If you want to avoid pregnancy or want to keep gap between babies, you need to resort to the various birth control options available such as condoms, intrauterine contraceptive devices or oral contraceptive pills. The choice ultimately depends upon one’s preferences.
What Are Oral Contraceptive Pills?
Oral contraceptive pills or birth control pills are the medications that are used to avoid pregnancy. They are hormonal preparations comprising of estrogen and progesterone hormones or only progesterone. Ovulation is the process of release of egg from the ovary and is governed by women’s hormones. The contraceptive pills contain small quantities of synthetically prepared estrogen and progesterone hormones. They impede the functioning of natural hormones and interfere with implantation and fertilization of eggs and thus prevent pregnancy. Due to their high efficacy, they are increasingly used by women all over the world to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
What Are The Advantages of Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCPS)?
The birth pills have a number of advantages over other birth control measures. They are:
- Capable in regulating menstrual cycle
- Fully reversible
The birth pills or contraceptive pills are of different kinds such as monophasic, biphasic or the triphasic pills.
The triphasic contraceptive pills have constant or varying estrogen levels and progestin levels in the entire cycle. The biphasic pills contain constant amount of estrogen and slightly low progestin/estrogen ratio in the first 21 days of the menstrual cycle and a slight higher ration in the second half of the cycle. Monophasic pills release same amount of progestin and estrogen every day.
How Do Oral Contraceptive Pills Work?
Pregnancy occurs when egg released from the ovary is fertilized by man’s sperm. The fertilized egg is then implanted or attached in the woman’s uterus. It receives nourishment and matures into a baby. The birth control pills contain only progestin or a combination of estrogen and progestin. The FSH and LH have vital role in the maturation of eggs and preparation of uterine lining for embryo implantation. The combined use of estrogen and progesterone inhibits the secretion of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
The hormonal contraceptive pills act by:
- Inhibiting ovulation
- Altering the lining of uterus so that the fertilized egg is not implanted in the uterus
- Change the consistency and medium of cervical mucus so that the sperm cannot penetrate it and fertilize the egg
Are Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCPs) Safe?
Broadly speaking contraceptive pills are safe but it would be better to seek advice from your doctor before you start taking it.
Following are the important factors that your doctor keeps in mind before recommending you’re the birth pill:
- Whether you are lactating
- Menstrual symptoms
- Cardiovascular health
- Any other chronic illness
- Whether you are using any other medications
Birth pills are very effective in keeping pregnancy at bay and the failure rate is very less. Progestin pills should be taken at the same time every day to accomplish its complete efficacy. However the effectiveness of the pills can be retarded by use of rifampicin, certain oral yeast infection medicine, some HIV medicine and certain anti-seizure drugs. The potency of the pill is also affected if the woman is having diarrhoea or vomiting.
Side Effects Of Oral Contraceptive Pills
Yes, oral contraceptive pills do have some side effects, though nothing should be serious. Some women complain of the below side effects when they take oral contraceptive pills:
- Nausea: Nausea usually goes away after you get used to using an oral contraceptive pill. Your doctor may also prescribe you a pill that has lower estrogen levels
- Fluctuations in weight: Weight gain is a common side effect of oral contraceptive pills.
- Spotting or light periods: Again, a common side effect of oral contraceptive pills. It is generally observed when the pill is started or when you suddenly stop it
- Sore breasts: Swollen and sore breasts may be observed along with mood swings for the few initial days when you start taking oral contraceptive pills
- Serious side effects: If you observe abdominal pain, chest pain, severe headaches, or feel that your vision is blurred. give your doctor a call right away. These symptoms need immediate medical attention and should not be ignored
8 Common Brands of Oral Contraceptive Pills
Here is a list of some commonly available oral contraceptive pills:
- Rasmin: a combination of estradiol and drospirenone prevents preganancy and cures irregular periods. the pill is also known to treat ovarian cysts
- Ovral: Progestin and estrogen pills prevent the liberation of eggs from ovaries and avoid pregnancy
- Bandhan: this is another popular birth control pill containing lenorogestrel. This pill inhibits the fertilization of egg by sperm and interferes with the lining of uterus. so the process of implantation is hampered
- Duoluton L: This common contraceptive pill also contains levonorgetsrel and protects you from conceiving
- Choice: It is another economical and easily available oral contraceptive pill. it contains levonorgestrel and prevents fertilization of egg by sperm
- Deviry: This pill contains medroxyprogesterone, a progesterone derivative. Besides preventing pregnancy, medroxyprogeterone treats breast cancer and other menstrual problems
- MTpill: this commonly available pill contains mifepristone, a synthetic steroid. It interferes with the hormones required for the continuation of pregnancy
- Centron:it contains ormeloxifene-the estrogen derivative. it prevents pregnancy and also treats dysfunctional uterine bleeding
In nutshell the oral contraceptive pills are an easy affordable and effective way to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Make sure to consult your doctor before starting your birth pill.