Birth Control FAQs Symptoms and Treatment.
What are oral birth control pills?
It is a group of hormonal formulations that are taken by women to avoid pregnancy. They can be called simply “the pill”.
The pills have in them artificially-created women's hormones which are made in the ovaries. They suppress the ovulation, promote the higher concentration of the of mucus in the cervix, making it impassable for sperm, alter the uterine mucosa, making it impossible to attach an impregnated egg to it, as well as diminish the agility of sperm in the fallopian tubes. These combined actions ensure the prevention of impregnation in almost 100% of cases.
Besides, the pills are used for symptoms relief in menstrual pains, PMS, and endometriosis.
Who can use hormonal birth control?
The medications can be taken by women of fertile age to avoid conception if they have no health conditions when the medicine is prohibited to be used. The formulations can be also prescribed to women who have casual periods, period cramps, acne, and other dysfunctions caused by the hormonal imbalance. However, prior to beginning the tablets use any woman should consult a gynecologist and endocrinologist if she has any hormonal imbalance.
Who must not use oral birth control?
The contemporary contraceptives are quite safe but still, they can be contraindicated for some women:
– Expecting a baby or lactating;
– With liver diseases;
– With heart or vessels diseases.
– Women over thirty-five who are smokers.
– In diabetes;
– Females who have migraines and elevated blood tension;
– Females with mammary gland cancer.
What types of birth controls exist?
There are many manufacturers and brands, but the main thing you need to know is that there are three types of them:
– Monophasic 21-day tablets are the most used type. These tablets are taken daily for twenty-one day, and then an interval of a week (7 days) is made. The example is Yasmin by Bayer.
– Pills with three phases. The packs of such medicines have two or three partitions of different colored pills. They are separated into sections because each of them has a different amount of hormone per pill. They are also taken for twenty-one days with the following break of seven days but these phase pills must be taken in the predetermined order which is defined by the section color, otherwise, the effect is not achieved.
– Daily pills are used for 28 days without interruptions. They actually also contain 21 active pills but also 7 dummy pills so that you can go on using the tablets and don’t have to remember about the breaks between the packages. Though, the use of these formulations also requires a strict observing of the tablets order.
The pills are usually started to be taken on any day but there are some exceptions. Read the package insert guidelines to be certain that you use the tablets correctly.
Or better consult your gynecologist.
Besides these differences, the tablets can also be based on different combinations of hormones. It is preferable so that your gynecologist chose the optimal combination for you based on your tolerance of the tablets.
How contraceptive tablets should be used?
The way of use is contingent on the type of contraceptive, i.e. mono-phase, phase, or daily use. The 21-day tablets are taken for 21 day, then an interval of 7 days is made and the use is restarted. The 28-day pills are used daily without interruptions as they have 7 empty pills which when you use them basically mean a break from hormones use.
It is ok to begin the use of the tablets on any day but there are special rules for females who had a recent abortion, miscarriage or recent labor.
Besides, contingent on your cycle length and the day of the first tablet intake, you might have to use supplementary contraception means for the first week of tablets use.
What should I do if I missed a tablet?
The pill is deemed missed if it’s been 24 hours after the moment you should have taken it. A single missed a single pill or a start of the new package a day earlier isn’t dangerous as you are still covered. But if you forgot to have two or more tablets or started a new package 2 or more days later it can affect your coverage.
If you skipped a tablet, follow the instruction that comes with the pills. If you still don’t know what you should do, use supplementary protection methods and consult a gynecologist.
Can I take contraceptives not to have menstruation?
Yes, it is possible to postpone menstruation using birth control, for instance, if you have planned vacation or an important event. Mono-phase birth control that contains 21 tablets in the package are used without interruptions, i.e. without having a seven-day break between the packages for this purpose. The menstruation won’t occur as long as you take the tablets but you can have mild blood discharges. Once you finish the package, you should make a 7-day break.
It is not encouraged to use more than two packages without breaks unless it is prescribed by a gynecologist. The use of birth controls without the mandatory interruptions is fraught with potential bleeding as the uterine mucosa does not hold fluid. Some women complain of a feeling of swelling/bloating after taking several packs of tablets one after another.
