In order for the efficacy rate to be higher, the use must be correctly followed, taking the pill every day indicated on the packet and at the same time. With proper use, the failure rate can be less than 3%.
When the use is unregulated or some drug interaction occurs , for example, the failure rate increases.
To find out which is the best contraceptive for each case, it is always recommended to look for a gynecologist. The pills are not the same and cannot be taken without medical advice.
Side effects, feared by many women, have low recurrence. However, they can happen. One of them is thrombosis and reduced libido.
Read more: Is it possible to get menstruating? Risks during the menstrual cycle
What is the contraceptive action in the body?
The contraceptive action in the body is to inhibit the hormone that stimulates the ovary, progesterone. In this way, the woman’s fertile period is altered.
The hormones present in the medication cause interference with the hormones produced by the woman and this ends up inhibiting the release of eggs.
In addition to this temporary blockage, so to speak, of the fertile period, the contraceptive pill can also cause changes in the cervical mucus, making it thicker and making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and endometrium, reducing the adhesion of the fertilized egg to the uterine wall. .
What is it for?
The contraceptive pill has as main objective to reduce the risks of pregnancy, but its use is not only related to this. Other effects of the pill include the following benefits:
- Acne improvement;
- Reduces hair growth in unusual places, such as chin and fluff (hirsutism);
- Decreases menstrual cramps;
- Reduces menstrual flow;
- It protects women from some types of cancer, such as ovary and endometrium;
- Helps in the treatment of hyperandrogenism;
- Helps to relieve PMS symptoms;
- Reduces the risk of endometrial cancer, a membrane that covers the wall of the uterine cavity;
- It can help women in preventing ovarian cancer and in the appearance of ovarian cysts;
- Reduces cases of iron deficiency anemia;
- Reduces possible pain in ovulation;
- It reduces the symptoms of endometriosis, such as severe pelvic pain and irregular bleeding.
Types of contraceptives
Within the class of oral contraceptives there are two types: the combined pills and the mini-pill. Get to know:
The combined contraceptive pills are of daily use and contain two hormones in their composition, being estrogen and progestin, normally.
The mini-pill, as well as combined contraceptives, is also used to prevent pregnancy. The main difference is in the composition, since the mini-pill contains only one hormone, the progestin.
Usually, the mini-pill is recommended when you have a reaction or side effect with other types of pills.
Single-phase, biphasic and three-phase pill
Within the two types of birth control pills, there is also a division according to the hormonal amount in each pill in the pack.
They all prevent pregnancy in the same way and have side effects, risks or efficacy with very little variation.
Single-phase pills are those that provide the same amount of progestin and estrogen in all pills on the pack, meaning that there is no mandatory order in which a woman should take the pills from the pack.
Unlike monophasic, biphasic pills have changes in the amount of hormones available in each pill. The first 10 of the pack have a different dosage than the other 11.
Thus, the woman must follow the order of the pack so as not to take a disorderly dosage of the hormones present in the contraceptive.
The three-phase is similar to biphasic, the difference is that the dosage changes between the first 7 pills, the next 7 pills in the middle and the final 7.
The action of the contraceptive patch is the same as that of the pill, but the body, instead of receiving hormonal doses by mouth, absorbs through the skin.
The patch is similar to a tape, usually beige in color, in which the hormones estrogen and progesterone are continuously released.
To make the correct use, the woman must stick the patch on the skin on the first day of menstruation and change after 7 days, putting another one in place. Consecutive use of 3 patches (21 days) and a 7-day break should be used.
The parts of the body where the patch varies, but should not be placed close to the breasts. The most suitable places are the arm, belly, buttocks and lower back.
There are some advantages of using the patch when compared to using the birth control pill itself and other methods.
- Like the others, it is also very effective;
- It is easy to use;
- There is no need to worry about forgetting one day or the time, since it is used periodically;
- Unlike contraceptive injection, it does not cause any type of pain;
- It does not interfere with sex life.
As with other methods, there are some disadvantages to using the contraceptive patch.
- Depending on the region where it was placed, it is visible;
- It can come loose and fall, and if the woman doesn’t notice, it ends up becoming a flawed method;
- It demands that the woman does not get lost on the start date when the adhesive was pasted, as it must remain for 7 days and then be changed;
- It can cause headache and mood swings;
- It can cause redness and itching in the applied area;
- It can cause changes in the menstrual cycle, making it irregular;
- It can lead to complications like thrombosis, heart attack and stroke;
- It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases;
- It can cause weight gain.
Injectable contraceptive (injectable)
The contraceptive injection is an option for those who have difficulty adapting to the use of the pill, for forgetting to take it at the same time and every day.
It is a method composed of the hormone progesterone or progesterone and estrogen together, with long-term doses. The application can be carried out monthly or quarterly , in the gluteal region.
Although it is considered a practical method, it is not recommended for all women. In order to receive it, first, it is necessary to check the possibility with the gynecologist. Who should give the injection is a health professional.
