How does birth control work?

Hormonal contraceptive drugs have gained high popularity due to the possibility of oral use. In addition, when properly applied, they provide protection in 99.7% of cases against unwanted pregnancy.

  • A specially selected combination of hormones changes the endocrine profile of a woman and inhibits ovulation – the maturation and release of the ovum.
  • In addition, hormonal contraceptives have an anti-implantation effect: they change the endometrium in such a way that the ovum cannot attach to it.
  • They also contribute to changes in the biochemical composition of mucus produced by the cervix: they make it more dense and viscous, as a result of which it impairs sperm motility.
  • Contraceptive drugs begin their action from the moment of taking the first pill.
  • Tablets are usually taken from the 1st day of menstruation during 21 days, followed by a 7-day break.
  • The contraceptive effect of all contraceptive pills based on 21/7 regimen is also maintained during the seven-day break between the courses.
  • As for drugs based on 24/4 regimen, containing dummy pills, the contraceptive effect persists when you take inactive tablets as well.

You may ask why without taking contraceptive pills you can be confident in protection. The answer is simple. It lies in female physiology. Pregnancy can occur only in the menstrual cycle in which the maturation of the ovum has taken place. It’s maturation usually occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle.

If a woman correctly takes birth control pills from the first to the last day of the menstrual cycle, then the daily dose of synthetic hormones blocks the maturation of the ovum, and such a cycle can be called “empty”. During this cycle, pregnancy is completely excluded. In the seven-day break, the body rests, as the next ovulation is in 10-15 days. In order to protect yourself during the next cycle, it is imperative that you follow the instructions and resume taking the pill in a timely manner.

When taking Birth control pills, the woman maintains a regular menstrual cycle: a menstruation-like reaction takes place on a monthly basis. It ought to be said that unlike ordinary menstruation, it is more scarce and painless.

Both tablets and other hormonal contraceptives (patches, vaginal rings) include hormones such as estrogen and progestin in the necessary quantities. The main task of these hormones is to control the cycle and prevent unwanted pregnancy.

You need to understand that the correct use of contraceptives can reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy to a minimum. Proper administration consists of taking tablets each day at the same point of time.

In addition, you cannot rely only on these tablets. Condom use is highly recommended to prevent sexually transmitted problems (as well as pregnancy).

Published at December 29, 2018

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