Can I use other medications when on the pill?
Yes, but it’s better to consult your healthcare specialist because some medications lower the effect of contraceptives and higher the risk of bleeding. Such medications include Rifampicin, barbiturates, Carbamazepine, and others.
For how long can I use birth control pills?
It is safe to use them for as long as you need it to avoid conception, regulate the cycle, or treat hormonal acne if you don’t develop any negative reactions to the meds.
Do I have to use other contraception means?
You should use condoms or spermicides throughout the first week of the tablets use or if you skipped two or more consecutive pills. Otherwise, you don’t need to use any contraception along with them. But you should remember that they do not prevent STIs.
Do I need to take breaks between the packages of contraceptives?
There are mandatory 7-day breaks between the packages unless you want to postpone your period, then it’s possible to take two packages without breaks.
But you don’t need to make any breaks if you tolerate the pills well and still need pregnancy prevention.
Does the use of birth controls cause difficulty getting pregnant?
There is no data on infertility caused by such medications. Indeed, some women need a few months without oral contraceptives to conceive but that is the maximum amount of time so there are no risks.
Can birth controls cause birth defects?
This is possible only if you continue using the tablets while pregnant. If you quit using the tablets and then get pregnant, no defects can be caused by their previous use.
If I don’t have a period between the packages of birth control, am I pregnant?
You can do not have a period once when on the pill without being pregnant. If you hadn’t skipped the tablets but the period didn’t come, most likely you are not pregnant but it is better to get checked. And remember that it is fine only once, if this happens more times, you should go to your gynecologist.
Can oral contraceptives cause cancer?
They actually help to prevent some types of tumors but insignificantly raise the chance of uterine cancer.
Can I smoke if I’m taking oral contraceptives?
It is not encouraged to use oral birth controls if you smoke and in particular for women over thirty-five as these combined significantly raises the chances of severe cardiovascular diseases.
What adverse effects can birth control tablets cause?
The possible negative symptoms and conditions a woman who takes oral birth control can develop are:
– Elevated arterial tension
– Mood swings
– Blood-like vaginal discharges between menstruations
– Vaginal secretion changes
– Weight gain
– Increased appetite
– Breast soreness, breast swelling
– Decrease/loss of libido
– Rare side effects
– Nodules in the chest.
When can I get pregnant after quitting oral birth controls?
After you quit taking the tablets, you can conceive after first normal menstruation. There is no need to wait for any particular time and use condoms.
Can I have a child that I conceived on birth control?
Although the pills are strictly contraindicated during pregnancy, if conception happened while you were on the birth control tablets, you don’t have to make an abortion. The studies hadn’t identified a significant risk of birth defects in newborns whose mothers received contraceptives at the early stages of pregnancy.
How to choose new birth control if I have adverse reactions from the one I use?
It depends on the specific side effects:
– In the lowering of libido , it is better to use the tablets with higher content of estrogens or opt for three-phase pills.
– In the occurrence of inter-menstrual bleedings, in the first phase of the cycle, you should use the tablets with a higher dose of estrogens and in the second phase – with the higher dose of dose of gestagens. In heavy menstruation, on the contrary, the dose of estrogen should be reduced.
– In breast engorgement or edema occurrence, it is better to choose Yasmin, since it contains a progestogen with a diuretic effect, which leads to the release of excess fluid, and a reduction in these adverse reactions.
– In the appearance of pain in the calf muscles or the worsening of varicose veins, it is necessary to switch to the tablets with lower estrogen content or discontinue using the pills at all.
Should I go to a gynecologist often when I use birth control?
When taking birth controls, it is required to visit a gynecologist at least once a year. In the presence of risk factors (age over thirty-five years, smoking, chronic diseases, etc.) monitoring is required every six months.
An urgent visit is needed when severe pain in the calf muscles, chest pain, coughing with bloody sputum, severe abdominal pain, sudden visual impairment, or the onset of yellowing of the skin occur. Also, a visit to the doctor is required if when using a contraceptive you developed elevated blood pressure, migraine, or a significant weight gain.