One of the main attractions, shall we say, is its durability. For 1 to 3 months the woman does not have to worry about this issue on a daily basis. Other characteristics considered positive in contraceptive injection involve the following factors:
- It does not require daily or weekly control;
- The 3-month injection is an alternative for women in which the estrogen hormone is contraindicated;
- It does not interfere with sexual life;
- Some injections can be used while breastfeeding;
- In some cases, it also helps to reduce menstrual flow and cramps.
A negative characteristic of the contraceptive injection is the fact that it is irreversible for a period of 1 or 3 months. In the face of side effects, there is no way to stop its use.
Other not very advantageous points of this method are:
- Because it is applied by injection, it may not be a good option for those who are afraid of a needle;
- It can cause headaches and changes in mood;
- It can cause abdominal discomfort and weight gain;
- In some women, it causes unregulated menstrual cycles;
- It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases;
- It can cause irritation and pain in the applied area;
- Although rare, the monthly injection can cause complications such as heart attack, thrombosis and stroke;
- It needs to be applied by someone in the healthcare field.
Pills the next day
Emergency pills, better known as morning pills, are used when you have sex without using any contraceptive method.
Just like continuous contraceptive pills, the morning-after pill also contains progestin and estrogen, or progestin only.
These pills are for emergent use and should be used as soon as possible after intercourse. It is not advisable to use this method frequently.
The ideal is to look for other ways to maintain safe sexual relations, to avoid an unwanted pregnancy and to prevent STDs.
Like the continuous-use contraceptive pill, the morning-after pill is not an abortion . In the event that a woman takes this medication even though she is pregnant, the consequences for her or the fetus are minimal.
In Brazil, abortion drugs are prohibited, that is, if the risk of the morning-after pill being abortive was high, the sale would probably be suspended.
What happens is just the opposite. Since 2013, the Ministry of Health has facilitated access to the pill, distributing it in health centers without the need for a prescription.
Read more: How to calculate Fertile Period (regular and irregular) and symptoms
Which contraceptive to use?
According to the needs of each woman, the type of contraceptive recommended changes. As is known, this medication does not only have contraceptive action, as it can help treat other problems. See which one to use according to the desired purpose:
To improve the skin and help in the treatment of acne
The pills that can help to alleviate acne are those that have antiandrogenic action, that is, that inhibit the hormones that stimulate male characteristics in the body.
In addition to reducing pimples, these types of contraceptives help in reducing the oiliness of the skin and the presence of hair.
Compounds like progesterone and cyproterone are responsible for helping in such cases.
To do not get fat
It may vary for each woman, as each organism has a different reaction to the medication. However, the presence of drospirenone, a substance with a diuretic action, can help reduce fluid retention.
To assist in the treatment of polycystic ovaries and endometriosis
Most contraceptives are able to contribute to the control of these two diseases. The combination of estrogen and progesterone, present in most, inhibits hormone production and ovulation, which aggravate symptoms.
For use while breastfeeding
Women who are breastfeeding should resume using the pill 40 days after giving birth, avoiding drugs that contain estrogen .
This hormone can decrease the production of breast milk and is therefore contraindicated in this situation. Ideally, they should use the mini-pill, which contains only progesterone in its composition.
The combined pills can be used only after the sixth or seventh month postpartum, as from that period they do not affect milk production.
For those who have never used
There is no consensus on which is the best contraceptive for those who have never taken it, as an individual evaluation with the gynecologist is necessary. However, some experts recommend using low-dose pills.
According to the response of the woman’s body, in which she has not suffered side effects, stronger doses may be prescribed.
Read more: About 5.6 million Brazilians do not consult the gynecologist
Trade names of pills
There are several options for birth control pills available today. There are some variations between the mode of use, side effects and action on the body.
Not all are used exclusively as a contraceptive method. Some of these medications are used to help treat illnesses. Check out some of these contraceptives and their trade names:
- Allestra 20 or 30 ;
- Belara ;
- Cycle 21 ;
- Cerazette ;
- Diane 35;
- Yasmin ;
- Yaz ;
- Selene ;
- Diclin ;
- Microvlar ;
- Siblima ;
- Adoless ;
- Alexa ;
- Diminut .
Here’s how some of these medications work:
Allestra 20 or 30
This is a combined oral contraceptive, contains the female hormones gestodene (progestogen) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen). It is considered a low-dose oral pill.
Among the actions not associated with conception, this medication has the function of helping to reduce the flow of the menstrual cycle, reducing or solving cramps during this period.
The numbers 20 and 30, next to the drug name, indicate the dosage of each carton. It contains 21 tablets, with a 7-day break in use.
It is used as a contraceptive method and for the treatment of moderate papulopustular acne. The pack contains 21 pills, with a 7-day break.
Belara’s composition contains chlormadinone acetate (2mg) and ethinylestradiol (0.03mg).
Cycle 21 is a contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy and also indicated for women who do not have a regular menstrual cycle. Its composition presents the combination of As the name implies, it should be taken for 21 days and with a 7-day break.
