What is the PILL, exactly?
Oral contraceptives contain hormones that are similar to the ones naturally produced by your body. There are two types of pills: estrogen-progestogen pills (combined) and micro-progestogen pills which contain only progestin. Let’s break this down for you.
How successful is it for preventing pregnancy?
When used as prescribed, both pills’ effectiveness is very high (99.7%). But this effectiveness can be compromised by several things: forgetting, eliminating the pill during vomiting or diarrhea and interactions with certain drugs. For all these reasons, in current use, the effectiveness of the pill is 91%.
How long does it take to be effective?
When you are taking the pill for the first time, it will work immediately as long as you take the first tablet from the pack on the 1st day of your period. On the other hand, if the first tablet is taken later, it will be necessary to use condoms during the first 7 days of taking the tablets. That is, if you are taking the combined pill (estrogen-progestogen). If it is a progestin-only pill, it will work after 48 hours as long as you take the first tablet in the pack on the first day of your period. On the other hand, if the first tablet is taken afterwards, it will be necessary to use condoms during the first 7 days of taking the tablets.
How does it work?
All combined estrogen-progestogen pills suppress ovulation. So, when you taking the pill continuously blocks the onset of menstruation. When you stop taking the hormone for the 7 days of "placebo , which are inactive, you end up bleeding and having a period. In the case of progestin-only pills, some suppress ovulation and others do not. With progestin-only pills that do not suppress ovulation, you will have a period regularly, about every 4 weeks. With progestin-only pills that suppress ovulation, you may stop having periods altogether.
What are the side effects?Many women experience a lowered libido, gain weight and have mood swings. Some women taking the pill have higher levels of oxytocin in the blood. This hormone, is known as the "love hormone". Because levels of oxytocin increase during hugging and orgasm. It is associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building. Most women on the pill will have increased appetite, some acne, and vaginal dryness. It important to note that prolonged use of oral contraceptives increase the risk of breast cancer.
How do I know if this is right for ME?
Here are some factors to consider when choosing the birth control that is right for YOU! The pill will be prescribed by your physician, so it’ very important to discuss this before making your decision.·
- Your age;
- What type of relationship you are in (stable partner, multiple);
- Your overall general health;
- If you are planning to have kids in near future;
- If you are OK with the possible side effects;
- If you have irregular and/or painful periods;
- If you are able to commit to taking a pill every day at the same time;
- If you are a smoker (not recommended);
- If there are any illnesses that run in your family;
- If you are currently taking any other medications.
Having a backup plan (Plan B)
Having a Plan B, or morning-after pill at home is always handy if you are not on birth control, in the case of ‘accidents’. These can be given to you at the pharmacy counter without a prescription. They can reduce the chance of conception by 87%.
Be safe, be well, Justine 😊
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Have a Happy Period! 😊