Contraceptive pills
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The pill

It’s a pill that women swallow every day. Combined birth control pills contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin. 'Mini-pills', or progestin-only pills, only contain progestin.

The full name for the combined pill is Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill, or COCP. The full name for the 'mini-pill' is Progestin Only Pill, or POP. But mostly people just call them both 'the pill'.

How well does it work?

Failure rate

Typical use: 8 percent
Perfect use: less than 1 percent
(Read more about what 'failure rate' means in How well does it work?)

The combined pill works very slightly better than the mini-pill.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very good at preventing pregnancy
  • You can stop taking it to try and get pregnant whenever you like
  • Makes periods lighter, reduces menstrual cramps
  • No interruption during sex
  • You don't need the man to cooperate

Cons:

  • You’ve got to take it every day - miss a day and you could get pregnant
  • It doesn't protect against sexually transmitted diseases
  • It can be expensive
  • You need to see a health care provider and get a prescription

How do birth control pills work?

Combined birth control pills, with two hormones, stop you producing an egg. At the same time, they make the mucus around your cervix thicker so the sperm can’t get through.

Mini-pills, with only one hormone, work just because of this thickening of the mucus. But they also stop you producing an egg some of the time too, depending on the dose.

Who shouldn’t take any kind of birth control pills?

You should't take any kind of birth control pills if:

  • You’ve had breast cancer
  • You’ve got blood clot problems that aren’t being successfully treated
  • You think you’re pregnant. (But if you're on the pill and still got pregnant, it won't have harmed the baby - read more in Pregnancy FAQs)

Who shouldn’t take combined birth control pills, rather than mini-pills?

You shouldn’t take combined birth control pills, if:

  • You’ve had a long period of bed rest
  • You have migraine headaches with auras, where it affects what you see
  • You’ve inherited blood-clot disorders, have had blood clots, or inflamed veins
  • You’ve had a heart attack, a stroke or, angina
  • You’ve got serious heart valve problems
  • You’ve got lupus
  • You’ve had serious liver disease or liver cancer
  • You’ve got very bad diabetes
  • You’ve got uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • You’re a smoker and are 35 or older
  • You’re a smoker and have high blood pressure

This is why you need to see a health care provider and get a prescription before you go on the pill.

What should you do if you miss a pill?

Check the instructions for your brand of pill.

You need to take the pill at the same time every day. If you miss a pill, you should take the next one as soon as you can. You carry on taking the pill as normal. But at the same time you need to use a back-up birth control method, because otherwise you could get pregnant.

  • Combined birth control pill: if you take it more than 12 hours late, you need a back-up for seven days.
  • Mini-pill: if you take it more than three hours late, you need a back-up for two days.

Back-ups might be a condom, female condom, diaphragm or sponge. If you’ve had sex and think you might not have been properly protected, you can use emergency contraception.

What can stop the pill from working properly?

  • If you’re very overweight, the pill might not work as well.
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea can stop the pill from working properly - check the instructions for your brand of pill.

If you vomit within two or three hours of taking the pill your body might not have absorbed it properly. You should take another pill. But if you keep vomiting, you should use a back-up birth control method for seven days after you get better. 

Do the same if you've had severe diarrhoea for more than 24 hours.

  • Certain medicines might stop the pill from working as well. They include medication for yeast infections, HIV and epilepsy, and the herbal remedy St John’s wort.

You need to check with a health care professional if you’re taking medicines along with the pill.

How safe are birth control pills?

After a few months, most women find the pill doesn't give them any side effects.

Some women find they don't feel like having sex as much. If this carries on for more than three months, talk to your health care provider about changing your prescription.

When you stop taking the pill it can take one or two months before your period cycle returns to normal. If you had irregular periods before taking the pill, they might be even more irregular when you stop. Talk to your health care provider if you're worried about this.

During the first two to three months, you may have:

  • Tender breasts
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding between periods (more likely with the progestin-only or 'mini-pill')

If you take your pill every evening or at bedtime, you're less likely to experience nausea and vomiting.

