Sex. The act that creates wonderful offspring. The scientific process of reproduction. The exchange of bodily fluids, some good, others might make you itch all night and other could give you serious consequences. But as we should all know by now; sex is a lot more than two individuals agreeing to reproduce.
Sex is a connection, an expression of lust and love. An act of pleasure, stress relief and a thing that keeps us all young. But with having sex for pleasure, comes the ageold problem of avoiding pregnancy. The first contraceptive’s ever invented date all the way to 3000BC, when ancient societies started developing condoms made from animal and fish bladders, intestines or even linen sheaths. Along the years, there has been numerous scientists and feminists fighting for the right of safe and effective birth control methods, and in the 1960s the FDA approved the world’s first Contraceptive Pill. And since then, plenty of progess has been done.
Now a days, the pill is 99% effective if taken perfectly, and the doses of hormones used in the pill keep getting lower. But’s let have a look at what the pill actually is, and how it works.
What is the Birth Control Pill?
The birth control pill nicknamed ‘the pill’ is a type of medication containing hormones that requires a doctor’s prescription to purchase.
It typically comes in a pack, and you would have to take 1 pill every day at the same time. Because of its hormonal contents, the pill is sometimes used to treat certain conditions such as hormonal acne or polycystic ovary syndrome.
What are the different types of birth control pills?
While there are many brands of pill, there are two main types:
- The Combination pills: Containing both estrogen and progestin
- Progestin-Only pills: As the name explains, these only contain progestin
How does the Pill work?
The hormones in the pill stop your body from ovulating. So, if no ovulation occurs, there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize, and thus pregnancy can not occur. The pill also makes the mucus on your cervix thicker, which acts like a bouncer at the club stopping unwanted sperm from swimming up to the egg.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Pill is a BIRTH CONTROL METHOD ONLY, and it provides NO PROTECTION AGAINST STDs.
How effective is the pill?
When used perfectly, meaning taken every single day at the same time without any interruption, the pill is 99% effective. But we’re all human, and we’re not perfect. Sometimes we’ll miss a dose for one reason or another, so the really and truly, the pill is about 91% effective.
Apart from missing a dose, there are other things that can effect the pill, including:
- Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Rifampin (antibiotic)
- Griseofulvin (antifungal)
- HIV medications
- Anti-seizure medications
- Psychiatric medications
One of the misconceptions about the pill is that alcohol lowers its effectiveness. This is absolutely not true, however drinking too much alcohol can result in vomiting or diarrhea which affects the absorption of the pill or a bad hangover which makes you forget to take the pill!
When do birth control pills start to work?
This really depends on where you’re at in your cycle when you start taking the pills and what type of pill you’re using. According to planned parenthood, if you take the combination pill within 5 days after the first day of your period, you’ll be protected from pregnancy straight away. But if you start the combination pills any other time, you need to take the pill for 7 days before you’re protected, so you have to abstain from sex or use condoms in that time.
If you’re using the Progestin only pills, planned parenthood recommends that you can start the pack in any day of the month, and you’ll be protected within 48hours.
What are the side effects of the Pill?
The side effects vary from one individual to another, but the most common side effects are:
- Sore breasts
- Period changes (your period might come earlier, later, less heavy or nothing at all)
- Spotting (you might have bleeding between periods)
- Mood changes
For most people, these side effects will go away within a few months, but it’s important to have continuous monitoring from your doctor to make sure that you’re using the right brand for you. Moreover, just like any other medication, the pill can have serious side effects. It’s been reported in several studies that smokers are at a high risk of developing a blood clot when taking the pill.
On a different note, the pill can actually have good side effects such as:
- Shorter periods, or safely skipping periods
- Decrease PMS and cramps
- Acne prevention
So yeah, taking the pill isn’t terribly bad and it’s a great choice to prevent pregnancy. If you’re interested in starting the pill contact your family doctor, or gynecologist and discuss whether the pill is the right form of birth control for you. If it’s not, don’t panic! There’s more things that can help you prevent pregnancy, and we’ll be going through them in the coming weeks.
Until then, why don’t you checkout our erotica section and take 5 minutes to relax? Plus, make sure to follow us on Instagram for daily posts!
Love Nina Lessi xoxo