February 3, 2023

F1000 Scientist

Health to Life

What You Should Know About the Birth Control Pill

The birth control pill represents one of the most popular birth control methods, because it offers the highest protection against unwanted pregnancy. Yet, it does not protect the user against sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and it has a number of side effects.

How to use it?

You should not take any pregnancy control pill without talking to your gynecologist. The specialist will prescribe the pill that is most suitable for your health condition, age and period specificity.

The woman needs to take the birth control pill every day, preferably at the same hour, for 21 days in a row. For the last 7 days of the cycle, you won’t take any pill, or you’ll get an inactive one – that depends on the kind of product you are using. During the seven days off pill, you’ll have your period.

Then, you need to start using the pill again after the seven-day pause, on the same day of the week as you did before.

Birth control pill side effects

This contraceptive method has quite a lot of side effects, some temporary, others long term. When you first begin using the pill, nausea, morning sickness, spotting and breasts tenderness might be an issue. But the symptoms wear off as the body gets used to the new level of hormones.

On the long run, the birth control pill may have serious side effects, which is why specialists recommend that it not be used for years on end. Among the health risks of long-term administration we ought to mention a higher risk of cervical and breast cancer, blood pressure problems, thrombosis, liver dysfunctions, benign cysts etc.

Who should NOT use the birth control pill?

Women who suffer from a chronic health condition or who have a family history of thrombosis, for instance, should not use hormonal pregnancy control methods.

The birth control pill is not recommended to women who have been treated for ovarian cysts, cancer or liver problems.

Smokers and women over 35 should not use hormonal pregnancy control either because of the higher risk of side effects.

The doctor will normally recommend blood tests and careful evaluation of your health condition to make sure that your body system is within optimal parameters. Oral contraceptives should not be prescribed otherwise because of the health hazards they pose particularly in some categories of users. In addition to the pregnancy control pill, you might want to explore your other birth control options.