If you’re still experiencing nausea after three months, talk with your health care provider about changing your prescription.

Remember if you stop taking the pill because it's making you feel sick, you will be at risk of getting pregnant. You'll need to use another birth control method if you have intercourse.

Combined birth control pills very slightly increase the risk of certain serious health problems including heart attacks, strokes or blood clots. The risk gets higher if you're over 35 or you smoke.

Progestin-only pills have fewer serious side effects than combination birth control pills. Ask your health care provider about switching if you’re getting side-effects on combined pills.

Immediately contact your nearest health care provider, if you...

  • Get a new lump in your breast
  • See a bright flashing zigzag light (an aura) before getting a very bad headache
  • Have a sudden very bad headache
  • Have different or more headaches than usual
  • Get sore, achy legs
  • Notice your skin or eyes are turning yellow
  • Have no period after having a period every month

How do I get birth control pills?

First go to your nearest health care provider for a prescription. They’ll first ask you about your medical history and check your blood pressure. After ruling out any serious conditions, they’ll give you a prescription.

The cost of the pills depends on where you live.

Do birth control pills have any health benefits?

Both combined and progestin-only birth control pills can:

  • Make your periods more regular and lighter
  • Reduce your menstrual cramps
  • Give some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease, which if left untreated can make you infertile

The combined birth control pill can also:

  • Reduce your acne
  • Makes you less likely to have an ectopic pregnancy, if you get pregnant
  • Makes you less likely to get cancer of the womb or cysts on your ovaries
  • Makes you less likely to get iron deficiency anaemia
Comments

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Hmm! Ab kitna time hua hai is baat ko? Suno jaldi kisi achhay doctor se milo aur dekho kya ho sakta hai, agar jyada time nahi hua hoga to aap MTP ki maang kar saktey hain. Kisis neem hakeem ya chemist ke paas mat pahuch jaana, DOCTOR ONLY!! Jaldi karo samjhay?http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/unplanned-pregnancy

Suno Vivek bete! Avoid aaurvedic upay. Aur jaldi kisi achhay doctor se milo aur dekho kya ho sakta hai, agar jyada time nahi hua hoga to aap MTP ki maang kar saktey hain. Kisis neem hakeem ya chemist ke paas mat pahuch jaana, DOCTOR ONLY!! Jaldi karo samjhay?http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/unplanned-pregnancy

Actually yeh poori tareh se na, ladki kee mahavari pe depend hota hai, yadi who bilkul nirdharit hai ya nahin jiski vajeh se bahut hee risk ka kaam bhi hai. Yadi aap bina kisi protection key ya bina surakhsha ke sex ki soch rahe hai toh shayad aap un dino ki baat kar rahe hain jin mein bachcha rukna mushkil hai. Yeh ho toh sakta hai lekin yeh poori terh se surakshit nahin mana jaata hai. yadi aap pregnancy ke risk se bachna chatay hai to kisi aur tarikay kay mukabley Condom ka istemal hi easy aur safe tarika hai http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/safe-sex http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/fertility

Suno Is tarah hum kisi bhi medicine ka naam apko nahi bata sakte! Aur naa hi is tarah koi bhi medicine lena swasth hai. jaldi kisi achhay doctor se milo aur dekho kya ho sakta hai, agar jyada time nahi hua hoga to aap MTP ki maang kar saktey hain. Kisi neem hakeem ya chemist ke paas mat pahuch jaana, DOCTOR ONLY!! Jaldi karo samjhay?http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/unplanned-pregnancy

Ab kya sthithi hai bete? aur suno Is tarah hum kisi bhi medicine ka naam apko nahi bata sakte! Aur naa hi is tarah koi bhi medicine lena swasth hai. Pehle toh ek home pregnancy test lijiye. aur phir kisi doctor se milliye aur dekhiye kya ho sakta hai.

