Birth Control Pills: All the things you didn’t know

IUD-_-birth-control

Last Updated February 2nd, 2020

What are birth control pills?

The birth control pill was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 9, 1960, and since then it has given women the power to control pregnancies as needed. It is basically a pill that contains certain hormones and is a safe and effective way of stopping a pregnancy from happening. 

With millions of women using it around the world, it is the most popular method for birth control. With a variety of such pills on the market, it is necessary to assess the exact condition of the patient to figure out which pill works best.

Previously, these pills used to have high amounts of the hormone oestrogen but now they come with a synthetic form of oestrogen and a synthetic form of progesterone known as progestin. In the past years, the manufacturers of these pills have altered the composition in various ways to prevent any side effects like blood clots.

How do birth control pills work?

OCPs-and-birth-controlWhen used in the correct way, these pregnancy control pills are almost 99% effective. It is to be noted that not all pills are suitable for every woman and this depends on multiple factors, some of which are listed below.

  • The menstrual symptoms
  • Whether the patient breastfeeding
  • The overall cardiovascular health
  • Presence of any other chronic health conditions
  • Other medications that the patient might be consuming.

In order to find the pill that works best for you, you need to consult with the physician.

Types of birth control pills

Basically, the birth control pills can be divided into two main categories- the combination birth control pill, which contains both oestrogen and progestin and the mini-pill, which contains only progestin.

The combination pills

These pills prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg and also bring about changes in the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus to prevent the sperm from meeting with the egg. Various forms of these pills contain different proportions of oestrogen and progestin and they can be either the monophasic, biphasic or the triphasic type. The monophasic pills deliver the same quantity of oestrogen and progestin every day.

The biphasic pills deliver the same quantity of oestrogen during the first 21 days of the cycle. During the next half, the progestin/oestrogen ratio is kept higher. In triphasic pills, the oestrogen quantity can be fixed or varying while the progestin concentrations keep changing. None of the pills are superior in performance to the other and the doctor can suggest the best options for an individual.

The Progestin-Only oral contraceptive pill

These are also termed as mini-pills and they come in a pack of 28 pills. As they contain only progestin, these pills are suited for women who cannot consume oestrogen due to some specific medical conditions or unwanted side-effects.

It functions by making thickens cervical mucus and thins the lining of the uterus so the sperms cannot reach the egg. The pill also suppresses the process of ovulation but not in a consistent manner. This is a pill that needs to be consumed at the same time every day.

The advantages of birth control pills

IUD-_-birth-controlWhile the most important role of a birth control pill is to prevent pregnancy, it also has a range of other health benefits. Some of the most important benefits are listed below.

  • By balancing the hormonal fluctuations that happen throughout a cycle, these pills can prevent irregular menstrual cycles and provide relief from heavy bleeding. It can also help with symptoms like acne and excess hair which results from PCOS.
  • Most women experience painful contractions that cause cramps during ovulation and by preventing the process of ovulation, the pregnancy control pills provide relief from these pains. This is the major reason that causes more than 30% of women to use these pills.
  • The combination pills help in balancing the hormonal levels and prevent the acne problems which bother many young women.
  • Some research has indicated that women who consumed combination pills have a lesser chance of developing uterine cancer or ovarian cancer. This effect can last for up to 20 years after the person has stopped taking the pill.
  • While ovarian cysts are not dangerous, they are quite often a painful experience. The pills can help in preventing the development of new cysts and can stop the older cysts from growing again. This is especially helpful for women suffering from PCOS.
  • Many women suffer from a range of physical or emotional symptoms related to their menstrual cycles. The birth control pills offer relief from a premenstrual dysphoric disorder which is a complicated condition and hard to treat. The exact cause and remedy for this condition is still subject to further research.
  • Patients suffering from endometriosis, a problem related to the tissue lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, can find relief from using birth control pills. The pills are helpful as they help such patients to skip periods.
  • Many women who bleed heavily during the periods suffer from anaemia, resulting in weakness and fatigue. By allowing these patients to skip their periods, birth control pills can improve their condition.