Cerazette is a contraceptive drug composed of progestogen desogestrel. It is called a pill with an isolated progestogen or a mini-pill.
It is indicated for women who are at higher risk of having thrombosis, such as those who have a family history of the disease or who smoke.
Unlike most, Cerazette contains 28 pills in each pack, this means that its use is continuous and the woman does not menstruate.
However, even without breaks in the card, the woman may experience some escapes, which can happen while the woman is taking the medication. Some side effects it can cause include increased oiliness of the skin and acne on the face.
It is a combined contraceptive pill, it has hormones such as ethinyl estradiol and cyproterone.
In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, Diane 35 is used to help treat acne, control hair and polycystic ovaries. The pack contains 21 pills for daily use and a 7-day break.
Contains 21 tablets and provides a 7-day break in use. In addition to contraception, Yasmin can also help women who suffer from acne, fluid retention and reduced oiliness of the skin and hair.
It is a combined oral low-dose contraceptive, composed of the hormones drospirenone (progestogen) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen).
Yaz is sold in packs of 24 tablets with a 4-day break. It is a combined oral contraceptive, similar to Yasmin. It can also help women who suffer from fluid retention, weight gain and skin greasiness.
Selene is a birth control pill that helps treat acne, hair and polycystic ovaries. It is not only used as a contraceptive method, it is indicated for women who need the drug for the treatments mentioned.
The microvlar is indicated to prevent pregnancy and helps to reduce cramps and to regulate the menstrual cycle. It is one of the most affordable drugs among the options listed. The pack contains 21 pills.
Trade names of injectable contraceptives: which is the best injection?
Some of the injectable contraceptives that can be used are:
- Cyclofemina ;
- Ciclovular ;
- Mesigyna ;
- Noregyna ;
- Perlutan .
Remembering that the method of use, forms of application and general guidelines should always be given by the gynecologist, aiming at the best adaptation and effects of the medication.
NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.
How to start taking the birth control pill?
To start taking the birth control pill, it is necessary, first of all, to consult with a gynecologist. Only this professional can guide which is the best medicine for each case.
After consultation, the use of the contraceptive must be done according to the instructions of the package insert and the doctor.
Normally, women who are going to start using contraceptives start the box on the first day of menstruation . It is considered an effective way to start the method.
Thus, they must follow all the days of the card and respect the breaks. Some medications are of continuous use and therefore it is not necessary 7 or 4 days to start the new pack.
It is important to create the habit of taking the medication at the same time and find ways to not forget, such as the use of alarms and applications, since forgetting the pill makes the method flawed and increases the risk of pregnancy.
It is also important to emphasize that one should not keep changing the marks from one cycle to the next, or even change without consulting the doctor. Contraceptives are different from each other, even though they all have the same goal of preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Many contribute to the treatment of other diseases and have a hormonal combination and different dosage, so it is not advisable to change brands .
It is worth remembering that some medications have an indication on the packaging of the order in which the pills should be taken, with guidance by arrows or by the days of the week. That way, it becomes easier not to get lost and end up forgetting some pill.
How to use the contraceptive injection?
There are contraceptive injections used monthly or quarterly. For those versions that must be used every month, the features (such as advantages and disadvantages) are very close to those of the common pill.
In relation to the quarterly version, time is one of the main advantages, even reducing the rate of forgetfulness or usage errors.
However, the method can cause menstrual changes, especially at the beginning of treatment. The use should preferably start on the 1st day of the menstrual cycle, as well as the regular pill. That is, the application is made on the day that menstruation comes down.
In general, the advice is to repeat the application after 30 days (for monthly injections) or 90 days (for quarterly injections).
If there are specifics of the drug, it is always necessary to consult the gynecologist and the package leaflet.
Does contraceptive fatten?
This is one of the biggest doubts in relation to the use of the medication. Many women fear or abandon use for fear of weight gain.
What usually happens is not an increase in the percentage of body fat, but more fluid retention, which leaves women with the impression that they have gained weight with the use of the pill.
It is not a side effect common to all women who use the contraceptive, nor does it apply to all medications.
The higher the hormonal dosage, the greater the chance of causing this accumulation of fluid. Therefore, in the face of a low-dose pill, this is not expected to happen.
Unlike some women who gain weight with the pill, some may suffer the opposite effect and end up losing weight.
In the case of women who suffer from fluid retention caused by the contraceptive, regular physical activity can help eliminate those extra pounds.
However, if the weight gain is relatively high, it is recommended to talk to the doctor to find out if it is really the pill. If so, investigate if there is a possibility of changing the medication.
Contraindications: when to use another method?
Depending on the possible side effects, in some cases, the use of the contraceptive pill should not be done.
The use of the oral contraceptive pill is not indicated for women who smoke and who are over 35 years old, because smoking is a risk factor for health and can contribute to problems such as thrombosis.
In these cases, the advice is for these women to seek another contraceptive method or to quit.
Severe liver disease
Women who have or have had diseases such as cirrhosis , liver tumor or some infection should preferably use other contraceptive methods without the use of hormones.
