Birth control pills are currently the most popular form of contraception amongst women. More than 100 million women globally swear by the pill. With recent medical advancement, women now have a choice when it comes to birth control pill. However, one must have a clear understanding of the different types of birth control pills that are available in the market.
Birth control pills are essentially of 3 types.
- Combination Pills
- Extended Cycle Pill
Combination pills are most common kind of birth control pills used by women worldwide.
- Combination pills contain both estrogen and progestin.
- Combination pills work by maintaining the hormone levels in the body which tend to shoot up during ovulation. This in turn curtails the chances of reproduction.
- Combination pills also thicken the walls of the uterus which makes it difficult for the fertilised egg to plant itself.
- Combination pills come in 21 day packs and 28 day packs. All the pills in the 21 days pack are active, whereas 7 pills in the 28 day pack are inactive placebo pills.
- There are 3 kinds of combination pills that are used for contraception:
- Monophasic combination pills have the same level of hormones in them.
- Biphasic combination pills have 2 levels of estrogen and progestin.
- Triphasic combination pills have 3 levels of hormones and their dosage changes every 7 days.
The minipill contains only one hormone and that is progestin.
- These pills are frequently used by lactating mothers because it has no estrogen which affects milk production in the body.
- The minipill is also a preferred option for women who have been medically advised to not consume estrogen.
- The minipill works by thickening the cervical mucus which makes it hard for the sperm to reach the egg.
- It also thickens the walls of the uterus which makes it difficult for the fertilised egg to plant itself in the uterus.
- The use of minipill reduces the incidence of cramps and extensive blood loss during menstruation but their usage can also lead to irregular period.
- It is of critical importance that the minipill is taken on time. Even one missed pill can cause complications.
Extended Cycle Pills
The extended cycle pill regularises one’s period and restricts it to a few times in a year and works in the same way as combination pills when it comes to contraception.
- This pill contains both estrogen and progestin and the intake of active hormones in a row decreases the number of periods a woman has.
- The extended cycle pill causes a thinning in the lining of the uterus. Therefore, one does not need to have a period in order to shed it.
- This type of pill is also considered more effective because it is easier for women to use.
- The extended cycle pill alleviates many symptoms of menstruation such as cramps, headaches and also symptoms of migraine due to pain.
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