The Pill

Many women choose a birth control in pill form, often referred to as “being on the Pill.” There are benefits and disadvantages to the Pill, as well as many variations and brands to choose from.

Many Choices

There are two kinds of birth control pills: combination, which contain estrogen and progestin and mini pills, which contain only progestin.

Combination pills can be further divided into two categories: monophasic and multiphasic. Monophasic pills contain a consistent level of hormones in all the active pills. Multiphasic pills contain differing doses of hormones in the active pills, which are further differentiated by biphasic and triphasic.

Monophasic pills are the least likely to cause side effects, such as mood changes, that result from fluctuating hormone levels, because of the consistent nature of hormone levels. Multiphasic pills, however, are thought to better match the body’s natural menstrual cycle, and they ultimately reduce the total monthly hormone dosage.Many women choose birth control pills for the below reasons.

Why Choose The Pill?

Consistent Protection

Being on the Pill means that a woman is prepared for sexual intercourse at all times, as long as she has taken the correct dosage of birth control for at least one cycle. This allows women to feel more spontaneous when it comes to sex.

Effectiveness

The Pill, when used correctly, is more than 99% effective, making it one of the most successful forms of birth control.

Lifestyle Simplification

Combination birth control pills called Extended Cycle pills allow women to only have four periods a year. They also may shorten each period to three days. Other brands have extra active pills (24 total instead of 21) that may lead to a shorter period. These will often have the number 24 in their name.

Additional Benefits

Common benefits of birth control pills may include

  • Menstrual cycle becoming more regular, and blood flow becoming lighter.
  • Cramps or other pain during menstruation becoming less frequent.
  • Noncancerous cysts or lumps in the breast occurring less frequently.
  • Ectopic pregnancies occurring with less frequency.
  • Acute pelvic inflammatory disease occurring less frequently.

Some birth control pills are known to have additional benefits including acne control, relief of symptoms of migraines, shorter, lighter periods and others your healthcare provider can discuss with you.

Cost

Birth control pills typically range in price from $15-50. Most pills have generic options that are more affordable. Speak with your healthcare provider about prescribing you a generic birth control pill.

Risks & Side Effects

All combination birth control pills can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attack, especially for women who smoke and/or are older than 35. Women who smoke cigarettes should consider other birth control options and discuss options with a healthcare professional.

Birth Control pills also come with unpleasant side effects. Some common side effects include

  • Mild Nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Headache, nervousness, dizziness or tired feeling
  • Changes in menstrual period, decreased sex drive
  • Breast pain, swelling or tenderness
  • Increased hair growth or loss of scalp hair
  • Freckles or darkening of facial skin
  • Vaginal itching or discharge
  • Problems with contact lenses

Learn more about the various birth control pills and which combination or mini pill might be best for your needs throughout the site.

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Birth Control News

How effective is your birth control?

For sexually active women, he effectiveness of birth control depends on how perfectly they use it. For this reason, there are two kinds of effectiveness rates. One measurement is for perfect use, as the method is tested in the lab or used in real life with no mistakes.

The other is typical use, the average including people who don’t always use the method correctly or every time sexual intercourse takes place.

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