In the case of jaundice, yellowing of the eyes and skin, it is possible to use monthly injectables when the disease has developed through the use of oral contraceptives.
The pill is contraindicated in the case of women who have blood pressure of 140 / 90mm Hg or more. The doctor should instruct you to use another method without estrogen. In the case of pressure 160/100 mmHg, not even the use of injectables should be made.
It is necessary that the woman undergoes a treatment to reduce high blood pressure before starting the use of oral contraceptives or choose another method that is safer for her health.
The pill is also not indicated for women who have had diabetes for more than 20 years or who have any damage to their arteries, kidneys, vision or nervous system, due to this disease.
Patients who have this condition and who are taking medication to treat it are not indicated to use the contraceptive pill, as well as the combined patch and the vaginal ring.
Stroke or blood clot
Women who have had a stroke, heart attack , heart disease caused by blocked or narrow arteries should not use hormonal contraceptive methods such as the pill.
Use is not recommended for patients diagnosed with breast cancer . When cured, they should not be used for at least 5 years after the end of treatment.
Migraine with aura
A migraine with aura is a condition in which a person sees a bright area of lost vision in the eye before you feel severe headache, usually on one side of the head.
This migraine can vary between a few hours or last for several days, causing symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Women who suffer from this type of migraine are advised to seek a contraceptive method other than the pill
Drugs for seizure or tuberculosis
Some medications can interfere with the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill, such as medications used to treat seizures and tuberculosis .
When using medications such as barbiturates, carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, oxcarbazepine or rifampicin, check with the doctor about the need to use another type of method that has no interaction with the contraceptive.
After surgery where you will have to rest for a week or more
The birth control pill is not indicated for women who plan to undergo surgery that will prevent them from walking for a week or more. After the weeks of rest after the procedure, it is possible to return to normal use, however, within that period, they must use another method, such as the condom.
No contraceptive method is 100% effective, there is always a risk of pregnancy. Although many methods come very close to full effectiveness, it is important to remember how much attention needs to be paid to the correct or combined use of methods, such as the use of condoms and the correct use of the contraceptive pill.
In the case of contraceptives, it is necessary to correctly follow the instructions given by the doctor and present in the package insert. The effectiveness, then, will depend on the daily use, at regular time and beginning of the cards on the right days. It is also very important to pay attention to the expiration date of the medications.
Thus, making the correct use of the pill, the effectiveness can be between 97% to 99%, which depends on each user.
Starting the packet three or more days late or not taking three or more pills at the end of the packet is enough to increase this margin of error.
Read more: DNA of 1 in 20 women reduces contraceptive effectiveness
Side effects: what can the contraceptive cause?
Contraceptives are a matter of concern for many women, as much is said about the risk of causing disease, of getting fat, of increasing acne and oiliness of the skin.
According to the World Health Organization, some of the side effects that can occur are as follows:
- Changes in the menstrual cycle, such as bleeding with less flow and in less days, occasional bleeding (escapes) and irregular bleeding;
- Absence of menstruation;
- Changes in mood;
- Acne, which may improve or worsen;
- Change in weight and swelling;
- Breast sensitivity;
- Reduction of libido.
Below, we describe how the most common side effects happen when using the pill:
The use of the pill can cause leaks, vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual period. It is considered a common side effect and usually happens more frequently during the first cycles with the use of the medication, as the wall of the uterus is more sensitive.
It occurs more frequently for women who do not take the medication correctly, forgetting one day or another. This variation can leave the woman’s body confused, due to the constant variation in hormone levels.
When leaks happen for this reason, it is possible that the contraceptive effect will become flawed. In cases where the escape occurs, but the use is made properly, there is no risk of interfering with the effectiveness of the medication. This side effect tends to disappear or diminish over time.
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation, which can happen due to the use of the contraceptive pill of continuous use or by the pills that have a pause of 4 to 7 days.
When it happens in women who use the medication continuously, amenorrhea is something expected, but it is a side effect that can also appear in women who use the pill with an expected pause.
The presence of this effect, however, does not mean a failure in the action of the medication. It is also not considered a serious symptom.
It is also common, in women who have used the pill for years, that post-pill amenorrhea occurs, when the woman decides not to use the pill anymore, but within the next 1 or 2 months menstruation does not yet happen.
90% of women who use the pill for a long time and quit return to menstruation within a period of 3 months. In cases where menstruation does not happen within this period, it is recommended to go to the gynecologist to investigate the cause.
This side effect is one of the most dividing opinions, presenting contradictory results even in research, as some studies show that the use of the pill contributes to the increase in women’s libido, others show the opposite.
It is considered a side effect that involves factors beyond the action of the medication, being something more individual and even psychological.
The decrease in libido, in the case of the pill, may occur due to the effect of serum levels of the SHBG protein (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), responsible for transporting sexual steroids.
Thus, androgen, a hormone linked to SHBG, produces less free testosterone, which interferes with genital arousal. Thus, the woman ends up having less vaginal lubrication, which can cause pain during intercourse and end up interfering with her libido.
