Every woman knows that pregnancy should be conscious and planned. To prevent unwanted pregnancy, a woman should use contraceptive methods. The most common form of hormonal contraception is birth control pills. They make contraception easy, convenient and reliable. But remember that such pills contain hormones. Therefore, not everyone can use them.
The choice of method and the selection of oral contraceptives should be selected by a doctor. But if for some reason you do not have the opportunity to visit a doctor, we have prepared this article for you. Today you will find out how birth control pills work, who should not take them and how to orient in the variety of drug choices.
Who should not take birth control pills?
There are a number of absolute contraindications (this means that the drug can harm your health). Refuse to accept hormonal contraceptives in the following cases:
- you have a risk of developing the cardiovascular disease;
- you suffer from arterial hypertension;
- the likelihood of blood clots, stroke, heart attack;
- you have been suffering from diabetes for more than 20 years;
- you have hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver, there are benign or malignant tumors in this area;
- you have uterine bleeding;
- you have mammary cancer;
- you are breastfeeding;
- you gave birth no more than 6 weeks ago;
- you are pregnant;
- you smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day (especially if you are older than 35 years old).
How to choose birth control pills?
Medicine and the pharmaceutical industry are actively developing, and hormone pills of a new generation are significantly different from what women used in the 60s. But you can get them without a doctor only in exceptional cases (for example, when there is absolutely no way to go to the gynecologist). When prescribing birth control pills, the doctor takes into account a number of important factors: basal temperature, the level of a whole set of hormones. This is necessary so that the drug does not harm the body. If you decided to take oral contraceptives, the following steps are required:
- a gynecologist consultation (survey / general examination / examination of the mammary glands);
- smear on the flora, infection;
- cytological smear;
- ultrasound of the pelvic organs;
- a blood test for hormones;
- blood chemistry;
- blood coagulation test.
If necessary, the doctor can also examine/prescribe:
- thyroid hormones;
- ultrasound of the mammary glands, consultation with a mammologist;
- ultrasound of the abdominal cavity (if you have ever had problems with digestion, gall bladder);
- blood for congenital mutations of the blood coagulation system.
Only on the basis of the data obtained, the doctor selects the optimal type and dose of oral contraceptives. However, even this approach does not always completely eliminate possible side effects. Therefore, you should assess tolerance and possibly replace the drug after 3 months. If you take such drugs, do not forget to undergo regular examinations (gynecologist’s consultation, blood biochemistry and coagulogram once a year or better every six months).
What birth control can I buy without a doctor’s prescription?
If you still decide to refuse a doctor’s consultation (or you simply do not have the opportunity to get it), read the top of the most popular drugs: a description will help you better understand what is right for your body. But be careful when making your choice: no one knows your body and physiological characteristics better than you.
You probably know this name: these are the popular contraceptives of the new generation. This is not only birth control pills but also a drug that treats some disorders in the field of gynecology and hormone dependence. It helps to cure acne and get rid of other skin imperfections. The contraceptive effect is achieved due to the estrogens and gestagens that make up the drug. They block ovulation. Usually, they are prescribed to young women.
The drug affects the state of health during menstruation. Its composition affects the reduction of anemia and pain symptoms. Very often, gynecologists prescribe this remedy for severe symptoms of PMS.
When choosing which birth control pills to take, pay attention to this remedy. It is quite affordable medication but high-quality (and you can buy them in almost every pharmacy). The drug is often prescribed to treat violations in the menstrual cycle, dysmenorrhea and dysfunctional bleeding in the uterine cavity. Unpleasant symptoms of PMS will also go away. But be careful: you should not take it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Marvelon is one of the options to choose after 30. Women who have already given birth but are still in childbearing age should take low-dose hormonal drugs.
Lactinette belongs to the category of mini-pills, which contain a minimum amount of hormones (but it cannot be considered non-hormonal). It is often prescribed to lactating women with an active menstrual cycle and to those who are contraindicated to take combined oral contraceptives. Lactinette is suitable for you if you smoke.
After 40, you’d better choose birth control suppositories. This form of contraception is the safest at this age. They can be used before menopause, if you have an active sex life but do not plan to give birth. This method has a minimum number of contraindications, they are comfortable, quickly dissolve and do not interfere with sexual intercourse. Hormonal disorders do not threaten you, because the likelihood of an overdose is negligible. Do an allergy test: if you feel comfortable after introducing a suppository, then you can safely use it 5-10 minutes before sexual intercourse.
4 important birth control questions (and the right answers)
1. How to start taking pills?
- If a pack contains 21 pills: Take the first pill on the first day of menstruation, take one pill every day for 21 days, then you take a 7-day break (the blister is often calculated by the days of admission so that you do not get confused). Time does not matter, but you’d better do it at about the same time to make it a habit;
- If a pack contains 28 pills: Take the first pill on the first day of menstruation, take one pill every day for 28 days, without breaks.
2. What to do if you missed a pill?
- If less than 12 hours have passed, take a pill and continue to take the medicine according to the usual pattern;
- If more than 12 hours have passed – take a pill and continue taking it. If this happened in the first week, you should use additional protection methods, such as a condom;
- If you have missed 2 tablets or more, take 2 tablets a day and use additional methods of contraception for another week.
3. What to do if you are breastfeeding?
Not all drugs are suitable for this period – you need one that does not affect lactation, and only a gynecologist can choose it correctly. Usually, these are mini-pills, in which the hormone content is very low. But you’d better not buy them without a doctor’s advice. Each of them has side effects, and you risk not only your health but also the health of the baby.
4. Is it possible to lose weight while taking birth control pills?
If losing weight is the only purpose for which you are taking the drug, then this is a big mistake that can cost you health. Yes, contraceptives change the hormonal background and losing weight can be a pleasant “side effect”. However, no one guarantees it: there are many healthy ways to lose weight in addition to playing with hormones. Before taking hormones to lose weight, think about whether it’s worth the harm that you cause to the body.