Suno jaldi kisi vishagya ya achche panjikrit doctor se milo aur dekho kya ho sakta hai, agar jyada time nahi hua hoga to aap MTP ki maang kar saktey hain. Kisi neem hakeem ya chemist ke paas mat pahuch jaana, DOCTOR ONLY!! Iske alawa aap FPAI clinic se sampark kar sakety hai jiski jaankari aaapko iski website pe mil jayegi http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/unplanned-pregnancy

Bete Anuj safe sex ke liey condom ka istemal kiya jaata hai naa ki emergency pills ka bête, yaha padho zara: http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/safe-sex yeh emergency goli hai aur yeh mahila ke masik dharm par asar kar saktee hai.. PLEASE in goliyoun ko laparvahi se istemaal mat keejiye. Aur yaad rakhiye condom na kewal unwanted pregnancy ko rokta saath hi yeh kai youn sankramano ko bhi rokta hai. http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/safe-sex

Bete yadi aap pregnancy ke risk se bachna chatay hai to kisi aur tarikay kay mukabley Condom ka istemal hi easy aur safe tarika hai http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/safe-sex Saath hi garbhnirodhan ke aur bhi kai uppaye hain jin ke bare mein aap yaha padh sakte hain: https://lovematters.in/hi/resource/birth-control

Bete Poonam Yadi aap bina kisi protection key ya bina surakhsha ke sex ki soch rahe hai toh shayad aap un dino ki baat kar rahe hain jin mein bachcha rukna mushkil hai. Yeh ho toh sakta hai lekin yeh poori terh se surakshit nahin mana jaata hai. yadi aap pregnancy ke risk se bachna chatay hai to kisi aur tarikay kay mukabley Condom ka istemal hi easy aur safe tarika hai http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/safe-sex http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/fertility

Haan! Bete pregnancy ke liye ek shukranu bhi bohot kaafi hai. Phoren ek home pregnancy test lo ya aap FPAI clinic se sampark kar sakety hai jiski jaankari aaapko iski website pe mil jayegi . Iske illava ,Phoren kisi vishagya ya achche panjikrit doctor se mililye. All the best http://www.fpaindia.org/

Ohh! Bete mein baar-baar aap logo ko bata ti rehti hun ki safe sex ke liey condom ka istemal kiya jaata hai naa ki emergency pills ka bête, yaha padho zara: http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/safe-sex yeh emergency goli hai aur yeh mahila ke masik dharm par asar kar saktee hai.. PLEASE in goliyoun ko laparvahi se istemaal mat keejiye. Ab jaldi hi kisi vishagya ya achche panjikrit doctor se mililye

Jee nahi aisa bilkul zaruri nahi hai ki pehli baar ex ke duran blood aye hee. Kaumarya ka poora daromadaar hymen ya jhilli se juda hua hai. Yaad rakhiye ki yeh bahut hee asani se toot saktee hai, jese cycling, horse riding ya khel-kud ke duran. Apnay mann se doubt clear kijiye aur yeh padhiye: http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/faqs-hymen-and-virginity

आप FPAI clinic से सम्पर्क कर सकते हैं. जिसकी जानकारी आपको इसकी वेबसाइट पर मिल जाएगी. इसके अलावा आप किसी पंजीकृत डॉक्टर से भी मिल सकते हैं.ज़रा जल्दी कीजिए यदि ज्यादा समय नहीं हुआ होगा तोह आप MTP की मांग भी कर सकते हैं. http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/unplanned-pregnancy http://www.fpaindia.org/

Bete Chanchal! Yadi aap pregnancy ke risk se bachna chatay hai to kisi aur tarikay kay mukabley Condom ka istemal hi easy aur safe tarika hai. http://lovematters.in/hi/resource/safe-sex Iske allawa garbhnirodhan ke aur bhee upaye hain jinke bare mein aap yaha padh lijiye: https://lovematters.in/hi/resource/birth-control Yadi aap is mudde par humse aur gehri charcha mein judna chahte hain toh hamare disccsion board “Just Poocho” mein zaroor shamil hon! https://lovematters.in/en/forum
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