The fact that the contraceptive pill brings greater freedom and control over the woman’s sexual life is one of the factors considered when it comes to the effect of increasing libido.
However, when sexual desire is reduced by the presence of the medication, the woman may seek contraceptives with a different hormonal formulation or choose another method that does not affect her in this way.
Some medications can interfere with the effectiveness of the contraceptive, especially when the use is irregular. There are some interactions that are known and others that are myths.
It is important, first of all, to remember the importance of the correct use of the medication and to clarify with the gynecologist what are the possible interactions that may occur and hinder the effectiveness of the pill. When using the drugs listed below, try to use combined contraceptive methods.
Although antibiotics are the most feared in relation to the interaction with the contraceptive, only two types are really proven to cut the effect of the drug, being rifampicin and rifabutin , used in the treatment of tuberculosis, meningitis and leprosy .
To avoid unwanted pregnancies, it is important to use other contraceptive methods when using antibiotics such as those mentioned.
Medicines used to treat patients with epilepsy can reduce the effectiveness of the pill. Some drugs that have this interaction are:
- Phenytoin .
- Phenobarbital ;
- Primidone ;
- Topiramate ;
- Oxcarbazepine ;
- Carbamazepine .
Some classes of anticonvulsants, fortunately, can be used together with the use of the contraceptive pill, such as:
- Gabapentin ;
- Lamotrigine ;
- Levetiracetam ;
- Valproic acid.
Alcohol can interact with contraceptives by increasing levels of estradiol, a female sex hormone. This can increase the risks of long-term side effects, such as thrombosis and breast cancer.
In addition, the rate of metabolism of alcohol is reduced in women who take contraceptives, so it remains in the bloodstream longer.
Antihypertensive drugs do not cut the contraceptive effect, what can happen is an increase in the potassium rate in the blood of the patient using ACE inhibitors (Angiotensin Conversion Enzyme), such as ramipril, lisinopril and enalapril .
So that these drugs do not affect the effectiveness of the contraceptive and do not harm the woman’s health, it is possible to change the dose of the drugs.
Risks of taking contraceptives
The contraceptive can offer some more serious health risks than those listed within side effects. They are considered rare, but they can occur.
The most well-known risks are:
- Formation of blood clot in veins of the legs and lungs (thrombosis or pulmonary embolism);
- Increased risk of breast cancer;
- It can cause nutritional deficiency;
- Heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Thrombosis is the condition in which blood clots in the veins and these clots end up blocking. The greatest risk is when the clot loosens and travels through the bloodstream, as it can lodge in organs such as the lung and brain, a process known as embolism. This disease is serious, as it can lead to death.
The combined contraceptive pill is more likely to develop thrombosis, since hormones interfere with blood flow.
The chances of it happening in people who have no family history of the disease or vascular diseases are less. Smoking is also one of the risk factors for thrombosis.
Other factors that increase the risk of thrombosis are obesity , age over 39 years, history of lower limb surgery, history of diseases that interfere with blood clotting such as protein S, C or antithrombin deficiency, kidney disorders and other problems.
Alternative contraceptive methods
Currently, there are several options for contraceptive methods in addition to the conventional pill. They fall into some types. To know which will be the best for each person, an individual assessment is required.
Barrier contraceptive methods are those that prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Some examples are condoms, diaphragms, contraceptive sponge and cervical cap. Among the barrier methods, some use spermicides.
Behavioral methods are premised on sexual abstinence during the days when the egg can be fertilized. These are the contraceptive methods with the highest failure rate. It also excludes women who do not have a regular menstrual cycle. One of the best known is the table method.
Permanent methods are used by people who do not want a definitive pregnancy, with vasectomy performed by men and the connection of uterine tubes in women.
Prices and where to find
Contraceptives can be found in pharmacies. The price of contraceptives may vary according to the type. In relation to pills, this variation can be even greater.
When looking for this type of medicine, however, it is not good to be guided only by price. Who should prescribe the ideal contraceptive is the gynecologist, according to the needs of each woman. From that, the concern about finding the best price begins.
The values can range from 2.45 to 110 reais, depending on the brand and the product, whether it is generic or not. The price of injectable contraceptives can vary from 13 to 17 reais. The adhesive, on the other hand, has a higher cost, varying from 72 to 98 reais, according to the price comparator Consulta Remédios .
The birth control pill is a medication that often accompanies a woman for most of her life. Its use may be necessary not only to avoid pregnancy and therefore it becomes even more important to know how to live with the pill. For fear of risks and complications, this relationship may not be easy.
In addition, when the woman is very young and is starting her sex life, there may be embarrassment about talking about it with parents or looking for a gynecologist to talk about it. Some tips can help with this moment.
Before starting to use the pill, find out how the medicine works and what are the possible reactions. Also find out about the other types of contraceptives, hormonal or not, and see what would be the best for you.
The pill will not always be ideal, so there are other options like IUD, patch, injection and all the others.
Find a gynecologist
The contraceptive pill should not be used without first consulting a gynecologist, as there are several types of medication and they act differently.
