Bedsider’s guide to birth control warning labels
Wondering where your birth control stands in terms of safety warnings? Here are links to the nitty gritty details about some of the most common methods. Sadly, some of these labels were created before the FDA designed its new label, so they don’t offer highlights or a table of contents. We’ve marked them “old-style” so you know what you’re getting into…
Front and center
These options have a black box warning before any other information on the label.
Depo-provera: The shot carries a black box warning on loss of bone mineral density. However, recent studies show the bone loss is reversible, so the warning is actually out of date now.
Ortho Evra: The patch carries an old-style black box warning about smoking, venous thromboembolism risks, and the serum spike of ethinyl estradiol that occurs when the patch is first applied.
Yaz: This combined pill carries a black box warning about smoking, as well as new warnings about drospirenone and venous thromboembolism risks. Check out our black box section above for info on other pills containing drospirenone.
The warning can wait
These options carry a warning, but it doesn’t appear till the “WARNINGS” section of the label.
NuvaRing: The ring has an old-style label with a boxed warning about smoking.
Ortho tri-cyclen combined pill: This old-style label, similar to the labels of combined hormonal pills with older progestins, carries a boxed warning about smoking.
Nothing to see here
These options don’t carry any special warnings.
The Mirena IUD
The ParaGard IUD (old-style)
Plan B One-step emergency contraception
Micronor mini-pill (old-style)
We’re all about keeping you informed about any potential health risks you could face with your birth control method, but it’s also important to remember that the risks for the riskiest methods are still really small, especially compared to the risks that come with pregnancy. If you feel good on the method you’re using, your best option may be to stick with what’s working. That said, if you’re concerned about the potential risks of your method, you should talk to your health care provider about it.