There are two main types of birth control pills; progestin-only, which has only a progestin hormone, and combination, which contains a progestin and estrogen hormone.

The combination type of hormonal birth control is the most commonly used. It comes in pills, patches, and rings. The main advantage of the combination type is that the added estrogen reduces breakthrough bleeding and can help with some other symptoms of your period. The main downside is that most of the serious risks from birth control are related to estrogen, including blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

Progestin-only pills, also called mini-pills, are a less common but great option. With the progestin-only pill you take an active pill every day, even during your period. Most people notice that for the first couple of months they may have a slightly heavier period, but after 6-9 months their periods are usually much lighter or go away. The progestin-only pill is safer for everyone, but especially may be a good option for women who smoke or have other risk factors.

If you have any questions about the difference or are looking to switch between the options talk to your HeyDoctor medical team.

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