For example, a woman who has excessive acne and uses a pill that does not provide treatment for this problem may have her condition worsened. In the case of women who have severe menstrual cramps, there are contraceptives more suitable for this.
Therefore, during the consultation, in addition to making it clear whether the use will be exclusively as a method of preventing pregnancy, the woman should detail whether there is another need for the medication.
Right now, there is no reason to be ashamed of the professional, so take all your doubts. Thus, he will be able to prescribe the best birth control pill for you.
It is also important to return periodically after using the pill, especially in the face of the appearance of side effects.
Talk to your partner
Avoiding an unplanned pregnancy is the couple’s responsibility, not just the woman’s . It is important to talk to your partner about using contraception and to experiment together.
The use of combined methods, such as the contraceptive pill and condoms , is essential, because in addition to preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, it enhances the effectiveness of both.
Thus, the woman does not carry this responsibility alone, as she is susceptible to forgetting to take the medication or at unregulated times.
Likewise, it is not necessary to be embarrassed in relation to this type of conversation with the partner, as it is a matter that belongs to both.
Talk to your parents
It is common for people to start their sex life in adolescence, a time when they still do not have the autonomy to decide about everything in their lives. It was also a time of many doubts and insecurities.
However, it is important that this talk about contraception takes place and that it is not an embarrassing moment.
Your parents have already gone through that time and may not have received counseling.
If you want to start using the birth control pill or other methods, talk to them openly. Ask questions or ask them to accompany you to a gynecologist.
Origin of the pill
The birth of the birth control pill happened in the 1960s and its impact was so great that today it is considered the mother of the well-known Sexual Revolution that happened in that decade.
Who were behind the creation were four people, few of whom would say that they would join in this fight: the gynecologist and obstetrician John Rock, the biologist Katherine McCormick, the scientist Gregory Pincus and an 80-year-old nurse who spent half her life searching for this method, Margareth Sanger.
Margareth Sanger’s desire was for women to be able to decide about their bodies and to have the option to choose whether or not to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
It was Sanger who coined the term “birth control” and the discovery of these pills was only possible with the help of the inheritance inherited from the family of Katharine McCormick, which was destined for this cause.
More than birth control, did the nurse, who since 1916 sought the contraceptive solution, also fight for? equal rights of sexual freedom, since he considered that the imminent risk of conception made equality between the sexes impossible.
In 1916, the nurse founded a clinic to distribute contraceptives. As it was still illegal, she was arrested twice during that period. The second time she was arrested, her sister, Ethel Byrne, also went.
Both were sentenced to 30 days of house arrest. Ethel even went on a hunger strike as a protest.
The goal of all those people who were engaged in discovering a contraceptive method more effective than those available, such as condoms, was to find an easy, inexpensive and efficient way to give women the ability to decide about their own future.
In 1953, only the studies to arrive at this method became stronger, as Khaterine McCormich started to finance the research done by the scientist Gregory Pincus.
From that, some clinical tests were done in the USA and Puerto Rico and the birth control pill was approved by the American regulatory agency, the FDA. However, initially, it was not considered a contraceptive method, but rather a medication to relieve menstrual disorders.
When it started to be marketed, with the name Enovid, the drug had on the package insert as a side effect the fact of temporarily suspending fertility. In 1960, the pill was released as a contraceptive method.
Margareth Sanger died in 1966, a year after contraceptives were released across the country by the Supreme Court. The birth of the contraceptive and its release is relatively recent. However, it was revolutionary for women.
This period also marks the beginning of the entry of women into the labor market, sexual freedom, the beginning of a thought of birth control and many other discussions.
It also had and has its cons, because the side effects discussed in the 1960s are still present when the debate is on women’s health, however, with the reduction of hormonal doses, the risks have also decreased.
Today, in addition to its use being released, there is more information about risks and other alternatives. The woman does not need to stick to a single contraceptive method, whether hormonal or not.
We clarified some of the main doubts about the use of the contraceptive pill, about the injection and the contraceptive patch. Look:
What do I do if I forget to take the pill a day or more than a day?
If one day you forget to take the pill, take it immediately after remembering and the next one at the usual time. With the other cards, continue using a pill each day.
But, if it is the case that you forgot to take more than one pill from the pack, the recommendations change slightly.
It is recommended to look for other contraceptive methods if sexual intercourse occurred during the days that you forgot the pill, such as the use of the morning-after pill.
To continue using the pill, it is necessary to count how many are left in the pack. If there are 7 or more, use continues normally. If there are less than 7 tablets left in the pack, take the rest as usual and start a new pack the next day after the last pack.
If forgetfulness is frequent, common at the beginning of the use of the medication, some tips can be useful, such as setting an alarm to wake up at the time of taking the pill or leaving the medication beside the bed or a visible place.
Is it normal to have bleeding during the pack?
Small bleeds may occur during the first few months of contraceptive use, as the woman’s body is still adapting to hormonal doses. As a consequence, these “escapes” can occur during the card.
