With so many types of birth control options out there, whether it’s the pill, an IUD, or the Nuva Ring, there’s no reason you should stick to a method that’s not working for you.

Every woman’s body reacts to contraceptives differently, and each type of birth control has its own potential side effects. But it’s good to know that you don’t have to be stuck with bloating or mood swings when there could be a better alternative for you.

So how do you know when it might be time to consider other options? Two OB-GYNs break it down below.

You’re experiencing breakthrough bleeding
Many women experience spotting at the start of trying a new birth control, but if you have breakthrough bleeding after three months, you might need to switch to something different. “If you’re on the birth control pill, and you were having either early breakthrough bleeding or late breakthrough bleeding, this may indicate you need to change the ratio of estrogen to progesterone in the pill,” says G. Thomas Ruiz, lead OB-GYN at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Each pill formulation has a very different ratio and the progestins have different degrees of potency.” The same goes for an IUD. “Excessively long and painful menses would be a reason to try a different method,” says Ruiz.

You’re not using your birth control properly
“As pills need to be taken daily and condoms used every time, for some women, it’s hard to remember to use their forms of birth control as intended, each and every time,” says gynecologist Dr. Sujatha Reddy. If you’re someone who isn’t consistent with your birth control, you might be better suited with something like an IUD or Nuva Ring.

You’re still worried about pregnancy
Birth control is supposed to help you rest easy when it comes to unwanted pregnancy, so if you find you’re still stressing out, it might be time to switch to something else. “If you’re not confident in the birth control you’re using and you’re worried that it may not work, this can possibly decrease your sex drive,” says Reddy. Talk to your doctor about alternatives that might work better for you.

Your health changes
If your health changes and you develop a new medical condition, your current birth control may not be a fit for you or could pose a risk. “If you are experiencing high blood pressure, deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolisms, heart disease, or even with some types of cancer, it’s best to speak to your physician to determine which birth control may be best suited for you,” says Reddy.

Your side effects are becoming intrusive
If the side effects of your birth control are negatively impacting your life, it’s time to make the switch. Side effects can include weight gain, irregular bleeding, mood changes, and headaches. Talk to your doctor about your options and what symptoms affect you the most.

As always, we suggest consulting your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.

xx, the FabFitFun Team