What are the side effects of birth control pills?

In most cases, pills to prevent pregnancy do not result in health issues for young and healthy women. There are some cases where a patient can suffer the side effects of these pills but they usually go away within a few months.

These symptoms may include changes in the levels of sexual desire, bleeding between periods, sore breasts, nausea or headaches. Since there are multiple types of birth control pills, it is easy to choose the right variation that suits one’s body.

Vaginal bleeding is a common side effect of these pills but it usually gets resolved within a period of three months. This may be caused due to the change in the lining of the uterus or due to the alteration of the hormonal levels in the body. Severe cases involving heavy bleeding for multiple days will need consultation from a physician.

There can be nausea in some patients who take these pills. This generally gets cured within a few days and consuming the pills with food or at bedtime can help in avoiding these symptoms.

Some women can experience headaches and migraines after the consumption of anti- pregnancy pills. If the symptoms do not go away, a low-dose pill can be used to provide relief from the symptoms.

While clinical research has not found any direct link between these pills and weight gain, there can be some fluid retention in the hips and the breast. In many cases, some weight gain and decrease in lean body mass have been found as a side effect of birth control pills.

Some women can experience a missed period during the use of the pill. This can also be brought about through additional factors like stress, illness, travel, and hormonal or thyroid abnormalities.

The pills can also bring about a change in the sex drive or libido which may be in the form of a decrease or an increase. There is also a risk of thickening of the cornea in the eyes with the use of birth control pills. This can result in an uncomfortable fit for contact lenses and needs to be discussed with a doctor if there is any change in the vision.

The risks of birth control pills

Blood clots 3DThe combination pills can give rise to some health complications like cardiovascular problems, such as blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), lung clots or heart attack. They can also result in an increase in blood pressure, benign liver tumours and some types of cancer. The patients who are affected by the following conditions can face such issues from the birth control pills.

  • Women who are pregnant
  • Smokers or anyone who stopped smoking within the last year and is over 35 years old
  • Obese people
  • Patients consuming certain medications
  • Patients who have suffered a thrombosis, a stroke or a heart problem
  • Patients with a close relative who had a blood clot before the age of 45 years
  • Patients who suffer from severe migraines
  • Patients with a history of breast cancer or disease of the liver or gallbladder
  • Anyone suffering from who has had diabetes for at least 20 years

Individuals with a family history of blood clots, heart attack or stroke and suffering from high blood pressure should consult the doctor before long-term use of these pills. Women who have started using birth control pills at an early age are considered to have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Cervical dysplasiaLong term use of the pill has also been related to a higher risk of cervical cancer. At the same time, no relation has been found between birth control pills and the human papillomavirus, which is the major cause of cervical cancer. Oral anti-pregnancy tablets have also been linked with a higher rate of development of benign liver tumours but more research is required to ascertain the link.

It is necessary that women above 35 should check for glaucoma as well as evaluate their heart health through annual check-ups when they are using birth control pills. It is also important to keep in mind that these pills do not offer protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

FAQS regarding birth control pills 

What are the other options of birth control other than pills?

There are multiple options for birth control other than pills. These include the use of condoms which are available for both males and females. There is also the option of using a contraceptive sponge which contains a spermicide, to kill the sperms. These sponges are placed inside the vagina. Other options include cervical caps and diaphragms. In some cases an implant is placed under the skin, which releases the hormone progestin to control ovulation.

How long can the pills be used?

The pills can be used as long as it is needed and there are no limits on the period of usage. Many women use it for years after consulting with their doctors to assess any chances of a long-term complication.

Will there be any problems in getting pregnant after using the pill?

These pills do not have any impact on the fertility of an individual and hence there will be no effect on pregnancy. On the other hand, patients suffering from symptoms like an irregular period will continue to have so after stopping the consumption of these pills.

How soon after stopping the birth control pill can a woman conceive?

Doctors are of the opinion that normal ovulation will begin within two weeks of stopping the consumption of the pill. The hormones provided from the pill will not remain in the system and the normal process of conception can take place.

