Hormonal Methods of Birth Control - The Pill and Others

January 27, 2011

How Hormonal Contraception Works

Hormonal contraception, referred to as oral contraception, includes the combined oral contraceptive pill and minipill. Under this heading, we also find emergency contraception - the morning after pill. This type of contraception works by adding hormones to the body and by doing so prevents the release of a mature egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube. This method of contraception is quite reliable, with a 97% effectiveness rating.

What's Available?

There are four types of hormonal contraceptives available in to North Americans, including "The Pill", injectible contraceptives that are given quarterly, implanted contraceptives and emergency contraceptives. In this section, we will investigate the various methods of hormonal birth control, and consider each, their efficacy and side effects, advantages and disadvantages.

Choosing "The Pill"

If you have chosen birth control pills as a method of contraception, you will have to see your doctor to obtain a prescription for them. Birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone, and the minipill is progesterone only. There are a variety of brands available, however, most work the same way - either on a 21-day cycle or a 28-day cycle. Should you decide to become pregnant, you may find that it could from six months to a year to conceive after going off the pills.

Injectible Birth Control

A medication called Depo-Provera is injected once every three months and is an effective method of birth control for women who are unable to take oral contraceptives. If you suffer with sickle cell disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, blood clots, or diabetes, or if you are over the age of 35, this is the type of birth control recommended. It works by introducing progesterone into the body and is quite effective. Pregnancy may be achieved in about nine months once the injections are discontinued.

When You Can't Be Bothered with Pills or Shots

Some women don't want to be bothered with pills or injections and opt for implanted contraceptives. Norplant, small rods of synthetic hormone, are inserted under the skin and can last up to five years. These contraceptives work by releasing small amounts of hormone into the body that prevent the development and release of mature eggs from the ovaries. This section will discuss the method and the ramifications of implanted contraceptives.

An Emergency Situation

We will also discuss the drug Preven, known as the "morning after pill". Usually reserved as an emergency measure, in the event of a break in a condom or spontaneous intercourse without protection, Preven (a combination of hormones) is administered following a pregnancy test and up to 72 hours after intercourse.

We trust you will find appropriate and helpful information about hormonal contraception in this excellent section of gynob.com.

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