There are many things a woman needs to consider before taking birth control pills but first and foremost, you must never go on a pill without first consulting your doctor. We can only make better decisions when we are informed and our doctors are the surest bet when it comes to our health.
This information is in the form of knowing all the pros and cons of oral contraception. There are many myths that surround its use and it is only safe to talk to a professional on what your options are before use.
When it comes to birth control pills, what works for someone may not work for you. Only after checking with your doctor should you take contraceptive pills.
How birth-control pills work
Birth control pills contain small amounts of hormones – estrogen and progestin – which interfere with the body’s natural cycle to prevent pregnancy. Hormonal contraceptives stop ovulation in a woman’s body so that the egg is not released from the ovary and it does not get fertilised by a man’s sperm. Some hormonal contraceptives change the cervical mucus which makes it difficult for the sperm to find an egg to fertilise, while some change the lining of the womb so that the chances of a fertilised egg being implanted are significantly reduced.
The types of contraceptive pills
Some pills are a combination of estrogen and progestin. But estrogen does not suit some women, as it may cause nausea and weight gain, among other side effects. Patients exhibiting these symptoms are prescribed progestin-only pills, or mini pills. The best kind of pill for you can be determined by your gynaecologist based on your medical state.
They mean no more emergency contraceptives
Getting on a birth control pill automatically means that you won’t have to use emergency pills like Postinor 2 anymore. As it is the nature of emergency pills, they are not meant to be taken regularly which is why birth control pills are recommended for long term use. Because they alter your menstrual cycle and make them erratic for the next few months plus the uncomfortable after-effects of using it, emergency contraceptives are not meant for regular use. Instead talk to your doctor and determine the type of birth control pill suitable for you.
You still have to use condoms when using birth control pills
Although they protect you from getting pregnant, birth control pills won’t provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases. So, the use of a condom is still advised.
You most likely will not put on weight
Unlike the older versions of birth control pills, the ones made available these days will most likely not cause you to gain weight. Th older types had more estrogen which led to more consumption of food in those using it which eventually leads to weight gain. If at all you had weight from the newer versions, this will only last for about 2-3 months.
Your period won’t be affected
Because birth control pills work on controlling your ovulation, your menstrual cycle won’t be in shambles so you can be sure of when to expect your next period.
You have to take them everyday at the same time
You can not afford to miss your pill schedule. Keep them close by so you won’t forget to take them. Consistency is the key to getting them to work the way they should. If you miss your pills you have a higher chance of getting pregnant. If you miss a pill, you can take two the next day and if you miss two pills, you can take two pills the next day and the day following that. If you miss more than two pills, you might want to talk to your doctor.
They help to clear your skin as well
Because birth control pills regulate your hormones, you don’t have to worry about those breakouts anymore. Birth control pills have been regularly prescribed to clear acne.
They can be affected by other drugs
Some antibiotic and herbal medication can counter the effect of the pills, so watch out for them.
They can reduce your sex drive
When you notice that your sex drive is low while you are on the pill, then its probably the drug working. This does not apply to everyone though and they are nothing to worry about. If you still feel disturb though, talk to your doctor.
They don’t work for everyone
Like we said earlier, oral contraceptive pills do not work for everyone , so talk to a doctor first to find out if there are other means of contraception suitable for you.
Once you stop them you might get pregnant
You have to be sure that you want to stop the pill before doing so because once you do, you are more likely to get pregnant.