Birth control pills are also known as oral contraceptives. They are used in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Birth control pills are part of temporary contraceptive methods.
Oral birth control pills are taken daily. Most pills contain two types of synthetic female hormones: estrogen and progestin. The estrogen and progestin that are part of the pills are similar to the estrogen and progesterone which are normally produced by the ovaries.
The hormones in the pills prevent pregnancy interfering the ovulation process. They suppress the pituitary gland which stops the development and the release of the egg from the ovaries. Progestin also helps prevent the sperm from reaching the egg and fertilize it by changing the uterus lining.
Birth control pills are very effective if they are taken just as described. Each day one pill should be taken at the same time. Keep in mind that oral birth control pills prevent unwanted pregnancies, but they don’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. By using condoms you will decrease the chances of getting a sexually transmitted disease.
Oral birth control pills are very safe and most of the women don’t have any side effects. However, side effects like irregular periods, nausea, headaches, weight gain, etc., are possible.
As mentioned before, birth control pills are very safe and almost all teens and young women can take them without having any side effects. However, in some cases birth control pills are contraindicated.
Contraindications for taking oral birth control pills include:
Even though birth control pills are safe and one of the best birth control methods with up to 99% effect, for some women they are just not the right method. Talk to your health care provider if you don’t feel comfortable taking the birth control pills. Maybe some other birth control method is more convenient for you.
Dmitry Bronfman, MD, is a board-certified gynecologist who specializes in all aspects of contemporary women’s health, preventive medicine, pelvic pain, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and general, adolescent, and menopausal gynecology.
Brooklyn Abortion Clinic