How do oral contraceptives work? Pros and cons of each hormone-based method
THE hormonal contraceptives they are gods contraceptive systems which act on the hormonal level to prevent conception. We are used to thinking that there is only the pill, which in fact is the most used hormonal contraceptive in the world for decades, but there are different types and the gynecologist will recommend the most suitable for each individual case. Before going into the specifics of the various hormonal contraceptives remember that these systems only protect against pregnancy, but not against it sexually transmitted diseases for which the only method of protection is represented by the condom.
What are oral contraceptives
Pill, coil, patch or ring: they are all contraceptives that act on the levels of hormones whose use is undoubtedly one of the most effective methods for fertility control. As we said, there are different routes of administration, to which different dosages correspond, and different trade names and new molecules, which make it easier for every woman to find the most suitable method for hormonal prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
Pill: pros and cons
With the term ‘birth control pill’ we refer to a drug consisting of two hormones capable of blocking ovulation in the female body. The administration of a hormonal preparation gives the impression to the female organism that it is already in activity and therefore inhibits the central commands. Over the years the amount of hormones has been reduced while maintaining very high safety, so much so that the risk of getting pregnant by taking the pill correctly is practically nil.
The pill must be taken every day at about the same time.
Women who have one family history of early vascular accidents, gestosis in pregnancy, hypertension, autoimmune diseases must pay greater attention to the checks to be performed while taking the contraceptive pill. A persistent headache and acute pains in the legs require immediate suspension of the contraceptive pill.
All the others symptoms, such as irregular bleeding, pain or swelling in the breasts, generalized bloating or nausea, tend to lessen as you go on and do not require you to stop taking the drug.
Until a few years ago it was thought that the use of the pill increased the breast cancer risk, but in reality more specific and in-depth studies have excluded this possibility and, indeed, it seems that its assumption protect against some types of cancer, such as that to the endometrium.
There pill should be discontinued periodically? There is no scientific reason why one should stop taking the pill for any length of time, yet some gynecologists still recommend it. As you read, the pill should not be suspended, because it would only increase the risk of going against a pregnancy, unless there are absolute contraindications or relative to the use of the pill.
Pros and cons ring
It is a hormonal contraceptive which has the same mechanism of action as the pill. The hormones released by the vaginal ring effectively inhibit ovulation, like the pill, and cause changes in the cervical mucus capable of preventing the sperm from rising.
The ring is in the shape of a simple, highly elastic ring that comes inserted inside the vagina, and the flexibility allows it to adapt to the anatomical characteristics of all women.
The ring must be kept inside the vagina for 3 weeks, after which it can be easily removed. At this point, it is necessary to wait a period of one week before inserting a new one.
Patch pros and cons
For some years a new hormonal contraceptive method has been added, the patch transdermal which is applied to specific areas of the body and releases hormones (progesterone and estrogen) within 24 hours. It should be applied on the buttocks, abdomen, upper back or outside the upper arm, in non-irritated and hairless areas of skin.
It can be used by all women who have no contraindications, who do not exceed 90 kg and who do not have skin allergy phenomena to the patch.
Spiral pros and cons
It’s a small plastic object, which is inserted by the gynecologist into the uterus through the cervical canal. Most of it is covered with a thin copper filament, some contain progesterone, in this case we speak of a hormonal spiral. The IUD (intrauterine device) makes it difficult for sperm to penetrate and survive and prevents the egg from nesting on the wall of the uterus. The use of this contraceptive is not recommended in young women who have not yet had pregnancies both because the insertion is more painful, because cramps or pain are more frequent and above all because pelvic inflammation could compromise future fertility.
The advantage is that you forget you have a contraceptive and you can live your sexuality very peacefully.
Side effects of hormonal contraceptives
Since hormonal contraceptives act, in fact, a level of the two hormones main it is important to keep in mind the possible side effects concerning …