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Female service members stand on the flightline for Women's History Month at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, March 19, 2021. The service members participated in the Air Force's two-week advanced aerial combat training exercise, Red Flag. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Natalie Rubenak)
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Contraception and Deployment

Understanding how to effectively use contraception to control your menstrual cycle—or period—can greatly enhance your readiness and resilience.

With your period, you may experience Click to closepremenstrual syndromeA term used to describe a group of physical and behavioral changes that some women experience before their menstrual periods every month which may include may include sharp mood swings, irritability, hopelessness, anxiety, problems concentrating, changes in appetite, sleep problems, and bloating.premenstrual syndrome, mood swings, cramping, and irregular bleeding with heavy and light days. These symptoms can lead to missed days at work or unexpected sick call. As a Service member, you have hormonal birth control options that can control or suppress your period. These options limit the number of cycles you have to monthly, quarterly or possibly none at all.

Hormonal Birth Control

You have many hormonal birth control options. Each has their own pros and cons. We encourage you to talk to your provider to see what may work best for you. You should also ask your provider to prescribe enough to last your whole deployment.

Hormonal Birth Control Options

  • Birth control pills
  • Depo-Provera (i.e., birth control shot)
  • Implanted hormone (e.g., NEXPLANON® arm implant)
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Morning after pills (i.e., emergency contraception)
  • Ortho-Evra (i.e., birth control patch)
  • Vaginal ring (e.g., Annovera®, NuvaRing®)

Side Effects of Hormonal Birth Control

Some side effects may include:

  • Spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Sore breasts
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain

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Last Updated: August 08, 2023
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