You Should Know About Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills also referred to as oral contraception, are taken by women on a daily basis to prevent pregnancy.
Usually, these Birth control pills are “combination pills” they contain a mix of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. They help in preventing pregnancy by making the cervical mucus thicker; this helps in avoiding sperm to swim to an egg. They also Stop Ovulation, there is no release of the egg for the sperm to fertilize.
How to make Birth Control Work Best for you
To make the pill work best for you, it is essential to think about certain things ahead of time. Take your pills daily at the same time for as long as you don’t want a pregnancy. Set the alarm on your phone, place your pills next to things you use daily (like your mobile phone charger, toothbrush), keep your pills in your bag when you travel, you can also make pill buddies help each other. Ideally, you should start your pills on the first day of your menstrual periods. Continue to take one pill every day
Birth control pills come in 21 day or 28-day packs depending upon the brand. Both sets come with 21 “active” pills which are loaded with hormones. The extra seven pills which come in the 28-day set are called “sugar” pills, or “reminder” pills or the placebo pills. They do not have any hormone. These extra pills are there to serve a reminder so that you do not break the habit of taking one pill daily.
Combination pills are also available in the market; they decrease the frequency of menstrual cycle, the number of periods is reduced to one in every three months compared to one every month.
Birth control pills are about 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken but missing even a single dose may increase the probability of getting pregnant. Therefore it is recommended to take a pill every single day at same time. Also, it is important to remember that birth control pills do not have any role in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It is always advised to use condoms along with the pill to protect against STDs. Since every woman is unique and different, finding the right birth control pill may not be possible with the first prescription. Always consult your doctor if you experience any undesirable symptoms.
What if you Miss Taking a Pill for One Day?
Immediately take one pill as soon as you remember, then take your regular pill at the usual time. You should also consider backup methods such as condoms and try to abstain for first seven days after you missed your daily dose.
What if you Miss Taking more Than One Pill?
When you miss taking a pill for more than one day, your options are dependent on the estrogen in your pill. You should use backup methods like condoms, abstinence, emergency contraception.
Possible Side Effects
The birth control pills are simple, safe and effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy. Many girls adjust to them with little to no problem. Few women may have some undesirable side effects like – irregular menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, tenderness in the breast, headaches. Few may complain of blood clots. New studies have shown both negative and positive link between birth control pills and emotional health. These usually occur within the initial 2 – 3 months of use and vanish after first 2 – 3 months. Women should not stop using birth control pills if they experience nausea or vomiting, to help avoid nauseous feeling it is advised to take pill near bedtime after dinner.
Always talk to your healthcare professional, in case you continue to feel any of the side mentioned above effects after a three month period.
Few side effects which are happily accepted by girls are –regular periods, anaemia (iron deficiency), lighter periods with less bleeding, reduced menstrual cramps, helps in premenstrual symptoms, protect against pelvic inflammatory diseases and improvement in acne. Certain combination birth control pills also protect against breast cancer, ovarian cysts, anaemia and endometrial cancers.
Vomiting and diarrhoea can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Also, certain medicines used in certain diseases can also reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills, like – Antibiotics (rifampin), certain HIV medicines, specific anti – seizures medicine, St John’s Wort.
Birth control pills are not recommended for women who have a migraine, headaches, diabetic, high cholesterol, inherited blood – clotting disorders, high blood pressures and certain types of cancers.
It is best to discuss your birth control options with your healthcare professional before taking any. Always tell your doctor about your medication