What are birth control pills?
Birth control pills are the medication that women who want to prevent pregnancy take. They are also called oral contraceptives which perhaps are one of the easiest, convenient and cost-effective way of preventing pregnancy.
Apart from being really cost-effective, this form of contraception is highly effective. In 99.9% of the cases, the pills would let you terminate the pregnancy without any other form of contraception taken if taken on time and in the right manner.
Just like condoms which are affordable and safe and are the best post-sex contraception you would find.
How do Birth Control Pills works?
If the egg released from the ovary gets fertilized with the sperm, the woman gets pregnant. The fertilized egg then starts receiving nutrition and develops into a fetus.
All these functions are controlled by different female hormones. The birth control contraceptives work by disturbing the production and release of the hormones to terminate the pregnancy.
Hormonal contraceptives contain a small amount of man-made estrogen and progestin hormones which disturbs a woman’s reproductive cycle.
They work through a combination of factors to make that happen.
- The hormonal contraceptives would stop the uterus from producing an egg.
- The Hormonal contraceptives also change the cervical mucus and make it thicker which prevents sperm from getting to the eggs.
- Another effect that Hormonal contraceptives have are, they change the lining of the womb so that the fertilized egg does not get implanted into it which prevents it from turning into a fetus.
Birth control pills are taken on a daily basis or as recommended by the doctor to prevent pregnancy. Generally, a woman takes the different combination of Birth Control pills to make sure the pregnancy gets terminated.
Different types of Birth Control Pills:
Combination Birth Control Pills:
Combination pills are a combination of two birth control pills one of which contains synthetic estrogen and the other contains Progestin. Inducing these man-made hormones into the body disturbs the whole reproductive cycle and helps you terminate the pregnancy.
They come in a set of 21 pills for a month or 28 pills for a month. Out of 21 pills are totally active which means they contain hormones which let you prevent pregnancy, rest 7 pills are inactive which means they do not contain any hormone. They are there in the medication course to help you form a habit of eating a pill every day.
These Combination pills are of various types:
They are there for a single menstrual phase. They are to be taken for a period of 28 days with each tablet contain the same amount of hormone. Usually, during the last week of medication, you will get your period and the pregnancy will be terminated.
They are taken over a course of a single menstrual cycle. However, the amount of hormone contained in the medicine varies depending upon the number of the day in the cycle in which you are consuming it. By the last day of the cycle, you will get your period.
These pills are taken over a course of three menstrual cycles. Yes, this medication is prescribed for 13 weeks. Out of which 12 weeks of dosage are active with hormones, the rest 1 week is the reminder pill. By the end of the last week, you will definitely get your period.
These pills usually come with some reminder pills to let you get into the habit of eating one pill every day. These pills are to be taken in at the same time of the day every day.
By the end of the medication the course, usually all the women get their period. However, experiences vary depending on body type.
Some good brands of combination contraceptive pills are:
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen
Progestin Birth Control Pills
These pills only have synthetic progestin as the primary content and do not have any estrogen. They are to be taken for a course of 28 days and each pill contain the same amount of hormone.
This means all 28 pills are active and it is very important to take each one of them every single day. The right way of taking this medicine is one every day and at the same time of the day.
You may get your period on the fourth week, or you may notice spotting throughout the month.
Some good brands of Progestin Birth Control Pills are:
Seasonale Contraceptive Pills
Seasonale Contraceptives contain the same synthetic hormones as birth control pills but are taken over a longer period of time. They reduce the number of menstrual cycles you get in a year from thirteen or just four.
This will reduce your menstrual cycle to one every three months.
Emergency contraceptives are supposed to be taken immediately in the morning after you had unprotected sex at night. It is just one tablet which contains Levonorgestrel, the enzyme which prevents fertilization of the egg in various ways.
Technically, the pill has to be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex but the sooner it’s taken, the better. It is not a regular medicine which is to be taken daily. It gives one-time results and is very effective.
How effective are the birth control pills?
If taken at the same time of the day, every day these pills will definitely let you terminate the pregnancy. This allows the correct amount of hormones to enter your body every 24 hours.
To remember having them at the same time of the day, take them after breakfast or before bedtime.
If you are having any other disease like diarrhea or vomiting when you are on contraceptive medication, this may reduce the effectiveness of the medicine. They will be taken out of the body and then the body will not receive the same amount of hormone.
What are the Benefits of birth control pills?
The birth control pills are the most effective, affordable and convenient way to avoid pregnancy. As these pills contain a high amount of artificial hormones, they are also recommended in some other cases.
The combination of a progestin-rich pill can be taken for other reasons too, which offer benefits will like:
- If you are getting heavy periods and the too earlier than before your cycle completes, then induction of progestin will change the situation.
- It will help your periods get more regular and sometimes lighter.
- They will reduce menstrual cramps and abdominal pain during menstruation.
- The pills also help treat symptoms of PCOD and PCOS.
- They also prevent symptoms of any pelvic inflammatory disease.
- It helps treat serious infection in the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
- It also helps prevent symptoms of Ovarian and endometrial cancers
The combination pill can also help protect against or reduce:
- Menstrual cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Cysts in ovaries
- Cysts in breasts
- Prevents tumor in breasts and uterus.
