Birth control techniques have helped so many people to prevent unplanned pregnancies. There are a couple of methods for this. Some of them are; implants, shots, pills, patch, vaginal ring, naming but a few. The effectiveness of these methods varies, depending on different factors. It is essential to know which method suits you the most. The most commonly used technique is the use of contraceptive pills.
Contraceptive pills are a type of medicine taken by the female, orally. These pills prevent fertilization of the female egg in various ways, depending on the type of pill. Some pills are taken continuously over a long period, while others are taken only when necessary.
Pills are differentiated based on ingredients and performance. The two main types of contraceptive pills include:
- Combination pills
These pills are used continuously over a long duration of time. They are comprised of two sets of pills; the active and inactive pills. The active pills contain hormones, while the inactive pills do not. Estrogen and progestin are the hormones customarily used.
Usually, you take the active pills during the first part of the cycle followed by the inactive pills to complete the cycle. You get your period during the final part of the cycle when taking the inactive pills.
These pills are categorized based on the duration of the cycle and the hormonal dosage, into:
- Monophasic pills – their periods last one month and the active pills give a constant hormonal dosage. An example is the low-estrogen contraceptive pill.
- Multiphasic pills – their cycles last a month but the active pills give different hormonal dosage. An example is a triphasic pill.
- Extended cycle pills – these pills have a long cycle usually thirteen weeks. An example is a seasonal pill.
- Progestin-only pills
It is commonly referred to as mini-pill. This type of pills does not contain estrogen. They only contain progestin. They are suitable for the cases of females affected by high levels of estrogen in the body or by any intake of estrogen.
Unlike the combination pills, progestin-only pills do not have inactive pills. All the pills contain the progestin hormone. This makes the female periods irregular and unpredictable. An example of this is the errin pill.
Usually, these pills hinder ovulation in the female hence preventing fertilization. They also break the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation and harden the cervical mucus so that sperms do not swim through. Either of these mechanisms can work to prevent pregnancy.
Like regular medication, birth control pills must be taken correctly to be effective. They are taken once in a day, same time every day.
For all the types of contraceptive pills, it is essential to see a doctor before commencing dosage. Your doctor will help you choose the right pills for your body and health conditions. For example, he can suggest low-estrogen contraceptive pill if high levels of estrogen give you complications.
A doctor will also give you advice on what to expect while using the contraceptive pills like side effects, how to use them, and what to do in case anything goes wrong.