It should not be a cause for great concern, however, if it persists for more than 10 days and for more than three consecutive months, it is necessary to investigate the cause with a gynecologist, as it may be a sign of some other problem, related to the card or not.
Is there a male contraceptive pill?
There is still no male contraceptive pill like the female. The only contraceptive methods of man, so to speak, are condoms and vasectomy.
Condoms, which are mostly used, despite having a good percentage of effectiveness when used correctly (up to 98%), are susceptible to error, as they can burst.
In such cases, the responsibility lies with the woman, who needs to use the morning-after pill or be taking the daily contraceptive pill daily and without fail.
However, even though there are no pills commercialized, some studies are underway. The most recent is a study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle.
They developed a male contraceptive that seems to have promising results, the chemical name is dimetrandrolone undecanoate , or DMAU.
Like female contraceptives, DMAU is made from hormones that can inhibit the action of sperm.
Although some side effects such as increased HDL cholesterol, decreased libido and weight gain occurred in some of the men who took the test with DMAU, the researchers showed enthusiasm to continue studying the possibility of commercializing the drug in the future.
Does the use of antibiotics ‘cut’ the effect of the birth control pill?
Yes , some antibiotics can lessen the effect of the birth control pill and this ends up hampering its effectiveness. Not all types of antibiotics threaten the birth control pill’s action.
The antibiotics that most show interference in the action of contraceptives are those used to destroy bacteria that cause enzymatic reactions, responsible for stimulating the release and activation of estrogen.
Some antibiotics that can interfere are those used to treat tuberculosis, leprosy and meningitis, for example.
When starting to use any, check with the doctor for possible interaction in the action of the birth control pill. Also use additional contraceptive methods, such as condoms;
Is the birth control pill abortive?
No , the birth control pill does not cause abortion. This type of medicine acts as a prevention of conception, preventing the contact between the egg and sperm from occurring and, consequently, the formation of an embryo does not happen.
When conception occurs, the contraceptive pill does not have the function of being an abortion. However, although it does not cause abortion, use during pregnancy should be suspended, as it may cause some harm to the fetus.
Can I have sex during the break between cards?
Yes , if the contraceptive use is being done correctly, not forgetting any day and respecting the schedules, the risks of a pregnancy decrease.
It is then possible to have sex on the days of pause between cards, however, the use of condoms is recommended to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and also because no method is 100% safe.
Do I need to stop taking the birth control pill from time to time to ‘rest’?
In the past, it was common for women to take breaks between using contraceptives to “cleanse” the body of daily doses of hormones in the body. However, there is no scientific basis to prove the need for such breaks.
In fact, contraceptives currently sold have hormonal doses lower than what was available when the birth control pill appeared.
Even in cases of women who have been using it uninterrupted for years, it is not necessary to give this rest. In fact, the pauses in the use of the contraceptive pill are often related to the occurrence of pregnancies.
What is the best contraceptive to not put on weight?
In general, the most suitable contraceptive for those who do not want to put on weight or suffer from other possible side effects is the one with low hormonal dosages.
But it is important to remember that each organism responds differently to drugs. Therefore, it is always necessary to seek medical advice. Only gynecologists can safely indicate which contraceptive is best for each woman.
Is it normal for menstruation not to come during the 7-day break from the pack?
Many contraceptives are sold in cartons with 21 pills, providing 7 days of pause where the menstrual cycle occurs.
However, the woman’s menstrual cycle may undergo changes due to the use of contraceptives and their hormones and therefore it may take a little longer to become regular.
Therefore, it is considered common, for some women, that menstruation does not happen during this pause. If after 21 days of the contraceptive pill menstruation does not happen, eliminating the possibility of pregnancy, after 7 days the new pack must be restarted.
Is there a minimum and maximum age to take the birth control pill?
There is no consensus on the beginning of the use of the contraceptive pill, as each woman uses the medication according to her needs, since it does not act only as a way of preventing pregnancy.
Thus, to find out if it is time to start taking the pill, talk to your gynecologist and detail all your specifics, family history, if you already have an active sex life, among other issues related to use.
When you receive an indication of the use of the pill, try to find out about the mode of action of this medication, the interactions, the possible side effects and how the use should be made.
The same goes for the time to stop taking the medicine. It is necessary to analyze each case individually and have a medical follow-up for better assistance.
I took the pill and vomited soon after. What should I do?
If you have taken the pill for less than 1 hour, it is likely that the pill has been expelled. In that case, another pill should be taken in sequence.
If the vomiting happened more than 1h or 2h after taking the pill, it is not necessary to take another pill.
Does the birth control pill prevent sexually transmitted diseases?
No ! The contraceptive pill cannot be used for this purpose, as it is not able to prevent women from disease. The ideal method for this is condoms, both male and female.
To avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs, the combined use of two methods, such as the pill and condoms, is recommended.
Is it okay to amend one card in the other?
No, amending one carton on the other should not pose any risk to women’s health, when it comes to continuous contraceptive use and, with some exceptions, when it occurs with the carton that provides for a break.
