Do you have an active sex life yet concerned about unwanted pregnancy? You’ve come to the right place. Female contraceptive pills are drugs designed to prevent pregnancy.
Contraceptive pills are one of the most common methods of contraception used by women around the globe. They’re also the most effective - protecting you from pregnancies 99% of the time as long as you take them as prescribed.
How Do Contraceptive Pills Work?
There are many different types of contraceptive pills. While the way they work might be slightly different, the end goal is the same. And that is to prevent you from getting pregnant.
The pill often works by inhibiting your ovulation. Ovulation is the third phase of your menstrual cycle. During this time, your ovaries will release one mature egg. When fertilized by sperm, this egg will implant itself on your uterus and the growth process will begin. A mature egg will only stay in your womb for 24 hours. If not fertilized, the egg will break down together with the lining of your uterus and will exit your body through your monthly period.
The hormones progesterone and oestrogen play a critical role in your menstrual cycle. The levels of these hormones in your body go up or down depending on the menstrual phase you are currently in. Contraceptive pills contain either progesterone or a combination of progesterone and oestrogen. They work by:
- Inhibiting or delaying your ovulation
- Changing the consistency of the mucus lining of your cervix to make it harder for the sperm to enter your womb
- Changing the lining of your uterus so a fertilized egg can’t implant itself and grow
Keep in mind that oral contraceptives cannot protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. We strongly advise that you use a condom when having sex with multiple partners.
What Are The Different Types Of Contraceptive Pills?
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of contraceptive pills in the market. The pill is classified into three:
The mini pill is only made from progesterone. This type of contraceptive pill is often prescribed for women who are overweight and are suffering from high blood pressure. Women who had previously developed blood clots can benefit from the mini pill too.
This class of contraceptive pill can be used by women who are breastfeeding and those who can’t tolerate the side effects of oestrogen. There are no age restrictions when it comes to the mini pill.
As the name implies, the combined pill is a contraceptive pill made from a combination of oestrogen and progesterone. This contraceptive works by stopping your ovulation. Aside from keeping you from getting pregnant, the combined pill also gives you lighter, less painful, and regular periods.
It also reduces your risks of developing cancers in the ovaries, colon, or womb. The combined pill also protects you against inflammation in the pelvis area. Lastly, the combined pill also relieves you of various premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
Low Dose Pill
The low dose pill is a contraceptive pill akin to the formulation of combined pills. This drug contains progesterone and a very small dose of oestrogen. Low dose pills are ideal for women who can’t tolerate the side effects associated with oestrogen. It works in the same way as a combined pill.
There are other hormonal contraceptives that you don’t have to take orally. A good example is EVRA patches which you can use by applying directly on a clean and hairless area of the skin. You only need to change patches once a week, making it a good choice for women who can’t build a habit of taking pills every day.
How Should I Take the Pill?
You should take oral contraceptive pills every day. Depending on the type of pill you choose, the pill usually comes in 21-day packs which you take continuously for 21 days or 28-day packs which you take for four weeks. Some contraceptive pills also come in 91-day packs. Ideally, you should take each pill precisely at the same time each day. The strips are usually labelled accordingly to guide you through the entire course.
After each course, you need to give yourself 7 days so you can get your period. You start a new course again at the end of these 7 pill-free days. To help you keep up with the habit, some brands come with placebo pills which you can take during this break. These pills don’t contain hormones - just vitamins.
What Should I Do If I Missed a Pill?
That depends on what type of contraceptive pill you are taking:
If you miss one or more doses of mini pills and you are getting your period, take a dose immediately and then continue taking the mini pill according to your regular schedule. We strongly suggest abstaining from unprotected sex during for a few days if you have missed a pill.
If you have unprotected sex within 5 days of missing the dose, your doctor might advise you to take an emergency contraceptive pill to keep you from getting pregnant.
If you missed a combined pill for one day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Take two doses on the same day if necessary. You don’t need to use other forms of contraception should you choose to have sex in the days following your missed dose.
If you missed several doses of combined pills (two or more days), take one dose as soon as possible even if that means you have to take two pills in one day. Don’t take the missed pills. Just carry on with your regular schedule.
If the combined pill doses that you missed belong to the last week of your course, skip the remaining doses (including the placebo pills) and start a new pack the following day. If you don’t have a new pack available, make sure to use other contraceptive methods or abstain from sexual intercourse until you’ve sorted things out.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Pill?
Like all medicines, the pill also has its side effects. Below are the most common ones:
- Increase hair growth
- Changes in your mood
- Your migraines might get worse
- Change in your appetite
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Increase in blood pressure
If you experience any unusual side effects, contact your doctor right away.
Do I Still Need to Wear a Condom?
That depends. If you have multiple sex partners, we strongly encourage that you use a condom to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases. If you are married or in an exclusive relationship, you may not. If taken as prescribed, contraceptive pills will protect you from unwanted pregnancies 99% of the time.
Order your contraceptive pills from Confidential Clinics to get them delivered to your doorstep discreetly.