Birth Control Pills
Birth control has always been on the forefront for ages. There are almost an infinite number of reasons why it is the way it is, but finally, it all comes down to one thing: birth control. There are a number of contraceptions that are widely practiced all over the world. While they are far from being painful, the most natural tendency for humans is to find solutions that are less painful and more adaptable, and from this very idea did the evolution of birth control pills come into existence.
What Are Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are referred to as a hormonal contraception method. They are taken orally and provide an accurate result, as much as 99% protection, against the possibility of conceiving. These pills prevent pregnancy by averting ovulation as they change the cervical mucus in such a way that the sperm cannot make it through the cervix to the egg.
All this is done with the help of small amounts of man-made estrogen and progesterone which work to inhibit the body’s natural inclination towards cyclical hormones, thereby preventing pregnancy.
Types Of Birth Control Pills
Pills containing both estrogen and progesterone are known as combination pills.
An example of normal birth control pill is ‘Seasonale’ which has to be taken regularly for twelve weeks followed by a week of no pills which results in a menstrual cycle. This reduces your period occurrence to four cycles a year as opposed to the regular twelve cycles.
‘Mini Pills’ are a similar hormonal contraception method as that of the normal pills. However, these pills only contain one hormone, which is progesterone which thickens the lining of the cervical mucus, preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. They also work similarly to the normal pills in case of the uterus/womb lining.
In the case of birth control pills, there’s always a doubt as to when they really start to work and make it completely safe. The pills are to be relied upon only after one month. Until then, doctors usually suggest using protection such as condoms, just as a step of precaution.
Myth About Weight Loss
There has been a debate over the years about the relation between the usage of birth control pills and weight. While some say that weight is lost by the usage of these pills, others say that weight is gained by them. No one, for sure knows which is true. The fact is, both weight loss and weight gain are possible by the usage of birth control pills.
The two hormones in these pills, i.e., estrogen and progesterone, work together to cause the gain of a few extra pounds. Estrogen has the property to retain salt and water while progesterone causes hunger, the reaction of both combinations is responsible for eventual weight gain.
However, the entire reason of weight gain cannot be attributed to the usage of these pills, since there can be so many other external and physical factors that trigger it. And, if there is an assumption by the individual that these are responsible for weight gain, it can be altered by just a change in the pill.
There is a claim that the amount of weight you gain by the usage of birth control pills is equal to the amount of weight you lose, that is, if you gain a pound or two, you will lose only that much and not more than that.
Solution To Weight Gain Due To Side Effects
Switching to single hormone pills s said to help in such situations. Most often doctors suggest that an estrogen only pill is most favorable since the chances of weight gain in such case are lesser when compared to a progesterone only pill.
If it still doesn’t help you quite sufficiently, then regular exercise and maintaining a proper diet come in handy, since every person ultimately needs to work out to burn off those extra calories. Although, the fact remains that every woman reacts differently to these hormones and if none of the above solutions work out, then it is only advisable to visit your doctor.
There are quite a few advantages to using birth control pills and they can be classified into two types:
Advantages Of Progesterone Only Pills
- Reduces menstrual cramps
Advantages Of Combination Pills
- Protection against acne
- Prevention of ovarian cancers
- Prevention of cysts in breasts and ovaries
- Regulation of periods: Helps in maintaining regular periods without heavy flow.
Also Read: Find Out What Happens If An Abortion Goes Wrong!
Side Effects Of Birth Control Pills
The side effects of using birth control pills are indeed quite disturbing to know about. While there are minor side effects, major ones that cause serious problems also do exist.
- Weight Gain
- Sore or Swollen Breasts
- Mood Swings
The serious problems are often the result of combination pills which lead to future complications such as liver disease, gallbladder disease, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Severe and regular stomach pain
- Pain in the chest
- Blurring of vision
- Severe headaches
- Swelling up or aching of the thighs
- Breathing trouble
- Highly irregular periods
Approach your doctor immediately and get yourself tested if any of the above symptoms are to be seen.
Also, note that birth control pills provide no protection against diseases such as AIDS r any form of STVs.
However, the claims and myths of birth control pills causing breast cancer are to be nothing but ignored since they are completely non-cancer causing.
Emergency Contraception Pills
This pill is used in such cases where there haven’t been any precautions taken during the process or when the condom has broken or slipped off halfway, or if the birth control pills haven’t been taken properly. It is, however, highly unadvisable to take emergency contraception in normal cases.
The four types of emergency contraception are as follows:
1. Plan B-One Step
Anyone above the age of 17 can use this pill. It essentially contains progesterone.
2. Next Choice
The Next Choice Pill is also a progesterone only pill which is a two-pill package. This too is available for usage by anyone who is 17 or above.
3. Regular Birth Control Pills
Taking a higher dosage of your normal birth control pills can help.
4. IUD – Intra Uterine Device
A doctor attaches the IUD to your uterus. It is a T-shaped device that prevents the sperm from reaching the egg and if it has, the egg from entering the uterus.
An emergency contraceptive method has almost the same side effects as that of any other birth control pill.
The morning-after pill is not as effective as the regular birth control pills. Also, the use of emergency pills on a regular basis can affect your menstrual cycle. It can also cause the uterus to swell up, often to the extent where you may not be able to have children in the future.
Therefore, take precaution while using any form of emergency pills or general birth control pills. And remember to never self-diagnose, always consult your doctor!