If you’ve been taking birth control pills for some time and have had no side effects, it’s likely that you can continue using them for as long as you need them and as long as your healthcare provider deems it’s still a safe choice. For most healthy people, birth control pills are safe for long-term use.
There are birth control pill regimens designed to prevent bleeding for three months at a time or for as long as a year. But it’s possible to prevent your period with continuous use of any birth control pill. This means skipping the placebo pills and starting right away on a new pack.
The combination pill can be safely used by women up until the age of 50 and the mini pill (progestogen-only) can be used up until the age of 55.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy woman who doesn’t smoke is unlikely to experience serious side effects from oral contraceptives. However, for some women, birth control pills and patches can increase their blood pressure. Those extra hormones can also put you at risk for blood clots.
Much research has been carried out into the effect of hormonal contraceptives and whether birth control can harm your fertility. The overwhelming conclusion is that it has no adverse effect on your fertility, but there are a few things that you should bear in mind.”
You could become pregnant if you have sex in the 7 days after you miss two pills. You must use a back-up method (such as a condom) if you have sex during the first 7 days after you restart your pills. Do NOT take the missed pills. Keep taking one pill every day until you have completed the pack.
Some women will just not want to make a change from what they’ve been used to, and they will be absolutely accurate about taking their pills for 21 days, and taking only seven days off, and not missing any,” she adds. “If that’s what’s worked for them, it’s fine for them to carry on like that.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the effects of continuously raised estrogen levels in the female body due to taking birth control pills may include an increased risk of breast cancer, blood clotting, migraines, liver problems, increased blood pressure, weight gain, and spotting between periods.
The short answer is yes. If you missed a pill it’s sometimes recommended to take two pills in one day and if you want to use regular pills for EC, you might take 2 -4 at once. So taking 2 pills at least 10 hours apart shouldn’t be a problem.
As long as you are generally healthy, you can safely take birth control pills for however long you need birth control or until you reach menopause. This applies to both combination estrogen-progestin and progestin-only birth control pills.
After stopping birth control, women will often see a return of these symptoms, such as increased acne, cramps, and PMS. But in some cases, birth control can cause symptoms such as headaches, bloating, or even weight gain.
Use of hormonal birth control methods. “All the follicles available in the cohort that month die away, even if you’re not ovulating, so birth control doesn’t appear to delay menopause.”
Though large-scale reviews haven’t found that the pill causes weight gain, it can change a woman’s body shape and composition. There are three big reasons for this, and they have to do with muscle, fluid retention, and fat.
Taking medications like certain antibiotics, some anticonvulsants, and the herb St. John’s Wort can make the pill less effective (7, 8). Prolonged vomiting or diarrhea can prevent absorption of the pill and lead to pregnancy if a backup method isn’t used (9).
The kinds of birth control that work the best to prevent pregnancy are the implant and IUDs — they’re also the most convenient to use, and the most foolproof. Other birth control methods, like the pill, ring, patch, and shot, are also really good at preventing pregnancy if you use them perfectly.