menstruation.

After drug withdrawal, the body needs a period of time to restore normal hormone secretion function. Generally speaking, within three months after drug withdrawal, the body should restore the normal menstrual cycle. However, some women, especially those who originally had irregular menstruation and hoped to adjust the menstrual cycle by taking contraceptives, may not have menstruation for a long time after drug withdrawal.

If you fail to resume menstruation within 3 months, it is recommended to take an early pregnancy test to check whether you are pregnant and then consult a doctor.

About pregnancy

11. If you plan to have children, how long will it take to get pregnant after stopping the drug?

Once ovulation resumes, pregnancy can be achieved.

After stopping taking the contraceptive pill, ovulation may be delayed for about two weeks. After taking the last medicine, menstruation may occur again in about four to six weeks.

12. Should I wait several months before getting pregnant after stopping taking drugs?

It is not necessary.

In the past, doctors worried that if they became pregnant immediately after stopping using contraceptives, they might increase the risk of miscarriage. However, this worry proved to be groundless and the hormone components of contraceptives would not accumulate in the body.

Most women do not delay their menstruation for more than four weeks after they stop taking the pill. However, if their menstruation is disordered before they start taking the pill, it is likely that their menstruation will still be irregular after they stop taking the pill. Some women need a month or two to resume their normal ovulation cycle.

13. Will taking contraceptives affect the accuracy of early pregnancy tests?


During the period of taking contraceptives, the early pregnancy test is still accurate.

The early pregnancy test is to determine whether pregnancy is pregnant by detecting the level of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in blood or urine. The active ingredients in contraceptives will not affect the detection of hCG level in the body by the early pregnancy test.

14. What if you still take contraceptives after pregnancy?

If you don’t know you are pregnant but continue to take contraceptives, please don’t panic first.

This happens from time to time. At present, there is no evidence that the hormone contained in the contraceptive pill can cause fetal defects. Once you find yourself pregnant, stop taking the contraceptive pill immediately.

15. Is it possible to get pregnant when taking drugs or placebo?

First of all, you should know that there is no contraceptive method with a success rate of 100%. Even ligation, which has the highest success rate, may recanalize naturally.

If the drug is taken strictly in accordance with the drug instructions, the contraceptive effective rate can reach 98% ~ 99%, and the risk of unwanted pregnancy will not increase during the prescribed withdrawal period (or during taking placebo).

However, if you miss one or more tablets during a medication cycle, the risk of unwanted pregnancy during that cycle is higher. To be on the safe side, other contraceptive methods such as condoms can be used.

Editor: Yidan