Birth control pills are a unique kind of medicine with hormones. The pills come in a pack and you are supposed to take 1 pill every single day. Birth control is safe and if you always take your pill on time, effective. In this 3-minute article we discuss the uses, side effects, dosage, and different forms of birth control.
There are a few different types of birth control.
These type of pills contain synthetic forms of the hormones estrogen and progesterone (referred to as “progestin” in its synthetic form). Estrogen helps control the menstrual cycle.
Estrogen levels peak in the middle of your cycle and are lowest when you have your period. Progesterone gets the uterus ready for pregnancy after ovulation by thickening the endometrium. Excess progesterone levels also prevent ovulation.
There are 28 pills in one combination pack. Most pills in each cycle are active—meaning they contain hormones. The remaining pills, however, are inactive and don’t contain hormones. Types of combination pills include:
Research suggests that combination pills may provide some protection against the following:
These type of pills, also referred to as the mini-pill—contain progestin without estrogen. This can help reduce bleeding in people with intense periods. Additionally, those who can’t take estrogen for health or other reasons and have a history of heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and/or deep vein thrombosis may benefit from taking progestin-only pills.
With progestin-only pills, all pills in the cycle are “active.” You may or may not have a period while taking progestin-only pills because there are no inactive pills. Examples of brand-name progestin-only pills include:
These type of pills may be safer for individuals who:
Talk with your doctor of pharmacist to see which birth control pill type is best for you. There are a few things to consider when deciding on your pill:
Combination pills work in two ways.
1) They prevent you from ovulating which means your ovaries won’t release an egg every month.
2) These pills cause your body to thicken the fluid around your cervix (cervical mucus) that helps sperm travel to your uterus so it can fertilize an egg. This helps to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus.
Similarly to combination pills, progestin-only pills work in a couple of different ways. For the most part, they work by thickening your cervical mucus and by thinning your endometrium—the lining of your uterus. This is where an egg implants after it’s fertilized. If the lining is thinner it is more difficult for an egg to implant in it.
Birth control pills are very effective for preventing pregnancy. Both the progestin-only pill and combination pill have less than 9 percent failure rates. In order to be fully effective, progestin pills should be taken within the same 3-hour time period each and every day. If you miss this window, you should take your pill immediately and also use another method of contraception for 2 days.
Combination pills have a little more flexibility than progestin pills. With that being said, however, you should take them within the same daily 12-hour time period each day. This pill may be less effective if you are taking any of the following:
Furthermore, this pill may also be less effective if you are or have been experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see whether you should use another contraception method for a few days.
Generally, birth control is safe and effective. There are some side effects, however, that each individual reacts to differently. Reported birth control side effects include:
Many of these side effects will subside or at least improve within a few days or months of taking the pill. If they don’t, you should consult with your healthcare professional so they can recommend the next best steps to take.
Serious risks can occur while using birth control. It may increase the risk of blood clots that can lead to:
Research from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests that only 10 out of 10,000 people taking birth control pills will develop a blood clot after a year.
Fortunately, access to birth control pills is easier than ever. The traditional route of an in-person doctor visit is still an option, however, there are now more convenient ways of ordering your medication.
With Cloud9 Healthcare you can order your prescriptions online right from your device and receive fast and free home delivery. Stop overpaying for your prescriptions and connect live with one of our licensed pharmacists now.
Birth control pills are a unique kind of medicine with hormones. The pills come in a pack and you are supposed to take 1 pill every single day. When taken correctly, they have a 91 percent success rate.
There two types of birth control pills are combination and progestin-only. The former is more common, however, progestin-only pills, may be a better fit for certain groups of people because they don’t contain any estrogen.
As with any medication, before taking birth control be sure to talk to your doctor or medical professional to determine which type is best for you.