The best medication recommended by Best Gynecologist in Lahore for preventing pregnancy is oral contraceptive pills. These pills are effective, affordable and in most cases, quite safe for the patient.
Read on to know more about oral contraceptive pills, and how they work to prevent pregnancy:
What are oral contraceptive pills?
Birth control or oral contraceptive pills are over-the-counter medication that stop conception. These pills must be taken by mouth every day at the same time, to prevent pregnancy. They are about 99.9 percent effective in preventing conception. Some women can have unintended pregnancy despite taking OCPs in case of a missed pill.
The effectiveness of pills may be reduced if taken with certain medication like antibiotics, herbal supplements and anti-epileptic drugs. In case you are taking any form of such medication, be sure to inform your healthcare provider. They may recommend additional protection in the form of condom, or change your medication, if need be.
Birth control pills are packaged in set of 21 or 28; in the set of 21 pills, each pill must be taken daily for a period of 21 days, and then stopped for regular menstruation. A new set must be started seven days after the first set ends.
In the set of 28 pills, there are 21 OCPs and 7 placebo pills, mostly containing iron, and a new pack is to be started once they end.
Birth control pills take effect almost after a month of starting them. During the first month, most healthcare providers recommend additional form of birth control, such as condoms. After the first month, these pills alone can prevent conception.
It’s important to remember that birth control pills are not effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Only physical birth controls like condoms can prevent against venereal diseases like HIV and syphilis.
What are the types of oral contraceptive pills?
These pills are available in different forms:
- Progesterone only pills
- Combination of estrogen and progesterone
- Emergency birth control pills containing ulipristal and levonorgestrel
What are the benefits of using OCPs?
Apart from birth control, these pills can be taken for other health purposes. These include:
- Regulating menstrual cycle
- Menorrhagia or excessive bleeding during menstruation
- Improving acne
- Preventing anemia
- Managing Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Managing Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD)
- Decreasing the growth of unwanted hair on the face (hirsutism)
- Managing migraine headaches
- Treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Controlling symptoms of menopause and peri-menopause like hot flashes
- Lowering the risk of ovarian, colon and uterine cancer
- Treating uterine fibroids
- Treating endometriosis
Who should not take OCPs?
Even though most birth control pills are safe for women, there are certain conditions that are contraindicated for OCP use. These include women with high risk of, or history of:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Blood clots
How do OCPs prevent pregnancy?
- Prevention of fertilization
Pregnancy occurs when the egg released from the ovaries during ovulation (one egg is released per month during a cycle of egg maturation) attaches to a sperm. Once this fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg implants into the endometrial wall of the uterus and develops into a fetus.
Oral contraceptive pills contain hormones—estrogen and progesterone—that stop the process of ovulation. This means that they stop the release of egg from the ovaries, and prevent its fertilization.
- Increasing cervical mucus
In addition to preventing fertilization, oral contraceptive pills also prevent the entry of the sperms into the uterus by thickening the cervical mucus. Cervix is located at the end of the vagina, just before the uterus. Altering the thickness of mucus in the cervix makes the environment hostile for the sperm entry and survival.
- Thinning the endometrial lining to prevent implantation
As mentioned before, normally the fertilized egg embeds in the thick lining of the uterus called endometrium. According to Best Gynecologist in Karachi, oral contraceptives impede this process of implantation by thinning out the endometrial lining.