Guide For Birth Control Pills
After almost 50 years on the market, the "Pill" continues to be one of the most popular and effective forms of birth control. More than 18 million women in the United States rely on it every month to prevent pregnancy. The problem? Recent research shows many young women ignore the important fine print on oral contraceptive packaging, missing important facts about this form of birth control that every woman should know. To help, we've created an easy-to-understand guide about oral contraceptives.
Birth control pill basics
The birth control pill was created in 1960 as a way for women to control their menstrual cycle and to prevent pregnancy. The small pills, loaded with progesterone and estrogen, work together to prevent ovulation (the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries to the uterus where it prepares for fertilization). The Pill also makes the lining of the uterus unreceptive to the implantation of a fertilized egg (necessary to get pregnant). Currently, there are three types of birth control pills on the market.
Progestin-only Pills: They contain no estrogen and are ideal for women who have just given birth
Combination Pills: The most common form of oral contraceptive. Most packages contain three weeks of hormone pills and one week of sugar pills (or spacer pills). They come in two different doses: monophasic and multiphasic.
Emergency Contraceptive Pills: These are designed to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. A good example is Plan B.
Benefits of the birth control pill
While oral contraceptives work fairly successfully to prevent pregnancy, there are several other positive ways this type of birth control impacts a woman's health:
Side effects of the birth control pill
The Pill isn't without its health concerns. Some of the negative side effects associated with taking oral contraceptives include:
Important questions to consider before taking The Pill
Before you consider taking oral contraceptives, here are some important questions you should ask yourself and your doctor.
Oral contraceptives are an effective method of preventing pregnancy, but birth control pills aren't appropriate for every woman. Talk to your doctor about all of your birth control options to determine which method is right for you.
More on birth control
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