February 27, 2023
What is it?
The pill contains artificial versions of female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which are produced naturally in the ovaries. The pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
How does it prevent pregnancy?
The pill prevents sperm from joining with the egg, so it prevents fertilization by stopping ovulation. No ovulation means that there is egg and so no pregnancy. It should be noted that the pill does not protect you against STDs.
How do you take it?
Usually you take one pill every day for 21 days with a 7 day break. This 7 day break is when you will have your period. You then start to take the pill again after these 7 days. You should try to take the pill at the same time every day. It is important that you remember to take your pill otherwise you can become pregnant. Try putting reminders in your phone or use a birth control reminder app. In addition, make sure that you always keep your pill pack in your bag.
Moreover, some pills have a shorter break period but you should speak to your doctor about which pill will suit you more.
How long till it works?
This depends on when you start to take the pill and the type of pill that you are using. You should use a backup birth control method for up to 7 days.
Types of pill:
Monophasic 21-day pills:
e.g . Microgynon, Marvelon and Yasmin
This is one of the most common types of birth control pills. One pill is taken each day for 21 days and then has a 7 day break.
Phasic 21-day pills:
This type of pill contains 2-3 sections of different coloured pills which all contain a different level of hormones. You should take one pill for 21 days and then none for 7 days. These pills must be taken in the right order. Speak with your doctor or nurse for advice and instructions.
E.g Microgynon ED
ED pills contain 21 active pills and 7 inactive pills. These two types of pills look different. You are to take one pill each for 28 days with no break between the packets or the pills. These pills must be taken in the right order. Follow the instructions and speak with your doctor or nurse.
What lowers the effectiveness of birth control?
If you do not take the pill everyday, then you will lower its effectiveness and can become pregnant. Here are some other factors which can reduce the pills effectiveness:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Certain HIV medicines
Always use condoms as a backup!
Possible side effects:
Below is a list of possible side effects from the pill. You should note that most side effects usually go away within 2-3 months. However, you should not feel super sick and uncomfortable. So, if you do speak with your doctor. Sometimes you'll need to try a couple different types of birth control till you find the right one for you.
- Changes in your menstrual cycle
- Sore breasts
For further information on the pill please refer to the following:
Planned ParenthoodRead more
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