Birth Control Pill
Birth control has been around for centuries, but methods of contraception have become much more effective in recent times. Out of all the options currently available to women, the most common form of female contraception is the birth control pill. When taken as directed, the birth control pill effectively reduces the chance of pregnancy by up to 99.9%. However, the pill is not the right choice for everyone and cannot protect against sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).
There are many factors that should be considered before deciding if the pill is right for you, including overall health, age, frequency of sexual intercourse, number of sexual partners and whether you desire to have children in the future.
How Does the Pill Work?
The birth control pill is a hormone-based contraceptive that often works in several ways simultaneously to prevent conception. By regulating hormone levels, the pill alters the conditions found in the female reproductive system and can dramatically lower the chance of pregnancy. A birth control pill will usually:
• Thicken the cervical lining, which blocks sperm from entering the uterus and minimizes their ability to fertilize an egg.
• Limit the ability of the ovaries to release an egg, which is the biological element instrumental to conception.
• Render the lining of the uterus unreceptive to a fertilized egg in the event that other protective measures are unsuccessful.
How Should the Pill be Taken?
Birth control pills should be taken daily, preferably at the same time each day – oral contraception like the pill is only effective in preventing pregnancy if the prescription instructions are followed precisely. If you miss a dose, the pill’s effectiveness decreases by about eight percent, a percentage that will continue to rise as the number of doses missed increases.
If you find that you’ve missed a dose, take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember. Contact your doctor or call our clinic for advice if you’ve missed more than a few pills. It is also recommended that you use a back-up form of contraception (like condoms) for the next 28 days after missing a dose.
Who is Eligible for the Pill?
The birth control pill is both highly effective and budget-friendly, but there are some situations in which it is not recommended and medical screening is required. For example, doctors often do not prescribe the birth control pill to smokers over the age of 35 because this combination increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Certain health conditions, including blood clots and breast cancer, make the oral birth control pill unsafe to use.
Additionally, women who use prescription drugs – including some antibiotics and anti-seizure medications – are advised to use caution when starting or maintaining a birth control regimen. This is because the use of these drugs may reduce the pill’s effectiveness. When you visit our clinic to meet with one of our gynecologists, make sure to tell them about any medications that you take.
The pill comes in different dosages and prescriptions, and our gynecologists will be able to provide you with more information about how these medications may affect the birth control pill as a form of contraception.
If you’d like to learn more about the birth control pill or other contraception options, please call us at 212-308-4998.