Birth control pills have always been an exquisite choice
of contraception for women who have been taking these pills without any
hesitation or fear. Many women have relied upon them for long and consider
birth control pills as an ultimate method to avoid pregnancy. However, it is
also true that your birth control pill may not be the safest option available
popularity of these pills is not just due to their ease in consumption but also
because of the multiple benefits they offer. A contraceptive pill normalizes the menstrual cycle, regulates the
blood flow, relieves the menstrual cramps and prevents unwanted pregnancy.
But the easy availability of emergency pills (like i-pill) being sold over the
counter without any medical prescription has raised one question - Is it safe
to take contraception pills without consulting a doctor?
contraceptive pill contains two types of female hormones, progestin and
estrogen; the right combination of these is used to prevent the release of ovum
from the ovaries for fertilization. But
the ratio of progestin and estrogen varies from one pill to another and it is
this ratio which makes one pill different from another.
While some pills
possess progestin in higher quantities, others may have estrogen as the main
component. It is crucial to understand that different women have different
needs of these hormones and thus should take the pill only after consulting a
vary in the amount of female hormones they contain. Taking a pill that strikes
the right balance of hormones needed by your body is a prerequisite. While the emergency pills are taken within
72 hour of having unprotected sex, the progesterone-containing pills are
recommended for lactating mothers
. On the contrary, pills are not
recommended in women with a family history of jaundice, blood pressure, weak
cervix, blood coagulation problems or infections. Thus, a general check up with
a gynecologist is mandatory before you start taking any birth control pill.
are three different types of combination birth-control pills. They are:
monophasic birth control pills deliver estrogen and progestin in equal
quantities, biphasic pills deliver female hormones in different ratios during
different periods of the cycles. In triphasic pills, the hormone concentrations
(both estrogen and progestin) keep changing throughout the cycle.
the birth control pills are 99.7 per cent effective and score high over any
other method of contraception, each type of pill has its own side effects. The
risk of side effects increases if emergency pills are consumed without proper
consultation with a doctor.
thorough medical examination not only reduces the possibility of side effects
but also increases the effectiveness of the pill. Consuming an inappropriate contraception pill may result in irregular
menstrual bleeding or it may even lead to delayed conception when the woman
wants to conceive.
While the emergency pills should be taken
within 72 hours, other pills should be taken at the start of menstrual cycle. However
remember that the birth control pills do not protect from AIDS or other
sexually transmitted diseases (STD). It is always recommended to use a condom
to prevent getting infected.
Taking other medicines along with
contraception pills may hinder with the effectiveness of the pill and it may
fail to control birth or deliver other desired results. Diarrhea and vomiting that occur at the beginning of the birth control
pill course also tend to lower the effectiveness of the pill.
Progestin can cause unpleasant side effects such as breast swelling and
tenderness, acne and fluid retention.
A doctor is the best person to tell
which pills are likely to suit you the best.
Oral pills are also gaining
popularity because they help women to delay or advance periods as and when they
like. While the birth control pills prevent unwanted pregnancy, adolescent and
young women take pills to treat irregular or absent menstrual cycles. Many of
these women do not care to consult a gynecologist before taking these pills
which later makes the situation worse for them. Like birth control pills, pills
to control menstruation should also be taken only after thorough medical
examination. Consuming these pills may
lead to mood swings that go away with exercise and proper diet but if they
still persist, the woman may need to change the type of pill she is consuming.
Often, women fear that taking
oral contraceptive pills may cause birth defects or may reduce their fertility.
It must be understood that though these pills are not that dangerous, they may
have some negative effect on the reproductive system which is why consultation
It is advisable that one should
not go by advertisements or word of mouth. Rather, it is advisable to have a
proper examination done by a gynecologist before taking birth control pills.
: Based on personal interview of Dr Arpana, a
gynaecologist with Alchemist hospital.