There are many methods of hormonal contraception, and it is not easy to understand them. For example, https://pillintrip.com/medicine/oralcon. In this article, we answer the most common questions and review in detail the pros, cons and subtleties of using hormonal contraception.
How does hormonal contraception work?
All processes related to childbearing in the female body are controlled by hormones. With the help of drugs, which contain synthetic analogues of female hormones, it is possible to prevent pregnancy at the stage of egg maturation.
Modern hormonal contraceptives can do three things:
Keep the egg from leaving the ovaries – that is, stop ovulation;
make the mucus in the cervix thick and sticky, so that sperm cannot reach the egg and fertilize it;
disrupt the growth of the mucous membrane of the uterus (endometrium) – as a result, the fertilized egg cannot get a foothold in the uterus.
This is usually enough to prevent pregnancy. Women who use hormonal contraceptives do not need a condom “for insurance”, but to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections. Hormonal contraceptives do not protect against germs.
Hormonal contraception – is it safe?
The British Department of Health estimates that when used correctly, hormonal contraceptives are more than 99 percent effective. But even if you don’t use them exactly according to the instructions (for example, take a pill at the wrong time, or skip taking one pill altogether), the result is still quite reliable: about 91% effective.
It is important to understand that there is no 100% reliable method of contraception. The World Health Organization (WHO) counted the proportion of couples who used hormonal contraception for an entire year in full compliance with the existing recommendations – that is, according to the instructions and regularly. Even in this case, 0.05-0.3% of women did get pregnant.
And this is an excellent result. By comparison, the percentage of women who got pregnant while using a male condom was 2%. Sperm-killing vaginal suppositories and gels failed their owners in 18% of cases, and vaginal diaphragms that were used together with gels – in 6% of cases.
Using hormones for contraception is definitely not harmful?
Like any medication, hormonal contraceptives have side effects, but the benefits far outweigh the harms in most cases. For example, it was recently discovered that birth control pills protect women from ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Interestingly, even complete “period withdrawal” is not harmful to a woman’s body. It is even beneficial – if a woman suffered from endometriosis before taking contraceptives, hormonal contraceptives will help alleviate the symptoms.
But in order to benefit from contraception, it is necessary to observe an important condition: the drug must be chosen correctly. This should be done by a doctor.
Will hormonal contraception prevent me from having children in the future?
No. In most women the ability to have children is restored in the first month after discontinuation of hormonal contraception.
The only exception is injection methods of contraception, which are effective for 3-6 months. To be more likely to conceive, you should wait 6-10 months from the last injection.
Do all hormonal contraceptives work the same way, or are there differences?
Hormonal contraceptives are divided into two large groups: progestin and combination contraceptives, the latter containing progestins and estrogens. Although drugs from both groups prevent pregnancy, they work slightly differently, and they have different side effects.
For example, in addition to protecting against unplanned pregnancy, the combination drugs treat acne and reduce menstrual pain – but more often the progestin drugs cause headaches, and they’re not allowed for smokers.
In addition, the difference in composition allows the contraceptive to be tailored to the needs of the individual woman. The drug needed for a teenager may not be the same as the one needed for a 40-year-old mother of two.