The birth control pill is a hormone containing pill that changes the functioning of the body in order to prevent pregnancy. There are hormones in the pills which help to control the ovaries and the uterus.
Most of these pills have a combination of the two most important hormones, progesterone and estrogen. The ovulation is very important as the egg gets fertilized but if there is no ovulation, then a woman cannot become pregnant.
How does it work?
The mucus around the cervix gets thickened by the pill and the sperm is unable to enter the uterus to reach the egg. The lining of the uterus is affected by the hormones present in the pill which does not allow the egg to attach to the wall of the uterus. Most of these pills come in a 3 week pack. The woman has to take a pill every day at the same time for 21 days. The woman will have her periods when she stops having birth control pills. The 28-day pack of the birth control pills is more popular among the women.
The mini-pill is also somewhat popular which is otherwise known as the low-dose progesterone pill. These pills, as the name suggests, contain only the hormone progesterone and does not have estrogen. The efficacy of the mini-pills has not been proven to be strictly 100%. The mini-pill is to be taken regularly and the woman can face irregular or no periods. The pill needs to be taken everyday and at the same time.
The birth control pill works best when the pill is taken regularly at the same time. If you are using progesterone only pills then you must not forget a single does and take the pills on a daily basis. This routine is not dependant on whether the woman is going to indulge in any sexual activity or not during the time frame.
It is suggested the when the woman has started taking pills, she should use an additional contraceptive method or the first week. But after that the pills alone should suffice. The additional protection can be in the form of condoms. If you forget to take the pills for a single day even, you must refrain from having any kind of sexual activity. Whatever be the situation, DON’T ever take the pills that have been prescribed or are being used by your friend or relative.
Around 8% of the women who are on pills experience accidental pregnancy. But the chance of getting pregnant will actually depend on how serious you are taking these pills on a regular basis. The pills are very effective but if you miss it even for 1 day then you might just become pregnant. The effectiveness of a birth control pill also depends, to a certain extent, the general health condition of the person.
Possible Side Effects
The birth control pills are considered both safe and effective. The side effects are almost nil for most women. But there are some women who suffer from certain side effects like
• Irregular periods• Nausea and headache• Mood swings• Blood clots
The side effects usually do not linger and they will slowly go away. If the side effects persist, then the doctor might be tempted to prescribe a different brand of pill. There are some side effects which are actually welcomed by the women and these are light periods and no cramps. The birth control pills have been proved effective against breast disease, anemia and ovarian cysts. There is common myth that birth control pills can cause fertility problems but this is misplaced.
Types of Birth Control Pills
Combination birth control pills are the most common. There are mainly three types of combination pills namely Monophasic, Biphasic and Triphasic. In the first type, same level of hormone is present in all the active pills. The Biphasic birth control pills have two levels of estrogen and progestin. The Triphasic has three different hormonal doses and is changeable every week. The main advantage of combination pills is that they are more effective and the failure rates are almost negligible.
The women, in fact, love the combination pills as they make the menses lighter and less painful. The combination pills are very helpful in reducing the chances of ovarian cysts, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. Some doctors even prescribe combination birth pills to women who are suffering from acne. This is because these pills reduce the level on acne. Possibilities of ectopic pregnancy and endometriosis are also reduced due to the intake of combination pills. No wonder these type of birth control pills are the # 1 choice for both doctors and patients.
Who can use it?
If you are a young woman and if you can remember to take a pill each day then you can go for the birth control pills. However, medical conditions can restrict the use of pills in some women. These pills are ineffective among women who are or have suffered from migraine headaches and any type of cancer. Don’t start on a birth control pill all b yourself; consult a doctor first and he/she will prescribe a birth control pill for you.
How to get it?
The birth control pill must be prescribed by a doctor. The doctor will enquire about her health, family medical history and may also conduct a pelvic exam. The doctor will also make the schedule of taking the pills and will also advise you regarding what to do if you forget to take the pills one day. The woman must report to the doctor after three months and get her blood pressure checked among other routine examination. This will enable the doctor to understand whether she is having any problems due to the pills. Then the woman must visit the doctor after every six months for a routine check-up.
What is the cost?
The birth control pills are usually priced in the range of $15 to $50. There are many family planning clinics that sell birth control pills at a much lesser price. There are many health insurance plans where the price of the birth control pills and the visits to the doctors are fully covered.