Birth control, also known as contraception, is designed to prevent pregnancy. Decide when to start using birth control and choose a method that will work best for you. Birth control methods may work in several different ways. Planning, provision, and use of birth control are called family planning. Birth control methods have been used since ancient times, but only effective and safe birth control methods became available in the 20th century.
What is the need for Birth Control or Contraception?
To have sex or not is a personal decision that entirely depends upon an individual's choice. Sex is healthy and enjoyable while it is also associated with many risks. Protection needs to be used whenever you are sexually active to prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sex is the toughest decision in teens' lives because if they decide to have sex, they must also be ready to take the adverse effects.
Contraception not only prevents unwanted pregnancy but also protects from severe STDs.
What should you know about contraception?
You should be aware of the following:
The birth control methods work by:
Methods of Birth Control:
There are many methods of birth control that a woman can use. A talk with the doctor will help you to decide which method of contraception can be best for you:
1. Hormonal methods of contraception
A. Birth control pill or oral contraceptive: Also called "the pill," it contains estrogen and progestin hormones and is available in different hormone dosages. These are the hormones that cause inhibition of your body's natural hormones to prevent pregnancy in a few days. Hormonal contraceptives work by stopping the body from ovulating. They also make the cervical mucus thick, making it difficult for the sperm to enter the vagina. Contraceptive pills also prevent you from conceiving by changing the uterus lining, so it is unlikely the fertilized egg will be implanted. Common birth control is Yasmin, Yaz, Ovral G, Loette, Femilon, and Dronis.
How does it work?
It contains progestin and estrogen hormones and stops the ovary from releasing an egg. A pill is taken once a day, and it comes in 28 days pack. It works by changing the uterus lining and making it difficult for the egg to attach to the uterus wall. It also thickens the cervical mucus and makes it difficult for the sperm to travel up to the uterus.
B. Transdermal patch
How does it work?
A patch is 4 cm square of polyester containing the female hormones estrogen and progestin. It stops ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus.
C. Contraceptive ring
How does it work?
It is inserted into the vagina and releases female hormones estrogen and progestin. It stops ovulation and makes it difficult for the egg to attach to the uterus wall.
It contains only the female hormone progestin that prevents ovulation. It must be administered every 12 weeks.
2. Barrier methods of contraception
A. Condoms: They are called barrier methods of birth against HIV and other STDs. This method is 100% effective because it puts a barrier on pregnancy and STDs by preventing the sperm from reaching the ova to fertilize it. Male condoms are inexpensive and easy to get without a prescription. Female condoms cost more than male condoms and can be difficult to use properly. Female condoms cost more than male condoms and can be difficult to use properly. Condoms can only be used once.
B. Diaphragm: Also called cervical caps block the sperms from entering the cervix and reaching the egg. Before sexual intercourse, use them with Spermicides.
C. Sponge: It is made out of polyurethane foam and contains the spermicide nonoxynol-9. They are very good barriers and can be used for more than one act in 24 hours.
D. Spermicides: They are the chemicals that kill sperm or make the sperm unable to move towards the egg. They are available in different forms and are 71-82% effective.
E. IUD: It is a small plastic T-shaped device placed inside the uterus by a doctor. It contains progesterone hormone; it prevents ovulation and thickens the mucus, preventing sperm from entering the egg. It is a 98% effective technique. It can remain inserted for one year.
F. Other methods: Other methods like abstinence or avoiding sex, sterilization, and withdrawal can also prevent pregnancy and STDs. The sterilization method is 99% effective, while withdrawal is not a safe birth control option.
You have several ways to take the pill:
First-day start - Take the first tablet during the first 24 hours of your menstrual cycle. Pregnancy protection kicks in immediately, so you don’t need a backup contraceptive method.
Quick start- You take the first tablet from your pack right away. This option is applied when your doctor confirms that you are not already pregnant. The hormones in the contraceptive pills need time to build up in your body. So, backup contraception, like a condom for a week, is required. This method is generally not suggested.
Sunday start – Many contraceptive pill packs are arranged to begin on this day. You take your first tablet on the first Sunday after your menstruation begins. Use a second birth control method for a week if you have sexual intercourse.
Taking birth control pills usually depends on the pill pack you are using. Most women get pills in packets of 21 and 28. Also, extended packs of 91 pills or 365 pills are available. With those pills, your cycle may get disturbed, or you bleed much less.
Generally, it is important to take the pill every day simultaneously. This is especially important if you take progestin-only minipill, which has a smaller margin for error than regular pills with estrogen and progestin. When you finish a packet, take the first pill of the new pack the next day. Certain medications, including the antibiotic rifampin and St. john’s wort, can interact with oral contraceptives. So, use a backup contraceptive.
It is important to stick to your schedule to keep your hormone levels where they need to be to block contraception. Use birth control pills prescribed by your doctor.
The birth control pills are safe for most women; they take them without problems. Oral contraceptives have been around for over 50 years, and millions of women have used them safely. But all medicines have some risks and side effects. Your health care specialist will help you figure out if the pill is safe for you.
It is always best to take the birth control pill simultaneously every day. You can take them anytime during the day, but taking them before breakfast or dinner will make them easier to remember. Ask your health care specialist when you should start taking the oral contraceptive. If your cycle is still on, the day you have been told to start your pill pack, start n any way. You will get your next period about 25 days after starting the pill pack.
Birth control pills are a type of oral contraception that is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy; when taken correctly means taking them without missing even a day or two. Oral contraception contains hormones that regulate menstruation, lower the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers, treat endometriosis, and improve eth appearance of acne.
Certain birth control brands can be used as regular pills. However, the option is less effective and may cause side effects than dedicated emergency contraception pills. Emergency contraception pills are packaged and labelled for use as emergency contraception. It is always best to consult your health care specialist if you wish to use your regular birth control pills as emergency contraception.
The answer is no. Studies found that long-term use of oral contraceptives did not affect their ability to have children in the future. Research studies have also shown no impact on future infertility with other forms of hormonal contraceptives. Whether you choose an intrauterine device (IUD), vaginal ring, or birth control pills, these methods should not affect your ability to conceive later in life. Still, consulting a doctor is best to opt for the pills option.
Generally, most women get their periods three days after finishing the pill pack. If you use a 28-pill pack, you will get your period during the week you take the reminder (hormone-free) tablets if you use a 21-day pill pack. If using a 21-day pack, you will get your menstrual cycle start the week you do not take any tablets. Note that the 21-day pack of birth control pills has no reminder pills. In this case, you can use a reminder on the phone or a calendar to help you stay on track.
Different birth control pills that work differently in preventing pregnancy are available. So how many birth control pills to take usually depends on your brand. For example, I-pill, an emergency contraceptive pill, combines three medicines specially made to prevent pregnancy. Other birth control pills come in a pack of 21 or 28 that must be taken regularly without missing any pills. Consult your doctor to find the best option for yourself.