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Birth Control Pills Effectiveness and its Side Effects

birth control pills effectiveness and side effects
birth control pills' effectiveness and side effects

Birth control pills

Birth control pills are a group of drugs that are used to prevent pregnancy.

How do birth control pills work

Birth control pills work by affecting the work of the uterus and ovaries and preventing the fertilization process by stopping sperm cells to meet with the egg with preventing the ovaries from producing eggs. Due to this, none of the sperm can fertilize the eggs, and in the end, pregnancy will not occur.

Not only to prevent pregnancy, but birth control pills are also often used to treat PCOS. PCOS aka Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition when your body produces an excessive amount of male sex hormones called androgens, which in the normal women's body, it has a lower presence. Women who have PCOS usually will experience menstrual problems, and some may be developed fluid-filled sacs which can lead to cysts.

Another fact about birth control pills, many people also use this type of pill to treat acne. People who suffer from PCOS, usually also suffer from acne problems. Acne that happened due to PCOS tends to be more inflamed and spread around the jawline. To cure this type of acne, they need to cure their PCOS. And birth control pills doing great by curing PCOS and also acne.

Birth control pills are not only used to prevent pregnancy and to cure PCOS but are also great medicine to help with endometriosis and premenstrual syndrome or PMS. Birth control pills are also effective in treating heavy, thick, and painful menstruation.

Birth control pills' effectiveness

Birth control pills are proven effective and safe in preventing pregnancy. According to the data, the effectiveness of these birth control pills if used correctly has a success rate of up to 99%. In addition, the contraceptive using birth control pills is more reversible. If you and your partner suddenly plan to have a baby, then your wife only needs to stop taking the pills.

Types of birth control pills

There are two main types of birth control pills, the combination pill, and the mini pill. The combination pill contains estrogen and progestin, which is a synthetic form of the natural hormone progesterone, while the mini-pill contains only progestin.

Combination of birth control pills

Combination birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Most combination birth control pills consist of active pills that contain hormones, as well as some inactive pills (placebos) that don't contain hormones.

Combination birth control pills work by stopping the process of releasing an egg (ovum) during the ovary or ovulation process. This drug also works by thickening the mucus in the cervix (cervix) so that it is difficult for sperm to reach the egg, as well as thinning the uterine wall so that a fertilized egg cannot grow.

There are four types of combination birth control pills, namely:

  1. Monophasic birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone at a constant or the same level for each active pill.
  2. Biphasic birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The estrogen in each active pill in 1 cycle remains constant, while the progesterone levels in the active pill will increase after half a cycle.
  3. The triphasic birth control pill contains the hormones estrogen and progesterone whose dosage changes 3 times in 1 cycle. Changes in hormone levels will occur every 7 days.
  4. Tetraphasic birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone whose dosage changes 4 times in 1 cycle.
Combination birth control pills that are used long-term are called extended-cycle pills. Extended-cycle pills with active ingredients are taken continuously for 12 weeks, followed by inactive pills for a week. This is so that users can experience menstruation. Extended-Cycle Pills work by reducing the frequency of menstruation experienced by women in a year so that women only experience menstruation 4 times a year. Side Effects of Using Birth Control Pills

Birth control mini-pills

This progestin-only (synthetic progesterone) birth control pill is usually known as the mini-pill. These mini pills contain a constant amount of progestin and consist of only active pills. The mini-pill is usually used by breastfeeding mothers and women who should not take estrogen.

The mini-pill works by thickening the mucus in the cervix so sperm cannot reach the egg. In addition, this drug also thins the volume of the uterine wall, so that a fertilized egg cannot grow. Sometimes the mini-pill can also prevent the process of releasing a mature egg (ovulation). Regardless of what the intended use is, it's a good idea to first know the side effects that can be caused by birth control pills before taking them.

Birth control pills' side effects

Birth control pills are usually safe for most women to use, but for certain conditions, they can cause side effects. Birth control pills affect a person's hormone levels, so they can cause a variety of side effects. These effects usually disappear within 2-3 months, but can also last longer. The side effects of birth control pills are different for each person, and different types of pills have different effects. 

1. Birth control pills trigger blood spots between menstrual periods

Bleeding from the vagina between menstrual cycles is the most common side effect of birth control pills, especially during the first few months of use. The spotting may be light bleeding or a brown discharge. These side effects occur as the body adjusts to changing hormone levels, and the uterus also adjusts to having a thinner lining. Taking birth control pills as prescribed, usually every day and at the same time each day can help prevent bleeding between periods.

2. Birth control pills causing nausea

Some women experience mild nausea the first time they take the pill, but this side effect usually subsides. You can prevent nausea from occurring by taking the pill after eating or before going to bed. However, if you experience severe nausea or it doesn't go away for several months, it's best to talk to your doctor.

3. Birth control pills causing breast pain

Taking birth control pills also often causes breasts to feel tender and sore, especially when you just start taking them. Wearing a supportive bra that fits your bust size can help reduce the side effects of these birth control pills.

4. Birth control pills can cause headaches and migraines

Hormones contained in birth control pills can cause or increase the frequency of headaches and migraines. This is because changes in female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can trigger migraines. However, symptoms can depend on the dose and type of pill. For example, low-dose pills are less likely to cause these symptoms. On the other hand, if your migraines are associated with PMS, taking birth control pills can reduce the symptoms.

5.  Birth control pills trigger weight gain

On the packaging of birth control pills, weight gain is often listed as a possible side effect. However, no research proves this. In theory, birth control pills could cause increased fluid retention. This drug may also cause an increase in fat or muscle mass. However, some women even report weight loss while taking the pill. So, it is not certain whether the hormones in birth control pills cause weight gain or loss.

6. Birth control pills can cause mood changes

Hormones play an important role in regulating a person's moods and emotions. Well, taking birth control pills can affect hormone levels in the body which eventually causes you to experience mood swings.

7.  Birth control pills can cause a missed cycle

Taking birth control pills can cause very light or no periods at all. This is due to the hormones contained in the pill. However, if you suspect that you may be pregnant, the best way is to take a pregnancy test. Birth control pills are effective at preventing pregnancy, but pregnancy can occur if used the birth control pills incorrectly.

How to take birth control pills

However, if you experience any of the side effects above after taking birth control pills and the effects do not subside or are severe, you should talk to your doctor about options for a different contraceptive method. Here are some things you should pay attention to before taking birth control pills:
  • Always inform your doctor about any allergies you have. Birth control pills should not be given to patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had breast cancer, endometrial cancer, unexplained vaginal bleeding, heart disease, chest pain, liver cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, hypertension, migraines, or uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Tell your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy, pregnant, or still breastfeeding.
  • Pregnant women are prohibited from taking birth control pills.
  • Always inform your doctor if you are taking any supplements, medications, or even just herbal products.
  • Use additional contraceptives such as condoms during the first 7 days of taking birth control pills or when you forget to take birth control pills, to prevent pregnancy.
  • Talk to your doctor about using the combined birth control pill if you smoke and are over the age of 35. Although rare, these conditions can increase the risk of serious side effects, such as stroke or heart attack.
  • Do not take St. John's Wort while taking birth control pills, because these herbal ingredients can increase the risk of bleeding from the vagina and reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
  • Don't drink grapefruit juice, it can increase the blood levels of birth control pills and cause side effects.
  • Call your doctor if you forget to take your birth control pills, think you're pregnant, or don't have your period for 2 consecutive cycles.
  • If once you take birth control pills and experience this kind of symptom: have an allergic reaction, experience an overdose, or show any serious side effects after taking these pills, please contact your doctor immediately.

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