I want to be able to use birth control or emergency contraception. What should I do if I can’t swallow pills?
By Kendall @ Planned Parenthood | Jan. 30, 2012, 1:17 p.m.
Category: Birth Control
I have a question about birth control pills/”the morning after” pills. I know I don’t necessarily have to get on “the pill” if my partner and I use other forms of birth control (like condoms and the like), but I do know it is best to keep emergency contraception around just in case. But the problem is, I have never been able to swallow pills in my entire life, and I am seventeen. It’s embarassing, I know. I have tried to swallow tiny painkillers in ice cream, pudding, and with water, but I am just physically incapable of doing so. And due to this phobia I have, I don’t want to get a shot – I don’t want to tell my parents yet, firstly, but the actual phobia part is that I have a diagnosed phobia of needles and medical procedures. I’ll have a panic attack if I even see a needle. So I can’t do that. Would the pill still work if I cut it smaller and tried to swallow it, or if I crushed it up and ate it with something? I don’t even know what these pills look like or anything, and I haven’t had sex yet, and I am holding it off a bit until I can get this question answered. Please help me and tell me what I can do to be sure I still have safe sex, even if I can’t keep any pills around. Thanks!
You’re really smart to be planning on how to prevent pregnancy before you start having sexual intercourse. If it’s going to be difficult for you to take emergency contraception, you should be sure to rely on an effective method of birth control.
There are forms of hormonal birth control that don’t involve pills or needles. The birth control ring, for instance, uses the same hormones as the pill. So does the birth control patch. Condoms used with withdrawal, or pulling out, are also very effective, and they reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infection. It’s always a good idea to use condoms with hormonal methods to protect against pregnancy and infection. Click here to read about these and other birth control methods on our website.
Our birth control quiz can also hep you figure out what birth control method is right for you.
It’s a good idea to keep emergency contraception around, just in case. You can break them down or crush them into tiny pieces, if that makes them easier to swallow — as long as you take all of the pieces.