Consult the medication dictionary to quickly obtain detailed information
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The birth control pill (or oral contraception) is an advantageous option on several levels. Learn more on the subject.
Oral contraceptives, which are in pill-form, are commonly called birth control pills. The first birth control pill became available in 1956. Since then, millions of women around the world have benefited from this contraception method, which has multiple advantages.
Birth control pills generally contain two types of different hormones: a derivative of oestrogen and a progestative (derived from progesterone). The type and amount of hormones contained in these combined oral contraceptives vary from one brand to another. They are very effective in preventing pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and modifying cervical mucous, which slows spermatozoids and blocks fertilization.
When used appropriately, oral contraceptives are more than 99.7% effective. The risk of pregnancy increases when it is used inconsistently. Their main advantage is that they are easy to use and usually cause few side effects. It is important to note that birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The condom is the only one to have this virtue.
In addition to their contraceptive effectiveness, these medications can have other health benefits, such as:
It may not be advised to take an oral contraceptive in certain circumstances, for instance if you:
The doctor or nurse will assess your medical situation and weigh the benefits and risks with you before prescribing an oral contraceptive.
Certain side effects may be felt upon starting to take an oral contraceptive. These side effects are usually mild and temporary. Here are some examples:
Your pharmacist can inform you about the possible side effects and explain what to do is they occur. If some of them persist, it may be advisable to change contraceptive. It may sometimes be necessary to try several formulations before finding the right one for you.
If you have been prescribed an oral contraceptive, it is crucial to understand exactly how to use it. Your pharmacist can explain it to you. Ask him/her as many questions as necessary. Among other things, make sure you know:
In order to maximize the contraceptive effect, the medication must be taken regularly at the same time each day. The following advice will also help you to maximize your treatment's contraceptive effectiveness
Don't hesitate to speak to your pharmacist if you have any questions about contraception, whether or not it is hormonal.
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