Contraceptive pill check-up appointments used to be simple and straightforward for GPs, and frequently felt like a welcome reprieve from more complex consultations. However, there’s often more to them these days, especially given the rise in tailored regimens, with more and more women moving away from the standard of 21 pills followed by a 7-day break.
In this week’s episode, we discuss common misconceptions around the pill cycle compared with a woman’s natural cycle, the various side effects caused by taking an oestrogen-dominant versus a progesterone-dominant pill, and the purely arbitrary nature of the standard regimen. How do we ensure that our patients are able to make an informed choice on their method of contraception, and how do we avoid the risk of contraceptive coercion?
Anne MacGregor is a professor, working in Secual ans Reproductive Healthcare at Barts Health NHS Trust. She is a specialist in women’s health, and also in headaches and migraines.
Tara Stein is a Family Medicine doctor at Montefiore Medical Center, and the Clinical Curriculum Manager for RHEDI – Reproductive Health Education in Family Medicine.