It is clear that each woman has a different reaction to the use of the medication and it is always necessary to check with the doctor about this possibility.
This act does not hurt, because with the use of contraceptives, physiologically, the woman no longer really menstruates, as ovulation does not happen. In the pause period, what happens is just a bleeding that simulates the menstrual cycle.
Some cards are marketed with this intention and thus women do not experience any pauses. However, other pills should be used with this range prediction.
When a woman mends a card that needs a break, she may be ingesting very high doses of hormones, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure, venous changes such as thrombosis, development of uterine fibroids and breast cancer.
What else happens when it comes to amending one card in the other is in the case of women who, for some reason – such as important events, trips to the beach, etc. – do not want to experience the discomfort of menstruation that day and choose to continue using it of the pill.
Does the birth control pill increase the risk of breast cancer?
Hormonal contraceptive methods, in general, are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
This comparison takes place in relation to women who do not use any hormonal method, but even with this risk, the contraceptive pill is not contraindicated and suspension of use is not indicated, as the chances are relatively low.
Can breastfeeding women take birth control pills?
Yes, but the use must be resumed after 40 days of delivery, after the period of protection, as it is called. It is also necessary that the type of pill is different, as lactating women cannot take the combined contraceptive, only the mini-pill.
Lactating women should avoid pills that contain estrogen, as this hormone causes a decrease in the production of breast milk. Thus, the best option for them is contraceptives that have only progesterone.
In combination with this method, breastfeeding women can use a condom, IUD or IUS or
How long does it take to get pregnant after quitting using the pill?
The birth control pill is not intended to make a woman infertile. For it to work, it must be used regularly, at the same time and every day.
For women who discontinue use for the purpose of becoming pregnant, there is concern about the time it may take for fertilization to occur.
In most women, fertility is restored soon after the pill is stopped. The time for this to happen can vary with each woman, taking a little longer for some.
An average time was plotted according to some studies, where 20% of women who stopped using the pill became pregnant within four weeks after the break and 40% became pregnant within the first three months.
If the contraceptive patch comes off, should I put on a new one?
Yes , you should. Although the patch is produced to stick to the skin for a week, it can come off. If this happens, replace it with a new one as soon as possible, so as not to affect the effectiveness of the medicine.
If the period between the patch has been loosened and replaced by another has passed 24 hours, you should resort to the use of other contraceptive methods for the next 7 days, as an aid to the patch.
Do I have to use the contraceptive patch in the same place or in exchange can I choose another part of the body?
Yes , it is possible to relocate the adhesive between one application and another. The most common places of use are the buttocks, stomach, back and upper arms. It should not only be used on the breasts. In any case, observe the instructions on the label on the places where you can place it.
Can the contraceptive patch come off during the bath?
This should not happen. It is made to adhere well to the skin, and it is rare to get loose. Therefore, the woman should not worry when bathing, swimming or any other exercise. However, it should be applied to clean, dry skin, so that it is fixed as much as possible.
Does the use of moisturizers, sunscreen and other creams affect the action of the contraceptive patch?
Yes , it is not recommended to use creams, lotions, makeup and oils close to the region where the adhesive will be fixed. These products can cause the patch to come off, losing the contraceptive effect. Nor should they be applied over the adhesive, after applied, nor too close.
Will I still menstruate when using the contraceptive patch?
Yes , the menstrual cycle should start within a few days after removing the third patch, completing 21 days of contraceptive use. However, as with the use of the pill, some changes can happen, making the cycle irregular, especially in the first months of use.
Do I need to go to the hospital for the contraceptive injection or can it be applied in pharmacies?
It must be administered by a healthcare professional, but it is not mandatory to go to a hospital for the injection to be given by a doctor. It can be applied by the pharmacist himself, in the purchase of the medicine.
Does injectable contraception affect a woman’s fertility in the long run?
Injections temporarily interfere with a woman’s fertility, but should not make her infertile. However, it may take a little longer to get pregnant after giving up the injections, when compared to the pill.
In some women, it can take up to a year. This time, however, varies for each woman and is not associated with the time of use.
Should the reapplication of the injection be done according to the first day of the menstrual cycle?
No , reapplication does not happen according to the menstrual cycle, but according to the periodicity of the injection itself. If it is a monthly injection, it should be reapplied every 4 weeks, in the case of a quarterly injection, every 12 weeks.
Is there a maximum number of injectable contraceptive applications that can be made?
If this is the most suitable method for you, there is no minimum or maximum number of applications. However, some check-ups should be done to check that your health is up to date and that using this method is not posing any risk.
What decides how often the use will be made are factors such as active sex life and whether or not you want a pregnancy.
The contraceptive pill is one of all existing contraceptive methods. In addition to acting in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, it helps in the treatment of other conditions related to women’s health.
Although it presents serious risks and side effects, we cannot deny the importance that this medication had and still has for birth control and women’s independence.
In this article, we seek to clarify how this medicine came about and works. Share it so that more people can ask questions about this contraceptive. Thanks for reading!