Birth control pills prevent pregnancies in different ways depending on the type of pill. Birth control pills work by thinning the uterine lining preventing implantation, thickening the cervical mucus to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, or preventing the release of an egg from your ovaries. Some may suppress ovulation as well. If you want to use birth control, you need to be sure how to use it correctly which is crucial for maximum effectiveness. Consult a Ballston OBGYN as well as research and discuss all options with your doctor.
Choosing the Pill
Discuss with your healthcare provider about your options. Birth control pills are an attractive option because they are inexpensive and widely available. There are many safe and effective birth control options available depending on your specific choices, needs, health, and medical conditions. There are two main kinds of birth control pills; combination pills, and mini pills. The mini pill uses only progestin while the combination pill uses both progestin and estrogen hormones. The combination pills can either be monophasic, which all contain the same amounts of progestin and estrogen, and multiphasic, which has varying amounts of the two hormones. They also come as “low-dose”, meaning they contain relatively small amounts of Ethinylestradiol. Women who might benefit from low-dose pills are those who are sensitive to hormones.
Combination pills are not always appropriate, especially if you’re breastfeeding, older than 35 years of age, a smoker, have a history of blood pressure, heart attack, breast cancer, lupus, pulmonary embolism or a condition that increases your risk of clotting, or if you take anticonvulsants or anti-tuberculosis medications. The pills also have a variety of benefits such as high effectiveness, acne reduction, protection against pelvic inflammation, reduces ectopic pregnancy, androgen production and the risk of iron deficiency anemia.
Start Your Regimen
Always follow your doctor’s instructions. Different pills have different directions, thus if you don’t follow the doctor’s advice, they may not be as effective as they should and could be harmful. Taking the pill while you’re smoking could be extremely dangerous for you. It puts you at a high risk of blood clots, even if it’s just occasional smoking. There are a few options for when to start taking the pill. These include starting on the first day of your menstrual cycle, on the Sunday after your period starts, and after having an abortion, among others.
Taking the Pill
Ensure you take the pill at the same time every day, be it in the morning or evening, although for most people, at night is best as nightly routines don’t change as much as morning routines do. If you fail to be consistent with the timing, you might find yourself experiencing spotting. If you’re using the mini pill, ensure you keep the timing to within three hours of the same time every day, otherwise, you’ll be forced to use backup contraception. You can set an alarm on your mobile phone or place the pills next to your toothbrush to remind you to use them. To help you avoid nausea, take the pill about 30 minutes after your meals. Always be aware of the type of pill you’re taking, be it monophasic, biphasic, triphasic or quadriphasic pills. In all three, the levels of estrogen and progestin are different, and there are different instructions for all types.