Thinking About Switching Birth Control?

Types of Birth Control to Make the Switch

switching birth control
Thinking About Switching Birth Control?. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Wondering if it's time for a new birth control method? Switching birth control is a personal choice. Women often make this decision based on the effectiveness of her birth control method, lifestyle factors, religious beliefs, ease or convenience of use, side effects, and cost. Luckily, there are many types of birth control options available if you want to make a switch.

If you are finding that you are not feeling unhappy with your current method,  maybe it's time for a new birth control option.

Feeling satisfied with your birth control option is important. The happier you are with your method, the more likely you are to use it, and use it consistently. If it seems that your contraceptive method is no longer fitting into your lifestyle or you are not feeling comfortable with it, switching birth control methods may be a good choice.

Ask Yourself - Am I Settling on My Birth Control?

If you answered yes to this question, you are not alone. Research shows:

  • 21% of hormonal birth control users admit they may be settling for a contraceptive that isn't quite right for them.
  • 19% of woman say they are not as satisfied with their method as they thought they would be.

Reasons Women Give for Switching Birth Control Methods:

Most women who are not satisfied with their contraception usually say that physical or psychological side effects are the most common reasons for wanting to switch birth control options.

Something kind of interesting to point out -- psychological side effects can add to dissatisfaction as well. Did you know that experiencing a negative emotional side effect from your birth control method (this could include mood changes, libido changes, or other types of psychological side effects) can have a big impact? Women who have experienced these types of birth control side effects have actually reported that they felt a lower sense of confidence when using that method. These women may no longer feel that the method is an effective or safe birth control option for her.

What Types of Birth Control Can I Switch To?

So you are considering switching birth control -- that probably means you could be wondering about the types of birth control methods you should try. Well, one pretty large research study** (of over 1,300 women) showed that:

  • Condoms rounded out the competition, with a 30% satisfaction rate.

{**These five methods were the only types of birth control examined in this study}.

Use this Birth Control Comparison Chart to help evaluate the types of birth control options you can choose from (there are a lot of possibilities!).

Let's Get Real — Are You Really Satisfied With Your Birth Control?

This can question can get a little tricky. You see, even though most women who use a hormonal birth control option are satisfied with their choice, surveys show that over 50% of women admit that they rarely evaluate how well their contraception is working.

Around 70% of women say that they would like to change something about their current birth control method -- with the main complaint being having to remember to take it every day. Yet, only a third of these women have considered switching birth control methods.

And get this... research shows that 72% of women will refuse to settle for anything less than what truly makes them happy in their life. BUT when it comes to their contraception use, it seems that women are hesitant to switch birth control -- even if they are unsatisfied. In a time when nearly 80% of women will look for a new job if they are not satisfied with their current employment and 90% of unmarried women would end a relationship if they weren't happy with the person they were dating... why is it that 68% of women do not even think about the possibility of switching birth control if they are not happy?

Switching to a New Birth Control Method:

The bottom line? If you are not happy or dissatisfied, then it is time for a new birth control method. Talk to your doctor about switching birth control options. You deserve to feel that the birth control method you are using is the best fit for you, your body and your life. And with some many types of birth control options to choose from, there is no reason for you to settle when it comes to your birth control.


Björn JO. “Women’s satisfaction with birth control: a population survey of physical and psychological effects of oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, condoms, natural family planning, and sterilization among 1466 women.” Contraception 1999; 59(5): 277-286. Access via private subscription.