What happens if the birth control pill is consumed while being pregnant?

There is very little evidence that points out the hormones in the pill can cause any harm to the foetus. Once pregnancy is confirmed, the consumption of the pill can be stopped.

What happens when the user misses the pill on a day?

For combination pills, the extra pill can be consumed the next day. If the pills are missed for multiple days, then it is best to use other means of contraception for the next seven days to avoid pregnancy. In the case of mini-pills, one has to consume an extra ill as soon as one remembers. Protection should be back after two days but it is best to use backup protection for one week.

Conclusion

The birth control pills offer 24/7 protection against pregnancy in a simple and convenient manner. If the instructions are followed effectively, it is one of the best ways of preventing unwanted pregnancies. At the same time, it must be noted that every person’s body is different and the effect of the pills on one person may not be the same as on another. In case a particular pill is generating problems for you, discuss with your physician to find the right alternative. You also need to be aware of the interactions of the pill with any other medication that you might be consuming. It is best to consider the pros and cons, judge the side effects and then choose the right pill.

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin.…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
rubella IgG test
Rubella IgG Test The rubella IgG test is a blood test that checks for the rubella virus IgG…
abdominal-CT-scan- image
Abdominal CT scan Abdominal CT scan is a diagnostic imaging technique that provides a clear picture of the…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another…
anti-thyroglobulin antibody
Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibody test Anti-thyrogloubin antibody test measures the level of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland cells and…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
Silicon Dioxide: How can a component of sand be essential to your wellbeing? Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the nature. Find out how silicon…
Helicobacter pylori IGA
Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
hlab27 test
HLA-B27 test The HLA-B27 is a blood test that is used to determine the level of a…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin…
What to eat, what not to eat in the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet is one among the most popular weight loss programs that have…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential…
Internal bleeding brain
Beware: Ignoring these tell-tale signs of stroke could cost a life The signs and symptoms of a stroke differ depending on which part of the brain…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble…
diabetes symptoms in women
FBS Test – Fasting Blood Sugar FBS or fasting blood sugar test is a blood test that is used to determine…
bilirubin-test-result
Bilirubin Test Bilirubin is a substance produced in the body as a result of red blood cell…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
Panera bread steak arugula
Panera Bread: The truth behind this “healthy” restaurant chain What to order and what to avoid when dining at Panera Bread ? Know more…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can…
IGE test
IgE test – Immunoglobulin E IgE or immunoglobulin E test is a test that measures the level of IgE in…
glucose-tolerance
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – GTT Glucose tolerance test (or Oral GTT) is used to detect the onset of diabetes or…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its…
Eustachian Tube : Functions and top home remedies to prevent its infection Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure…
EEG
Electroencephalogram – EEG EEG or electroencephalogram is a diagnostic tool used to access the functioning of neurons and…
Anti-CCP Test – Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Anti-ccp or ACCP test is a blood test that is primarily employed to diagnose the…
Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) test Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is an enzyme that is found in every cell of the body…
BULIMIA NERVOSA vomiting
Can you get addicted to food? Learn everything about food addiction What is food addiction? How can people get addicted to eating? Is it an unhealthy…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey: What is it and why should you choose this over regular honey? Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
Healthy pregnancy tips
How to have a healthy pregnancy: Essential tips to remember What to expect when growing a life within you? How important are prenatal vitamins anyway?…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove…
Crossfit with rope
CrossFit: Now get the perfectly sculpted body with this explosive gym routine CrossFit is a fitness regimen that makes use of high-intensity exercises in a shorter period…
ketoacidosis diabetes
HB1Ac Test HB1Ac test is an important blood test that is used to measure the levels of…
Cystoscopy Cystoscopy is intended to look at the abnormalities in the ureters, bladder, and urethra, to…
random blood sugar test
Random Blood Sugar Test The random blood sugar or RBS test is a blood test prescribed mainly to check…
cytomegalovirus iGG
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)- IgG Test The cytomegalovirus IgG is the immunoglobulin protein produced by our immune system when the body…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.