What is your method to ensure you won’t get pregnant during sexual intercourse? We mean a method that helps you to avoid unplanned pregnancies.
There are many ways to prevent egg fertilization and pregnancy, among which birth control pills are the most popular.
These pills belong to the category of oral contraceptives and have a very simple working mechanism.
Contraceptive pills, known by different names such as birth control pills, morning pills, or simply the pills, are used by women. These pills are hormonal and contain a combination of progesterone and testosterone hormones. Thus, sometimes they are called combination pills as well. Such pills have been used since the 1960s in the United States and spread worldwide.
What is The Contraceptive Pill?
It is a pill taken by women to prevent unplanned pregnancy; contraceptive pills are a safe long-term birth control method. You can use birth control pills alone and, in some cases, with other safe methods. This article discusses the side effects, possible risks of these pills, and some tips on when to start birth control.
You may also have other questions: does birth control make you moody? Does birth control make you gain weight? Or how long does birth control take to work?
What happens as a result of taking birth control pills is that it prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. Therefore, even if sperm enters the uterus, it cannot fertilize an egg, and pregnancy does not occur. Also, these pills intensify the secretions of the cervical mucus to prevent the fertilization of sperm and any possible released egg.
Various Types of Birth Control Pills
Nowadays, contraceptive pills have a wide variety. While in the past, the available pills or combination pills were designed to be taken within twenty-one days, today, you can find types that allow skipping the period altogether.
Usually, the combination of birth control pills comes with seven or fewer placebo pills. After taking them, the menstrual cycle will begin.
Other contraceptive pills are known as progesterone-only contraceptive pills or minipills for short. As it is clear from their name, these pills contain only progesterone hormone, and their progestin content is less than combined pills.
The function of minipills is based on increasing the concentration of cervical mucus and thinning the uterus lining to prevent sperm from reaching the egg and fertilizing it.
These pills have gained popularity because they are so easy to use. But at the same time, the big problem for many women forget to take the pill daily. To ensure the effectiveness of birth control pills, you must take them regularly and on time. Pills start working in the body a week after you begin taking them.
Therefore, if you forget to take one or more doses, it is necessary to use another safe method of contraception, such as a condom, for a week.
Hormonal Pills Side Effects to Look Forward
It takes time to get used to the side effects of birth control pills. Because all types of hormonal birth control pills, even the minipills, have side effects anyway. Among them are headache, depression, bloating, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, insomnia, mood swings, increased appetite, and obesity which are common among consumers of both types of pills.
Some women ask, does birth control help acne? Unfortunately, it might cause hormonal acne if not removing it. Therefore, you may need to use control pills for acne treatment.
But in case you ask does birth control stop your period? You may see light bleeding when a pill is missed in the first months after starting this method. But it won’t stop your period unless you use the type that allows you to skip your period altogether.
Tell your doctor if the side effects continue after two to three months. You may need to change the type of pill you take or switch to an alternative birth control method altogether.
As mentioned, these pills are a long-term method of preventing unintended pregnancy. Still, there is evidence that long-term use of pills may have health risks. On the other hand, some studies have shown the positive effect of these pills in reducing the risk of women facing ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Therefore, discussing such concerns with your doctor is a good idea, especially if your family has a history of breast or ovarian cancers.
What Are The Risks of Pregnancy Pills?
Since birth control pills are hormonal and contain estrogen, they are not without risks, but most of these risks are not very common. Still, it is good to know the long-term side effects of birth control pills as there are significant risks for some people.
Some risks include heart attack, liver cancer, stroke, blood clot formation, and high blood pressure. Note that if your lifestyle is not healthy, for example, if you are a smoker, the probability of risks goes up.
Some women are not good candidates for taking birth control pills. If you have the following conditions stop taking the pill. For example, those suffering migraines due to sensitivity to smelling certain smells, those with high blood pressure, or women with a history of stroke or heart attack should not choose this option for birth control.
Due to the possibility of weight gain due to taking these pills, their use is not recommended for obese people.
If you have any of the following conditions, do not use contraceptive pills: having a history of certain cancers such as liver, breast, or uterine and having a medical history of blood clots.
Also, before taking these pills as a selective method to prevent pregnancy, it is necessary to report the following situations to your doctor:
Breastfeeding, recent childbirth or miscarriage, abortion, taking particular epilepsy drugs, history of depression, diabetes, or high cholesterol doctor.
If you have kidney or heart disease, discuss it with your doctor.
Tips on Taking Birth Control Pills
To minimize forgetting to take pills as much as possible, you can use various mobile applications to remind you of your daily intake time. Learn about other methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy. If for any reason you forgot to take the pill or, for example, you did not take the tablet sheet with you while traveling, or because you ran out of it, it is good to use the remaining contraceptive methods: female or male condoms, implant, intrauterine system or IUS, intrauterine device or IUD, injection, patch, vaginal ring, etc.
Choosing a contraceptive method has much to do with your lifestyle and physical conditions. For example, do you already have children or desire to get pregnant in the future?
Progesterone-only pills are suitable for breastfeeding women and those who have experienced health problems such as blood clots in the legs and lungs. Also, some women who are allergic to estrogen can use these pills.
Using these pills has no effect on preventing possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Birth control pills are an easy method for preventing you from getting pregnant when you have no plans. These pills come in a variety of shapes and brands. They are mainly divided into combination birth control pills or progesterone-only pills. Notice that both types are hormonal oral contraceptive methods.
Consuming each type of pill needs consulting with your doctor. Especially if you have specific health and lifestyle conditions that may interfere with choosing this method of birth control.