Oral Contraceptives for Birth Control : Advantages and Side Effects

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Oral Contraceptive Pills

What are Oral Contraceptives? How to use Oral Contraceptives?

Oral contraceptives are the birth control pills that ranks second to the sterilisation as a birth control method.

Examples : Femilon, Marvelon etc

Composition of Oral Contraceptive Pills:

Oral contraceptive pills are made of synthetic sex hormones and are manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies from substances found in plant materials such as Mexican yams.

The synthetic hormones are chemically similar to the naturally secreted hormones in the female body during a normal reproductive cycle.

Synthetic hormones in the pills act to simulate pregnancy and effectively suppresses the ovulation and delays menstruation as long as the pills are taken.

How do the Oral Contraceptive Pills Work?

Ovum is released from the ovaries once during each menstrual cycle. If the ovum is fertilized by the male sperm and implanted in the uterus, the hormones send back chemical signals to the ovaries to suppress ovulation until further notice. This is a natural defense and if it does not occur, a women will carry several embryos and fetuses of different ages at the same time. When the ovum is fertilized, the mother’s reproductive machinery is mobilized to protect and encourage the development of the newly created life. The monthly release of ova is halted until the birth of the baby.

The synthetic hormones in the pill simulate that the pregnancy has started. Ovulation is suppressed and menstruation is delayed as long as the pills are taken.

The pills are 21 in number and have to be taken daily, continuously for 21 days without missing a dose. After the completion of the 21 pills, a normal menstruation is allowed to take place. The pills are to be taken again after the completion of the menstrual cycle. As no ovum is released during this period, there will be a very little chance of pregnancy while the pills are used. Oral contraceptives are generally 100 % effective, but due to human errors like when a pill is missed, pregnancy may result in a very less cases.

Side effects of Oral Contraceptive Pills:

  • Bleeding
  • Cramps
  • Hypertension
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Thromboembolism (blocking of an artery or vein by a blood clot)

Blood clots and hypertension are the side effects in a woman who takes pills has high blood pressure. Therefore a woman with high blood pressure should not take the pills without medical supervision.

  • Circulatory disorders may also occur.

The women are advised to have periodic check up while using the pills.

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