Contraceptive Pills: A Woman’s Best Friend

09 Sep
2016
By Marie

Life is a big dream, every day we think and go on fantasize different things, and it is a fact that we even try to implement all this onto our daily lives. But one thing that almost everybody fantasizes about is sex, not men but women too are in the queue. After dreaming a lot about sex, sometimes it happens that it becomes hard to resist when one gets alone with the loved one. Now what next? In that case, to prevent unwanted pregnancy a woman has to take oral emergency contraceptive pills after sexual act. This becomes an important option for every woman to live a tension free life ever.  There are various methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Main 12 types of birth control are given below:

  • Combination pills
  • Progestin- only pill
  • Extended cycle pill
  • Vaginal ring
  • Diaphragm
  • IUD
  • Female condom
  • Male condom
  • Patch
  • Implant
  • Sterilization
  • Emergency contraception

The oral contraceptive pill is the easiest way a woman could opt for. The pill provides much effective results. Before we go on to discuss about female oral contraceptives, let us first have a brief idea about when did birth control pills first originated?

Brief history of oral pills

Long back many couples tried several methods to prevent pregnancy. Prior to modern methods for birth control, woman depended on withdrawal or periodic abstinence which often failed. In the year 1916, Margaret Sanger (American birth control activist, sex educator, and nurse) opened her first birth control clinic in Unites States and the other year she had to go jail for thirty days on account of maintaining public nuisance. Officially in the year 1960, the very first oral contraceptive Enovid, got approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as contraception. Also in the year 1972, Supreme Court took a stand and legalized birth control for all the citizens of United States irrespective of their marital status.

 

What are oral contraceptives?

The oral contraceptive pills are commonly birth control pills to be used by woman for preventing pregnancy, or to regulate the menstrual cycle and to provide hormone replacement therapy. There are two main types of female oral birth control pills which are the progestin-only pill and combined oral contraceptive pills. Combined birth control pills contains estrogen and progesterone which tend to work mainly by stopping ovulation meaning if there isn’t any egg to meet the sperm how will the pregnancy occur? The reversible effect on the uterine lining and cervical mucus also discourages pregnancy.

How it works?

  • The pill works in three ways, first it try to change the body’s hormone balance so that ovaries do not produce an egg or ovulate.
  • Also it causes the mucus to thicken and form a mucous plug which makes it difficult for sperm to pass through uterus for fertilisation.
  • The pill is also effective in making the lining of womb thinner. So the chances are less that a fertilised egg will attach to the uterus.

Be it over the counter emergency contraceptive pills or any other birth control method, their main aim is to prevent unwanted pregnancy and most of the results are successful.

The oral female contraceptives prove efficient under ideal conditions giving success rate of over 99.5%. One could experience several other benefits of these pills which are mentioned below:

Oral pills other health benefits

  • Birth control pills are found to be highly reliable and provide successful results exceeding over 99%.
  • Using contraceptive oral pills may cause menstrual cycle to occur regularly and predictably. This is good for those women whose periods come too often or infrequently.
  • Having painful menstrual cramps may get some relief from using birth control pills.
  • They tend to reduce the amount of blood flow during periods which means less blood loss will prevent anemia.
  • The risk of developing ovarian cysts can be reduced for those using birth control pills, as they help prevent ovulation.
  • If any medication does not work on your acne, then having birth control pills may cure moderate to severe acne. The hormones in the birth control pills can greatly help acne from forming.
  • These pills can also reduce the risk of symptomatic endometriosis. The women who have endometriosis can feel less pelvic pain if they are on the pill. The disease would not be cured but yes the pills may help to stop further progression.
  • Excessive facial or body hair can be improved while taking the pills as androgens and testosterone may get suppressed by oral female contraceptives.

One should know that these pills do not provide any protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) like HIV. Also taking these pills will never affect a woman’s future fertility although it could take about two or three month longer if somehow a woman stops taking them.

How to start combination pills?

Oral contraceptive pills comes in packets of 21, 28 or 91 tablets to be taken through mouth once a day, every day and almost each day of regular cycle. Always consult your doctor before taking these medicines and read directions to use on prescription label carefully. Take it exactly as prescribed. They come in many different brands which contains different medications or doses to be taken in different way. Make sure you know which brand you are using and how to use it.

  • For 21 packet tablet, have single tablet daily for 21 days and then none for a week or 7 days. After it start a new packet
  • For 28 tablet packet, have 1 tablet daily for 28 days in a row as specified in the packet. Start new packet on the day after you have 28th The tablets are of different colours and many colour tablets contain different amounts of estrogen and progestin. There are certain colour tablets too which have an active ingredient or a folate supplement
  • For 91 day tablet packet, have one tablet daily for 91 days and the packet would consist of three trays of tablets. You can start with the first tablet on first tray and then can continue with taking 1 tablet each day as specified on the packet until you have taken all tablets on all three trays.

Your pharmacist or doctor would tell you when you should start taking contraceptive pills. Also these pills are started on the first or fifth day of the menstrual period or on the first Sunday after when the bleeding begins. Doctor would also tell whether you require any other method of birth control during the first 7 to 9 days of taking oral contraceptive.

Possible side effects

Combination birth pills are safe for mostly women but sometimes they are associated with small increased risk of vein thrombosis (blood clot), heart attack or stroke. The risk is comparatively higher in those women who are 35 years old and smoke about 15 cigarettes in a day. Also risk increases for those having multiple risk factors for cardiovascular diseases like high cholesterol or high blood pressure and diabetes.

One should immediately consult a doctor in case any of the symptoms occur like extreme headache, bad pain in chest, in legs or tummy, difficulty in breathing, coughing up blood and weakness or numbness in the arms or leg. These symptoms could be due to blood clot.

In case of any discrepancy, try to visit your nearest gynaecologist as soon as possible and always make sure that you read the prescription thoroughly before consuming any oral contraceptive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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