Most of you have been in a situation of yes or no after that romantic night with all the experiments. And in such situations we start finding ways to confirm the news of pregnancy so that, we can take effective measures to prevent it as soon as possible. Unplanned pregnancy can be a huge challenge because you have no idea of the new responsibility you are going to face. Contraceptive pills are one of the solutions to your problem.
There are so many doubts related to this as is it safe to be on contraceptive pills or when should one start taking these pills? Or what’s the suitable time for taking it? Or also which is best pill in so highly competitive market of these pills?
What is contraceptive pill?
Contraceptive pills are the birth control pills. Taking contraceptive pills is a popular method of birth control other than using male or female condoms, female sterilization or other methods.
Types of contraceptive pills
They thicken cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to swim into the uterus or to enter the fallopian tube. OCPs alter the normal cyclical changes in the uterine lining and may result in unscheduled or breakthrough bleeding.
Combined oral contraceptives:
Combined oral contraceptive pills (COCs) contain different combinations of the synthetic estrogen and progestin. For women above the age of 35, women who smoke tobacco and women with a history of blood clots need to exercise caution when using combined contraceptives. Due to the oestrogen content within the pills there is an increased chance of developing blood clots. These points are ideally considered by a gynaecologist when they prescribe OCs. Therefore in most instances women are recommended to get a prescription before opting for contraception.
Progestin-only pills (POPs):
A woman takes one pill daily, preferably at the same time each day. Progestin-only pills may interfere with ovulation or with sperm function. Since this pill does not contain oestrogen the chances of blood clots are reduced significantly.
Different names used for Contraceptive Pills
There are so many contraceptive pills available in the market with so many different names. Here is a list of some popular pills in Indian Market:
- Mala D
- Diane 35
- Nor QD
- No will Pill
How contraceptive pills work
During a typical, fertility cycle, everything that happens; is the release of an egg by the ovary during a normal cycle and along with it, hormones releases which direct the rest of the cycle. It also include the type of vaginal secretions you’ll have for the best sperm mobility during the fertile period.
When you menstruate, it’s because the egg released by the ovary either wasn’t fertilized, or was fertilized but did not implant in the uterus.
When you take the pill, the synthetic hormones send a different set of signals to your reproductive system.
- You do not ovulate (release that egg)
- Your vaginal secretions become and remain thicker (to make it tougher for sperm to get to the egg)
- The endometrial lining doesn’t build up as much (in the case that the other two modes go awry, that would make it really tough for a fertilized egg to implant).
- The reason why you don’t have any chances of getting pregnant during that placebo week (when you are not on pill) is because of all of the things the pill has done in the three weeks prior, and which it will do once you start taking it again.
When to use contraceptive pills for birth control
It’s helpful to keep track of menstrual cycles each month from the very start of them, especially if you’re sexually active. It can also help you figure out, over time and with your observations, what things seem to make you feel best with periods, and what only makes you feel worse.
Effectiveness of pills
Overall studies shows that contraceptive pills are approximately 99% effective. Less than 1 woman in 100 will get pregnant while taking the contraceptive pill.
Contraceptive pills with other drugs
It is commonly noted that your treating gynaecologist always inquires about all the medication you are currently on. Because every medicine has its own side effects as they may not work when taken with some other medicine.
There are many medications that have been studied and can work to lower the effectiveness of contraceptive pills. Some commonly used ones like antibiotics like penicillins, rifampin, few anti-seizure and antidepressants, can potentially decrease the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive pills.
Disadvantages and Side effects of contraceptive pills
A birth control pill can be a defender or offender because everything in life has its positive and negative aspects. And when it comes to taking any medicine, it all depends on your body.
As some women complain migraines while taking these pills, others say the exact opposite. So, the same medicine can have a different effect on your body. Your family and your own medical history also play an important role in deciding the probable side effects of any medicine on you.
So, you always have to consult your doctor before taking any kind of medication.
We have jotted down some common side effects of these pills:
- You must remember to take the pill at the same time, every day because if you miss these pills or fail to take them on time; it may cause spotting or unusual bleeding.
- Nausea and/or spotting are the two problems you may have in the first month on pills.
- Some of you may experience headaches, depression or decreased libido.
- Serious complications such as blood clots are rare, but do occur.
- Pills can be quite expensive and usually require a prescription.
- Use of pills is associated with a statistically higher risk of developing abnormal changes within the cervix, also medically known as dysplasia. Pill users with dysplasia who also have HPV (human papillomavirus) have a three- to four-fold higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
- Pill users who smoke or have hypertension are at significantly higher risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack.
Benefits or different uses of contraceptive pills
Apart from the side effects of these pills, there are multiple benefits of being on the pill. Yes, look out these following points how these pills can benefit you:
Most of the times, doctors prescribe combination birth control pills and these pills contain both estrogen and progestin. These two lower the level of androgen in body which helps to produce oil in skin and helps you to get an acne-free skin.
Get rid of irregular periods:
Our unhealthy lifestyle, stress and other health conditions may cause irregular periods. So these pills can make you tension free as they regulate the menstrual cycle. Generally, these prescribed medicines are taken for 21 days and after that you have to take a 7 day gap. In this one week gap, the decrease in the hormones result in bleeding. The pills should ideally be taken on time as any skipped doses can cause breakthrough bleeding or spotting.
Reduce unwanted hair growth:
These pills also help in reducing unwanted hair growth.
Control on weight gain:
Hormonal imbalance can also be a reason of those fat flabs. And these pills help balancing those hormones so; it ultimately helps you balance your weight.
Helpful for women with PCOS:
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women, with about 10% of all women of childbearing age developing it. In addition to irregular periods, PCOS symptoms include excess hair on the face, chest, back, and limbs, as well as acne, baldness, and weight gain. Taking these pills can regulate menstrual cycles, reduce hair growth, and clear up acne.
Make your periods less painful:
Most of us experience that unbearable period pain and cramps. These pills can also save you from that battle going on in your abdomen because these pills reduce the amount of prostaglandins that the body produces which in turn prevents the lining of the womb from thickening, which results in lighter periods.
What Contraceptives to use if breastfeeding?
As we have read earlier that there are two types of contraceptive pills. One which contains both estrogen and progestin and others only has progestin. The previous ones are not good while breastfeeding as estrogen does affect the milk production.
So, the pills containing progestin only, also known as mini pill, are considered a better option while your baby is on breastfeeding.
Myths related to Contraceptive pills
There are so many myths related to contraceptive pills as there is still a need of awareness for these issues in our society. And these common myths are as follows:
This is one of the myths related to contraceptive pills. Some women seem to gain weight on the pill, but research has shown that it isn’t due to pill use. The estrogen in the pill can make some women feel bloated, but this typically goes away. The progestin found in the pill may increase appetite, resulting in weight gain.
Take a break from having the pill:
There’s no medical reason for a healthy woman to take a break from using the pill. The pill is one of the most effective contraceptives, so taking a break from it may increase chances of getting pregnant (if you’re sexually active). In fact, it’s possible to get pregnant immediately after going off the pill. Taking a break can also cause some of the side effects that can be felt when first starting the pill.
Being on the pill for long time will make it difficult to get pregnant later:
You will have an equal chance of getting pregnant irrespective of the duration of time you have been on the pill.
Above is the information one must have before taking contraceptive pills to avoid any kind of complication.
So, birth control is every woman’s first step to freedom. You have the right to choose whether you want this new responsibility now or you want some more time to be ready for it.