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There's More Than Meets The Eye To Oral Birth Control

For women, the question of birth control usually has a very simple answer, but with so much new technology and innovation in the sexual health industry, there’s much more to consider than simply condoms or pills. With various pills hitting the market each year, offering women with different advantages, it can be a daunting task to select just one brand. Even with your doctors assistance, you may find it difficult to place which pill gives your body the best chance at contraceptive action as well as PMS symptom control. Medical News Today states: “The oral contraceptive pill, commonly referred to as “the pill,” is a form of hormonal contraception taken by approximately 12 million women in the United States per year to prevent pregnancy.1The pill is a highly effective method of birth control when taken correctly.”

Every woman is made differently, which means that while some may be able to take almost any oral contraceptive without issue, others may be forced to choose one with a much lower dosage of the hormone being used. Sometimes trial by error is the only way to select the right brand, while others may be chosen due to ingredients and past experience.

Reasons For Oral Contraceptive

Oral contraceptive contains synthetic levels of the estrogen and progesterone hormone, which causes the female body to respond by halting the ovulation and fertilization process during use. Some pills rotate on a three week on, one off basis, while others include a week of placebos to assist in the routinely dosage. The most common reason to take this type of oral contraceptive is of course to avoid pregnancy, but it can also be taken to treat premenstrual symptoms such as cramping, endometriosis, acne, heavy or irregular periods, and painful periods, which are commonly referred to as menorrhagia in the medical community. Clear skin and lighter periods isn’t the only perk to the pill, however, Web MD suggests: “Taking oral contraceptives (OCs) can slash your risk for both endometrial and ovarian cancer by more than 70 percent after 12 years; even just one to five years may lower your risk by 40 percent. They work by reducing the number of times you ovulate in your lifetime.”

The amount of ovulation that a woman experiences in her lifetime can lead to cancer, which is why women who are being treated for breast or ovarian cancer are often asked whether or not they have had children before.

Difficulties With The Pill

The oral contraceptive pill can have many positive effects on women, but unfortunately, there are risks with any form of medication, and that includes the pill. One of these problems many women seem to claim as a side effect is unwanted weight gain. Many women also complain that headaches and nausea accompany the pill, although medical professionals suggest that eating before taking the medication can help with this particular symptom. Other symptoms are a little more difficult to clear up; Parents.com says: “OC’s slash libido-friendly testosterone in two ways: First, they quiet the ovaries, halting their production of testosterone. Second, the liver pumps out a protein called the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which gloms onto sex hormones (including testosterone) like bargain shoppers on Black Friday sales.”

For mothers who have decided to start taking the pill again after having a baby, the estrogen present in the medication can greatly impact milk production. Many women who take OC after birth have trouble producing enough milk for their infants, which is why many doctors suggest waiting as long as possible before resuming birth control. Similar to the change in sexual attentiveness, women may also find that while some benefit from the alteration that the hormone causes with moods, others tend to disagree and call this a disadvantage. As mentioned above, every woman is different, which means that the hormones that take up space in your body may be different from those of the woman next to you; therefore your hormones may react differently to the ingredients in oral contraceptive leading to more moodiness, and sometimes even depression.

Finding A Fit

The only way to select the right medication for your body type and sexual history is to speak to your family doctor, and include as much information as possible about other oral contraceptives that you may have tried in the past. Sometimes it takes women a few months to sort out which pill is working right and which one isn’t.

When waiting for your correct dosage and brand to become apparent, it is important that women taking a new type of pill abstain for the directed amount of time. Having sexual intercourse when the pill has yet to take effect in your body is like having unprotected sex as far as fertility goes. Unfortunately, oral contraception does not aid against sexually transmitted infections, so it may also be wise to use a condom.

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