Are Contraceptive Pills Safe and Are they Right to Use

The oral contraceptive (OC) pill is the most common form of contraception used. It is one of the great medical inventions that has given women incredible freedom. OC pills contain synthetic female hormones estrogen and progesterone in various combinations.

Contraceptive pills and how to use them?

OC pills are classified based on two factors: Duration for which they are taken and their composition.
According to the duration, they are classified as daily and emergency OC pills. Daily pills must be taken every day without a break. Emergency OC pills, on the other hand, should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Emergency OC pills are preferred when a female forgets her daily pill or an accident due to which the contraceptive measure fails.

According to the composition, they are classified as a combined pill (both estrogen and progesterone) and the progestin-only pill. Combined daily contraceptive pills come as monophasic, multiphasic, and extended-cycle pills. Monophasic and multiphasic pills are used as monthly cycle OC pills and contain 21 active (with hormones) and 7 inactive (without hormones) pills. Menstruation takes place while a female is on the inactive pills during the last week. Extended-cycle pill is used as a 13 week-cycle pill, which consists of active pills for 12 weeks followed by inactive pills for a week. Both combined and progestin-only daily pills should be taken daily at the same time every day.

Combined emergency pill (the Yuzpemethod) is taken in 2 divided doses with estrogen (100–120 mcg ethinylestradiol) and progestin (either 0.50–0.60 mg levonorgestrel or 1.0–1.2 mg norgestrel). Levonorgestrel (progestin-only pill) and Ulipristal acetate (a selective progesterone receptor modulator) are taken in a single dose of 1.5 and 30 mg, respectively. Emergency pills work best when taken within 72 hours of intercourse, especially the first 24 hours.

Safety and side effects of contraceptive pills

Oral contraceptive pills are relatively very safe. No research has proved it to cause detrimental health effects or death. However, OC pills can have some side effects. Side effects are categorized as short-term and long-term side effects.

Short-term side effects include

  • ·         Headache
  • ·         Nausea
  • ·         Acne
  • ·         Weight gain
  • ·         Spotting between periods
  • ·         Absence of menses
  • ·         Breast tenderness
  • ·         Low sexual drive
  • ·         Gastralgia

If a female suffers from any of these contraceptive pill side effects, it will subside by 2-3 months. If the symptoms persist, it is recommended to consult a doctor.

Long-term side effects include

  • ·         Blood clots
  • ·         Stroke
  • ·         Cardiovascular disorders
  • ·         Increased risk of breast and cervical cancer

Moreover, OC pills are avoided in the following cases

  • ·         Women around 35 years of age and above
  • ·         History of stroke
  • ·         History of blood clots
  • ·         Active liver disease
  • ·         Untreated hypertension
  • ·         Present or past history of smoking
  • ·         Pregnant females

Should contraceptive pills be used?

Yes, contraceptive pills can be used if your gynecologist thinks that it is safe for you. There are other forms of contraception like condoms, intrauterine devices, and implants. The choice of contraception depends on an individual’s need and comfort. Moreover, OC pills are also used for the below-mentioned non-contraceptive uses:

  • ·         Treatment of acne
  • ·         Preventing thinning of bones
  • ·         Protection against ovarian and endometrial cancer
  • ·         Treating severe menstrual cramps and irregular periods
  • ·         Protection against anemia
  • ·        Treatment for heavy periods

It should be known that consuming OC pills does not protect one against sexually transmitted diseases and a condom must be used for the same reason. Also, OC pills should be taken as directed, and missing your pills or not taking them according to the instructions increases the risk of pregnancy.

At 1mg youtube channel, Dr. Suman Rao (Obstetrician & Gynecologist) clears the misconceptions that youngsters have about these pills and brings forth the facts. Know each and everything about contraceptive pill.

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