THE PILL

Hormonal Method

Birth control pills are a kind of medicine with hormones. Birth control pills come in a pack, and you take 1 pill every day. The pill is affordable, and effective if you always take your pill on time. Besides preventing pregnancy, the pill has lots of other health benefits.1

DURATION3

EVERY
DAY

BENEFITS4

Highly effective

Variety of pills available

Easy to use

 

    TAKE IT ONCE A DAY AT A TIME1

    It’s the little tablet taken once a day.5

    There are a few different types of pill to choose from, so it’s about finding the one that’s right for you. The combined pill contains estrogen and progestin and mini pill contains only one hormone, a progestin.5

    The pill can have many benefits, however remembering to take it on time is a must. The pill is only available by getting a prescription from a medical professional.5

    The Pill

    HOW TO

    Using the pill is easy: just swallow a tiny pill every day. The pill works best if you take it every day on schedule, but almost everyone on the pill forgets to take it sometimes. Knowing what to do when you miss a birth control pill is important. You’ll need to know the brand name of the pill you’re on in order to use this tool. You can find the name on your pill pack or by calling your doctor or the drugstore where you got it.3

    The last pills in 28-day packs of combination pills do not have hormones in them. These pills are called "reminder" or “placebo” pills — they help remind you to take your pill every day and start your next pack on time. How many days you take hormone-free reminder pills depends on the brand of pill. The reminder pills may contain iron or other supplements. You get your period during the week you take these reminder pills.3

    PROS OF CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS

    • Highly effective when used correctly5
    • It’s easy to use3
    • It permits sexual spontaneity and doesn’t interrupt sex5
    • Some pills may reduce heavy and painful periods5
    • Easily reversed method of birth control if you hope to get pregnant4
    Pros

    CONS OF CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS

    • Skipping pills or taking them late may reduce effectiveness4
    • Some women may experience depression or mood swings8
    • Some women experience breast tenderness, nausea, headache, weight gain4
    • No protection against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.4
    • Increased risk of high cholesterol, heart attack and stroke.4
    • Increased risk of blood clots, especially for smokers and women older than 35 years of age, with a slightly greater risk of blood clots linked to pills that contain higher doses of estrogen.4
    • Increased risk of cervical cancer and breast cancer for women who are currently taking combined birth control pills, but this risk appears to gradually decline to normal levels once you stop taking the pills.4
    • Side effects such as irregular bleeding, bloating.4
    Cons

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

      No, there are a few different types of pill to choose from, so it is about finding the one that is right for you. It’s important to take the pills as directed because Forgetting to take your pill means it won’t be as effective.5

      The pill is an effective way to prevent pregnancy, If you follow the instructions and use the birth control pill correctly it gives you great protection against pregnancy.9

      No. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and any medications you take to determine which birth control pill is right for you.4

      Combination pills contains both estrogen and progestin, the mini-pill contains only progestin. Combination pills prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg, thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus. All of these actions help keep sperm from joining the egg. The mini-pill slows an egg's progress through the fallopian tubes, thickens cervical mucus and thins the endometrium, all of which help prevent sperm from reaching the egg. The mini-pill sometimes also suppresses ovulation.4

      If you decide you want to get pregnant.3 Long-term use of oral contraceptives does not hurt a woman's chances of becoming pregnant.10

      It depends on the type of pill. Combination Pills: Most of them come in 28-day or 21-day packs, take 1 pill every day for 28 days (four weeks) in a row, and then start a new pack on day 29 (in case of 28-day pack), or Take 1 pill every day for 21 days (3 weeks) in a row. Then don’t take any pills for seven days (week 4). You’ll get your period during the fourth week while you aren’t taking any pills (in case of 21-day pack). progestin- only pills: only come in 28-day packs. All 28 pills have hormones. You must take progestin-only pills within the same 3 hours every day to be protected from pregnancy.3

      Women who have used [oral contraceptives, or OCs] for four years or more should be reassured because we found no evidence that long-term OC use deleteriously affects fecundability. Researchers found that long-term users of oral contraceptives, like short-term users, experienced a temporary delay in fertility, compared with those who were discontinuing barrier contraceptive methods. But also indicated that longer-term OC use was associated with a higher likelihood of pregnancy, compared with OC use for less than two years.10

      It’s extremely important to know that if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you SHOULD NOT use contraceptives that use hormones. There is evidence that hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of the cancer coming back (recurrence).11

      References :

      1-Planned Parenthood. Birth Control Pill. Available at : Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      2-NHS. How effective is contraception at preventing pregnancy. Available at : Reference  Last Accessed:12/7/2021.

      3-Planned Parenthood. How do I use the birth control pill. Available at: Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      4-Mayo Clinic. Birth Control. Available at : Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      5-Queen'sland Health. 9 types of contraception you can use to prevent pregnancy. Available at : Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      6-FDA. Birth Control. Available at: Reference  Last Accessed :(12/7/2021).

      7-American Society of reproductive medecine. Noncontraceptive Benefits of Birth Control Pills. Available at : Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      8-Women's Mental Health. Do Oral Contraceptives Cause Mood Swings or Depression. Available at: Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      9-Planned Parenthood. What are the benefits of the birth control pill?. Available at: Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      10-School of Public Health. Long-term Oral Contraceptive Use Doesn’t Hurt Fertility, Study Finds. Available at: Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      11-Breast Cancer.org. Do Hormonal Contraceptives Increase Breast Cancer Risk. Available at: Reference  Last Accessed :(8/7/2021).

      The Pill QR

       

      WF0087A518/092021
      23/09/2022
      PP-PF-WHC-EG-0031-1

      SUPPORTED BY

      A coalition of international partners with an interest in sexual and reproductive health