How Contraceptives Work
The term ‘birth control’ refers to the willingness to stop a woman from pregnancy. Contraceptives are closely related with birth control, which is the medium to reduce the chances of a woman being pregnant. The sources of birth control (contraceptive) consist hormones such as estrogen and progesterone and sometimes, progesterone alone to prevent the reproduction process.
Nowadays, there is no dearth of birth control contraceptives. The market is flooded with several kinds of birth control methods such as pills, injections, topical patches, contraceptive-infused intrauterine devices and slow-release systems (vaginal rings, skin implants). It is up to the patient to decide on the dosage of estrogen and progesterone, its type and administration.
Some of the contraceptives are used by men and women to prevent pregnancy, while others renders protection against sexually transmitted diseases such AIDS. For example, while a latex male condom gives the best protection against sexually transmitted infections or diseases, oral contraceptive pills cannot prevent STDs.
Working of an Oral Birth Control Contraceptive Pill
The pituitary gland produces two hormones called follicle stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone that stimulate the ovary to produce an egg. Two central female hormones, estradiol (EST) and progesterone (PRO) that are responsible for ovulation are suppressed by oral birth contraceptive pills.
Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) have a combination of synthetic estradiol and progesterone that restrict the occurrence of ovulation, but do not eliminate it entirely.
Choosing a Birth Control Method
- The primary objective of birth control method is to provide good control of the menstrual cycle and limit the side-effects to the maximum extent possible.
- Health experts advise the dosage of lowest hormone to avert the possible aftermaths of using contraceptives.
- If you opt for birth control medications, it is recommended that you make adjustments in the dosage or choose a mild medication.
Important Considerations for Contraceptive Usage
Contraceptives may harm your health. These are associated with various side-effects such as nausea, weight gain, swollen breasts, spotting, bleeding between menstrual cycle, mild periods and mood swings. These may also cause abdominal pain, chest pain, severe headache, vision problems, swelling and cramping. If you are experiencing any or all of these problems and wondering if they correspond to the use of contraceptives, rush to a health care provider. This, however, does not necessarily mean that the symptoms are always related to the use of contraceptives. In fact, these could be signs of other disorders such as blood clots, heart stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease and gallbladder disease.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jun 21, 2012
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