Pregnancy is a gift from God and a gift of love, indeed! However, unwanted pregnancy can have many negative consequences on women that it causes a lot of fear, distress, and so forth. In the United States, half of all pregnancies are unplanned, with millions of women facing an unwanted pregnancy. It is always better to avoid an unwanted pregnancy rather than opting for medical termination in the later stages. Needless to say, oral contraceptive, also known as the pill, is the most preferred birth control method worldwide owing to its effectiveness.
Excellent way to avoid an unwanted Pregnancy – Oral contraceptives (Birth Control Pills)
Given the fact that oral contraceptives are proven to be 99.9% effective and reliable, when taken correctly, these pills are the widely used ones out of many birth control options available today in the world. Traditional birth control pills come in a 21/7 pack, i.e., 3-week active (hormone-containing) pills and 1-week inactive/placebo pills.
Types of Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills can be divided into Combination pills and Progestin-only pills, which are classified based on the combination of estrogen or progestin hormone.
1. Combination Pills:
Combination pills contain a combination of two hormones namely estrogen and progestin. These pills are categorized as monophasic, biphasic, or triphasic pills.
- Monophasic birth control pills: It contains the same amount of estrogen and progestin.
- Biphasic birth control pills: It delivers the same amount of estrogen each day for the first 21 days but the progestin/estrogen ratio is increased about halfway through the cycle, which allows the normal shedding of the lining of the uterus.
- Triphasic birth control pills: It has constant or changing concentrations of estrogen and progestin.
2. Progestin-only Pills:
The progestin-only pills (also called “Mini pills”) do not contain estrogen, which is ideal for breastfeeding women. It prevents sperm from entering the uterus.
How do the birth control pills work?
The birth control pills contain estrogen or progestin hormones that help stop the body from releasing an egg from the ovary. Also, these pills make it difficult for the sperm to find an egg, thus preventing pregnancy.
Side effects of birth control pills
While taking birth control pills, women may experience some of the below-mentioned minor side effects. Fortunately, these side effects often improve after a few months of its use.
- Head ache
- Slight weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swing
- Irregular bleeding
Other uses of oral contraceptives
These pills not only help in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, but are also used in the treatment of many diseases as follows:
- Functional ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroid tumors
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Ovarian and endometrial cancer
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Iron deficiency anemia
How to use birth control pills in an effective way?
- The pills should be taken regularly, because missing even one pill may result in pregnancy.
- Follow the instructions strictly.
- If you are under any other medication, then make sure to consult your physician before starting your course.
- Contact your physician if you experience any other side effects such as fever, abnormal bleeding, and pain.
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