Nowadays there is hardly a theme that can cause more cut and thrust of debating than oral contraception. Pregnancy preventing medications within the last decade were labeled now a panacea, now the number-one enemy for female health.
For those who have no idea, we say that oral contraception, or birth control pills, is hormonal medications (tablets) used for preventing unwanted pregnancy. As a rule, they contain 2 hormones: estrogen and gestagen, which block ovulation and make some changes into the womb reducing the risk of becoming pregnant to zero. As opposed to previous decade or two, today women use low-dose birth control pills to protect themselves from an unplanned pregnancy. These medications contain lower amount of hormones and proved to be highly efficient causing fewer side effects. These are oral contaceptives of the next generation: Logest, Mersylon, Novinet, Jeanine, etc. But at the same time there are oral contraceptives with higher dose of hormones: Femodene, Marvelon, Regulon.
For starters it should be said that in spite of the rainbow of oral birth control medications on the pharmaceutical market, at present there is nothing suitable for any of us. Each of the remedies has its benefits and, alas, drawbacks. To protect yourself from negative effects that these remedies may cause, it is necessary to consult your gynecologist. Keep in mind that to get 99 % protection from pregnancy, a woman should be a model of self-discipline and take birth control pills regularly without missing any of them.
Usually these remedies are taken according to the following scheme: beginning with the first day of period for the first cycle of 21 day-intake and then one-week break. The scheme is believed to provide up to 99 percent of pregnancy protection and the risk of getting pregnant is practically equal to zero.
The very first and incontestable benefit of birth control pills is the high degree of protection from pregnancy. Secondly, many of hormonal birth control medications have therapeutic effect in case of irregular periods or skin problems. Properly prescribed oral contraceptives reduce the risk of cancer of endometrium, breast and ovary. These medications are recommended for young ladies leading active sexual life, but before the first intake of the remedy 2 or 3 periods should pass.
The list of drawbacks is represented by the requirement of strict self-discipline (it is very easy to miss a pill); the more reliable birth control is, the higher its price. And this aspect can significantly hit ones pursue. Besides, birth control pills protect from unwanted pregnancy but cannot protect from sexually transmitted diseases. That’s why in case of casual sex with a new partner it is advised to use a condom to prevent these problems.
And yet, sometimes (but not always) birth control pills may be a reason of unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, breast tenderness, weight gain or loss. As a rule, these phenomena do not persist and pass off soon. As for the weight gain (the question frequently asked on numerous forums for women), you should know that modern oral contraceptives admit weight changes +/- 2 kg.
Dear ladies, before buying this or that pregnancy preventive medication, discuss it with your gyn and use a backup contraceptive method if you missed a dose.