There are several ways used by many people in order to prevent pregnancy. Condoms and certain contraceptives like diaphragm, are few such ways that are used widely to prevent pregnancy. In the recent years, oral contraceptives or birth control pills are gaining massive popularity. These pills do not carry any sort of risk or any side-effect and are very easy to use and consume. These pills are a boon for a woman who are looking for ways to shun off not needed pregnancy. She can take an extra precaution to avoid an unwanted pregnancy by just popping a pill. Studies suggest that these pills did wonders in controlling population as well, to some extent.
Although there are some issues related to these pills, but they can be easily ignored if one takes certain measures. The best thing about having these pills is the fact that they do not have any sort of side-effect or risk involved with them. Yes, there are some hormonal difficulties that a woman can face while having these medicines. Apart from the hormonal changes, which are, not detrimental to health there is nothing much to worry about. Even these hormonal difficulties are controllable if the birth control pills are taken on a regular basis periodically.
How birth control pills prevent pregnancy ?
We have learned various ways in which pregnancy can be controlled, but we will keep our focus on only birth control pills and would try to understand in depth about, how birth control pills actually function and what all changes do they bring in a woman’s body.
To put things in a very simple language, birth control pills prevent pregnancy by stopping the process of ovulation in females. If a female is not able to release an egg during a sexual intercourse, then the sperm will not have any egg to fertilize and therefore the female will not get pregnant. Birth control pills contain two synthetic hormones in it estrogen and progestin. The synthetic hormone in the the birth control pills prevents the woman’s estrogen level to peak. If the estrogen level does not increase, then the pituitary gland does not release the other hormones that are responsible for the release of the egg inside a woman and hence the sperm cannot fertilize any egg at all.
The estrogen that is present in the pill prevents the pituitary from producing follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormones. The prevention of these hormones results in the prevention of the overall process of ovulation. The estrogen in the birth control pill also avoids bleeding during the mid-cycle. The progestin that is present in the pill is used for preventing the pituitary gland from producing the luteinizing hormones that produce eggs. It makes the uterine lining not suitable for fertilization of an egg. The uterine lining of a woman who is consuming the birth pill will get unsuitable for implantation of zygote as well. The presence of progestin in the pill is responsible for making the cervical mucus thick. As the cervical mucus gets thick, it makes it difficult for the sperm to pass through it. Hence, it becomes difficult for the sperm to reach the egg and fertilize it.
There are two types of pills that are available in the market;
- combo pill
- single pill.
The combo pills contain two hormones in them progestin and estrogen while single pills contain only one synthetic hormone, progestin, in it. From both the pills the combo pill is considered to be effective than the single pill. The added advantage of using a combo pill rather than the single pill is the fact that there is less bleeding breakthrough. Some women prefer taking only single pills, as some of them are unable to tolerate the synthetic hormone estrogen present in the combo pill.
The synthetic hormones for preventing pregnancy are not only limited to pills. One can have these through shots. The synthetic hormone is also available as a vagina ring. The intramuscular shots of progestin only are also available. Several women are now shifting to other methods of preventing pregnancy like intramuscular shots, vagina ring and patch as these are required to be taken once in a week whereas the birth control pills are required to be taken every day. Birth pills have their own issues. One should try to have birth pills at the same time every day as this helps in maintaining the hormonal level of the body. The day when you will not have a birth control pill, your body will birth control hormones would dip and as a result, you had to take two pills the other day. You should try to make it a habit to have pills at a certain time of the day when you will always remember to take the pill.
The birth control pills would be of no use if the egg fertilizes and implants in the uterine lining. These birth control pills are required to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex (complete process of egg fertilization takes 72 hours inside the vagina). These pills have really helped and eased many women round the world who are now able to enjoy their sexual lives without worrying much about unwanted pregnancy, all thanks to these birth control pills! It is also a better option than taking any chance. Using a contraceptive implant as at times, some doctors are not well trained to put these implants in the body and so it becomes important to search for a doctor who is skilled enough. This is actually a bit tedious. The use of the old barrier methods is also not hundred percent proofs.
The birth control pills certainly stand apart from all the earlier innovations in the field of birth control. However, the most important thing that one should know is that the birth control pill works only when taken every day and at a particular time. If one can try not to forget the consumption of the pill then it can easily come to rescue for those who fear getting pregnant.