In our present day and age,there is need for everyone to be enlightened as regards family planning. Family planning should not be left for the females alone.Nowadays, more men should increase their knowledge about birth control pills,the risks it poses and the safest way to go about them.Over time,oral contraception has shown less failure rates when used appropriately.
TYPES OF ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES
There are three major types of oral contraceptives.
1. The combined estrogen and progestin pills: These are pills that contain both estrogen and progestin and are taken for each cycle.There are active hormones that prevents ovulation, the remaining inactive pills are taken last, while period is seen.
2. Progestin: These are pills that contain only progestins ,they are taken by those who cannot take estrogen for certain health reasons such as breast cancer.
3. Extended use pills: These pills are taken to prevent pregnancy over a long period of time, and as such menstrual flow can be seen three to four times a year.
HOW DOES ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES WORK?
The major responsibility of oral contraceptives is to prevent ovulation. They do this by inhibiting follicular development. Progestin does a negative feedback, works at the hypothalamus to decrease the frequency of gonadotropin releasing hormone.
When this happens, the secretion of FSH(follicle stimulating hormone) is decreased and also that of LH(luteinizing hormone). As long as the follicle isn’t developing,there will be no increase in estradiol levels because it’s the follicle that makes estradiol.These altogether stop the luteinizing hormone surge that occurs somewhere along the middle of the cycle. As no follicle is formed and lack of LH surge to release the follicle, ovulation does not occur.
Another way OCP’s work since they contain progesterone is to inhibit sperm cells from gaining access to the cervix by forming a thick mucus plug around the cervix.
SIDE EFFECTS OF ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES
There are a lot of issues that arise with taking oral contraceptives, that is the reason why care must be taken while taking the OCP’s.They include
– Nausea and vomitting
– Sore or swollen breasts
– Spotting in between periods
– Swelling of the legs and thighs
– Severe headache
– Increase in weight
– Pain in the abdominal region
– Blurred Vision
Long Term Side effects
Research has shown that there is an increased risk of certain types of cancers associated with intake of oral contraceptives.There is increased risk of breast, cervical and ovarian cancers for concurrent birth control pill users.Other side effects are heart attacks,stroke,etc.
WHO CAN TAKE ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES
Due to the risk it poses, it is advisable for women within that ages of 15 and 35 years to take these oral contraceptives.Also those who should desist from taking oral contraceptives are those who
– History of heart/liver disease
– Thromboembolism (blood clot in any part of the body)
– Suspected Pregnancy
– Vaginal Bleeding