Birth Control Pills

If you are looking for a method to space your pregnancies or even delay them, you may want to use birth control pills. Though pills are a good and easy-to-follow method for birth control, there are a lot of myths associated with them. We have here a lowdown on birth control pills that will clear all your doubts.

What exactly are birth control pills?

A method of birth control that uses hormones to prevent conception is called a birth control pill. Birth control pills generally contain some synthetic female hormones which can change your natural hormone levels preventing your ovaries to release an egg every month. When there is no egg released, there would also be no fertilization and therefore, no fear of pregnancy. Birth control pills cause the cervix to produce less and thicker mucous so that the sperm cannot enter the uterus easily. The lining of the uterus also becomes thinner making it difficult for the fertilized egg to stay in the uterus, when you are on pills.

What are the types of birth control pills?

The two kinds of birth control pills include the “combined pill” and the “progesterone-only” pill (the mini pill).If you have the combined pill, you take in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, while a “progesterone-only” pill contains only progesterone. Though the “combined pill” is usually recommended, you will be recommended to take the “progesterone-only” pill in case you are breastfeeding.

How effective are birth control pills in preventing a pregnancy?

The birth control pills are known to be 99% effective in preventing a pregnancy that you don’t want. But the prerequisite for a birth control pill to work is that you should administer it in the recommended manner. You are supposed to take a pill every day, at the same time, though a few hours here and there don’t make too much of a difference. But in case you are taking another medication, particularly antibiotics, the pills may be rendered ineffective. So during such a period, you should use a back up contraception along with your pills, to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

What are the other benefits of a birth control pill?

If you are on birth control pills, you can prevent an unwanted pregnancy without any interruptions in sexual intercourse. Birth control pills do not come in the way of pleasure. These pills also tend to regularize your menstrual cycle and make them less painful. Also, because of the hormonal supplement that you get from these pills, your risk to medical conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease, benign tumors of the breast and fibrocystic changes in the breasts reduces. It is also said that the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers is reduced in women who take the pill. Birth control pills can also protect you against an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus).

Doctors also prescribe birth control pills to girls who suffer from acne as these provide an effective remedy.

What should I do if I want to become pregnant?

Just stop taking the pill. If you had a sound gynecological record before you started taking the pill, there is no reason why you should have a problem in conception, after you have stopped taking the pill. All you have to do is to wait for at least two menstrual cycles after you have stopped taking the pill and then decide to conceive.

What are the drawbacks of taking a birth control pill?

The biggest drawback of taking a birth control pill is that you have to remember to take a pill everyday. If you forget, you will have to consult your doctor on how to use the pill again.

Sometimes, some people may also suffer some side effects of the pill like nausea and vomiting, weight gain, breast tenderness and swelling and irregular bleeding in the first few months along with missed periods. Problems like high blood pressure, dizziness, headaches and depression may also trouble you if you are on birth control pills.

In case you experience leg pain or swelling, bleeding irregularities, unusual headaches, loss of vision or double vision, numbness in your limbs while on the pill, you must consult your doctor.

Though birth control pills are an excellent method of contraception, they do not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. Therefore, it is essential that you use an extra back-up method of contraception like a condom for the purpose even while you take birth control pills.