All you need to know about The Pill

I think for the majority of young women out there the Pill is a mysterious little tablet ,which not many women, and men for that matter, know a great deal about – they know it exists, but they don’t know their combined pill from the mini pill. This blog post will hopefully clear up a lot of hazy ideals about the Pill and supply you guys with facts and answers.

Photo Credit - Lauren McMahon's Tumblr
Photo Credit – Lauren McMahon’s Tumblr

So first of all, what is exactly is the Pill?

The Pill is an oral contraceptive taken for 21 days with a seven day break before starting the cycle again. This seven day break is when your period should arrive, and if it doesn’t? Well then your in trouble! But of course late periods can mean an amount of different things like for example, a bad diet or a low immune system, not always pregnancy. Generally you start to take the Pill the first day you get your period and contraception is immediate, although extra precaution is advised for the first 7 days.

The Pill is a tablet containing two female hormones – oestrogen and a progestogen. This is why it’s often called the combined Pill. There is little evidence that any of the newly-introduced brands is better for a woman’s health than the ones which have been available for years. The two hormones (oestrogen and progestogen) stop you from ovulating (that is, producing an egg) each month. And if you don’t ovulate, you won’t get pregnant. In addition, the hormones thicken the secretions round your cervix, making it more difficult for sperm to get through. They also make the lining of your womb thinner, so it’s less receptive to an egg.

How effective is it?

The Pill is very effective in preventing pregnancy, which is why so many women rely on it around the world. If you take it properly, its effectiveness is likely to be quite close to 100 per cent. Put it another way: let’s say that 100 women use the Pill for a year and that all of them never forget to take a tablet. It’s likely that not a single one of them will get pregnant. In contrast, if they were all relying on the condom instead, probably about two to five of them would become pregnant.

Photo Credit - ladiesmanjoe from Flickr
Photo Credit – ladiesmanjoe from Flickr

What other types of Pills are there?

There is also the mini Pill and the mini Pill is not a low-strength version of the ordinary combined Pill. It’s a completely different product because it contains only one hormone instead of two. This makes it ‘milder’ and freer of side-effects, but also less effective.

Good things about the Pill?

  • makes your periods shorter and lighter
  • it usually abolishes cramps
  • less likely to become anaemic
  • it usually clears up acne, but there is a specific Pill called Dianette for this issue
  • Reduces the chances of getting ovarian cancer and cancer of the womb
  • if taken correctly there is a 100% pregnancy prevention

Side effects?

During the first few packets of the Pill women may feel certain side-effects but these are very rare:

  • nausea
  • headaches
  • breast tenderness
  • slight spotting between periods
  • deep vein thrombosis

of course these side effects are only a slight threat if:

  • you are a smoker
  • are overweight
  • have family history of thrombosis
  • diabetic
  • high blood pressure
  • or have high cholesterol

Does anything make the Pill less effective?

Yes, under a few circumstances the Pill will become less effective and you should be knowledgeable of these circumstances for your own mindfulness.

  • forgetting to take your Pill
  • Diarrhoea and or vomiting within four hours of taking your pill
  • taking certain anti-epilepsy drugs
  • taking certain antibiotics

What if I forget to take my Pill?

Try not to! Of course people do inevitably miss Pills; it’s only human nature. But if you only miss one Pill, then you’ll probably be ok.Take it as soon as you remember and then take the next one on time, even if that means you’re taking the two of them at the same time. Then carry on with pill taking as usual.

Photo Credit - Lauren McMahon's Tumblr
Photo Credit – Lauren McMahon’s Tumblr

So, what is the right Pill for me?

If you are considering going on the pill for what ever reason – acne, cramps or pregnancy prevention, you must consult with your GP and he or she will prescribe a Pill which they seem best fitted to you. There are 34 different types of Pill, so don’t fret if one doesn’t work out or agree with you because they are plenty to choose from to suit you and your hormones.









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