Birth control pills when taken as ordered, are 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Moreover, most women often practice what’s called “typical use.”
A typical use means when a woman misses a pill or two or is a bit late with a new pack, or some other situations which might prevent her from taking the pill every day at the same time. When you practice the typical use, birth control pills are about 91 percent effective.
Birth control is any method that is used to prevent pregnancy. There are so many methods of birth control including the use of condoms, IUDs, birth control pills, vasectomy, and tubal ligation.
BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
Birth control pills and the birth control shot are very effective and safe methods of preventing an unplanned pregnancy. There are forms of hormonal contraception
Just as there are different, they also require serious consideration before making a choice of use.
You can also ask questions, meet your doctor for advice on how to use and if you have any concerns.
It is also important you know that almost all forms of birth control are interchangeable. This means that you can swap them without fear of affecting your fertility or getting pregnant.
Birth control pills can also be used to reduce heavy periods, ease some of the symptoms of certain reproductive issues and also treat acne.
These pills come as combination pills and progestin-only minipills. The combination pills contain two types of hormones which are progestin and estrogen. The pill packs with combination pills contain three weeks of active pills and one week of placebo or inactive pills.
During the week when you use the inactive pills, you may have your period. The progestin-only minipills packs mostly contain 28 days of active pills.
Birth control pills functions in two ways to prevent pregnancy. First, the hormones that are active in it prevent the release of eggs from your ovaries or ovulation, and when you don’t have any eggs, there’s nothing for the sperm to fertilize.
Secondly, the hormones increase the production of mucus around the opening of the cervix. And when the mucus grows thick enough, the sperm is unable to enter the body and is stopped before it gets near an egg.
These hormones can also thin the uterine lining, and even if an egg is somehow fertilized, this ensures that it is not able to attach to the lining.
It is worthy to note that birth control pills offer no protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which means that you should make use of a barrier method like the use of condoms during intercourse.
Some risk factors/ contraindications for birth control pills
You should not take birth control pills if you have the following:
- When you have an inherited blood clotting disorder or a history of blood clots.
- When you have a history of heart attacks or some heart problems
- When you have been diagnosed with lupus
- When you experience migraine headaches
- When you smoke
- When you are over the age of 35
- When you have uncontrolled diabetes for more than 20 years
BIRTH CONTROL PATCH
This is a method of hormonal contraception, and is a highly effective method of preventing unplanned pregnancy.
The birth control patch sticks to the skin, gradually releasing hormones into the body to prevent pregnancy. It is usually replaced once in a week.
The birth control patch contains two types of synthetic hormones which are estrogen and progestin, same types of the hormone found in most birth control pills. When these hormones are released into the body, they function in preventing or blocking the ovaries from releasing eggs, and also thicken the cervix mucus to keep the sperm out.
The birth control patch is very easy to use. You want to know the benefits, disadvantages, risks, complications and how to use the birth control patch? Click here
BIRTH CONTROL SHOT
The birth control shot is a hormonal injection which prevents unplanned pregnancy for three months at a time.
The hormone found in this shot is progestin. Progestin functions to prevent unplanned pregnancies in two ways. First, it functions in preventing ovulation. Second, progestin thickens the mucus which lines the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to penetrate. And even if an egg is released during ovulation, it prevents sperm from fertilizing the egg.
If you are looking for a temporary birth control method and have wishes of getting pregnant soon, the birth control shot may not be right for you.
It is also important that you do not use a birth control shot if you have the following:
- If you have or if you have had breast cancer
- If you take aminoglutethimide, which is a prescription medication used in treating Cushing’s disease
- If you have thinning of the bones.
BIRTH CONTROL SIDE EFFECTS
Birth control pills and the birth control shot deliver increased doses of hormones to your body. Whenever your hormones are purposefully altered, you can experience some side effects.
The hormones in birth control pills are given gradually on a daily basis, and the level of hormone in the pills isn’t very high. The Depo-Provera shot delivers a high dose of hormones all at once, which can make you experience greater side effects immediately following the birth control shot.
For birth control pills, side effects include:
- Bleeding during an active pill day
- Breast tenderness
- Breast swelling
- Breast sensitivity
To read about birth control and weight gain, click here
The side effects for the birth control shot include:
- An irregular period
- An increase in spotting and breakthrough bleeding
- Weight gain
- A change in appetite
- Change in sexual drive and interest
- Tender breasts
- Mood changes.