- Bone thinning
- Ectopic pregnancy
Once you start taking these medications, you may experience a different type of menstrual cycles. You may start with your periods by the end of the last week of the medication, or you may experience bleeding all through the month or months during which you take the medicine.
But you should start taking these medicines only if you are sure that you are pregnant otherwise it will disturb your entire menstrual cycle and reproductive cycle without any reason.
You should first get sure that you are pregnant, this can be done by using a pregnancy kit by consulting a doctor.
Your doctor will recommend the right contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy.
These pills are very easy to consume and come in small compact packages which can be easily hidden in your wallet.
What are the Disadvantages?
Most of the women, who take this medicine have easily gotten away with pregnancy with not much side-effects and troubles.
However, the case is not the same with all the women. Some women start experiencing undesirable side effects like:
The most common of which is continuous bleeding or spotting during periods.
- Extreme nausea like conditions
- Projectile vomiting
- Breast soreness and tenderness.
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
But the thing is you should not stop taking these pills even if you experience any of those symptoms. This will put you at the risk of becoming pregnant.
In case of all these symptoms, you should consult your doctor who would be able to help you get away with them.
To avoid nausea take this medicine during m=bed time along with a mild sedative. This will make you sleep and you will get away with any nausea that happens while you are asleep.
Another effect that these pills have is on your sexual drive. If you keep on taking these medicines regularly you may experience your sexual desire to be declining. This is because of the huge hormonal change happening in the body. These side-effects may not be that prominent but they do affect many women.
If you are experiencing all these side-effects on a very serious level, then you may need to switch to some other contraceptive medication. The one you are taking already may not be suiting you, but the other might do.
Risks of using birth control Pills:
A serious risk of using birth control pills, especially combination pills, is an increased risk of blood clots. This can lead to:
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Heart attack
- Pulmonary embolism
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- Chest pain
So, talk to your gynecologist about the side effects you are experiencing and discuss other options available. Even switching the pill brands may help.
There are various types of birth control pills and different brands producing them. All of them contain varying levels of hormones. They all have been produced differently to suit the needs of a wide array of female body types.
Also, choose your birth control pills very carefully if you are already having any of these conditions:
- High cholesterol
- Inherited blood-clotting disorders
- High blood pressure
- Cysts or tumors in the ovaries or uterus
- PCOD or PCOS
- Heart diseases
The risks of side-effects are even higher if you are over 35. Also, if you are addicted to smoking or drinking.
You are more at risk if you are a smoker, aged 35 or older, or are overweight.
Also, to avoid any specific symptom you should also check the warning inside the packaging. They will warn you of any particular thing that you can avoid to prevent these side-effects.
How to make the birth control pills work for you?
Not taking the pill on time, taking the pill at a different time every day or even forgetting to take the pill. All of this would not accrue to the result that you want to see. These are the reason why some women who do take these pills get pregnant.
So, if you want that to not happen to you, make sure you are taking the pills every day and on time.
To make that work, try these few tips:
- Put an alarm or reminder on the phone which will retell you at the exact right time to take your medicine.
- If you do not keep your phone with you all the time, then you should keep this medicine with something you use every day. Like your toothbrush on the refrigerator, with your phone charger or on the drawer next to your bed. You can also keep the pills in your wallet.
- Keep multiple packs of pills with you. One in your wallet, so when you go out you take a pill from that, one can be left at home, one at the office and one in your car. So, that you always have medicine with you at all time of the day.
- If anyone in your family takes medicine regularly, then you should set your schedule according to theirs and they will remind you to take medicine.
- Ask someone who lives with you, to keep on reminding you.
Top 5 Contraceptive Pills that are also available online are:
Plan B one-stop birth control Pill
This is an emergency contraception which is also called as “morning after pill” because it is supposed to be taken immediately in the morning after you had unprotected sex at night.
This medicine contains Levonorgestrel, the enzyme which prevents fertilization of the egg. In fact, it is better the sooner, so do not even wait till morning and take it after hours of having unprotected sex. Just one pill and that’s it.
Take Action emergency contraceptive
The pill has to be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex. The sooner it’s taken, the better.
It is not a regular medicine which is to be taken daily. It gives one-time results and is very effective.
You can also take Take Action pill after within 72 hours (3 days) after you have incorrectly used your regular birth control measure or if that one has failed. It is very effective and works in 90% of the cases.
Mankind Unwanted 72
Unwanted 72 is one of the leading emergency contraceptive pills manufactured by Mankind Pharmaceuticals it has to be taken within 72 hours of intercourse.
It is an oral pill and contains 1.5 mg of progestin hormone Levonorgestrel and prevents fertilization or pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation, though it will not prevent a pregnancy if implantation has already taken place.
Postpone-72 Tablet contains progestin which helps to avoid unwanted pregnancy it will either stop ovulation or change the path of either the sperm or the eggs to prevent fertilization. It works if taken within 72 hours of intercourse.
After Pill contains the same synthetic hormone progestin hormone Levonorgestrel which helps you prevent pregnancy if taken with 72 hours after penetration has happened.