Pros and cons of hormonal contraception

Hormonal contraception including is the most effective and popular method of protection against unwanted pregnancy. More than 120 million women worldwide take hormonal pills. The efficiency of this method reaches 99.9%. Besides, this method of contraception is by far the most convenient.

Hormonal contraceptives include contraceptive pills, which contain artificially synthesized hormones, which in their composition and properties are very similar to the hormones produced in the female body – estrogen and gestagen. Modern oral contraceptives can contain either one type of hormone (progesterone) or two (progesterone and estrogen). In the first case, they are called “mini-pills” (“Microlute”, “Exluton”), in the second case, they are combined drugs (“Lugest”, “Feludin”, “Microginon”, etc.). In addition, there are monophasic, biphasic and triphasic preparations. Monophasic drugs consist of a set of pills, i.e. all pills contain the same dose of hormones. When taking biphasic drugs, the dose of hormones changes twice per course; when taking triphasic drugs, it changes three times (such pills usually differ in color). The “mini-pills” come in monophasic pills only.

Mini-pills contain only progestin. It also changes the uterine mucosa and increases the viscosity of mucus in the cervix. Mini-pills can also prevent an egg from leaving the ovary.

The pill and the mini-pill are considered to be very reliable contraceptives and are therefore most commonly used. However, like any potent medication, they have contraindications and side effects, and therefore must be prescribed by a doctor.

Combined oral contraceptives are also taken once a day at the same time, starting from the first day of the menstrual cycle. You can delay taking the pill for no more than 12 hours. If this period is exceeded, it is still necessary to take the pill, and regardless of this the next pill is taken at the right time, and the next 7 days it is necessary to use additional contraception, such as barrier. At the beginning of taking the combined drugs, nausea or vomiting may occur. In this case the pills should be continued and at the same time additional contraception should be used for another 7 days after the disappearance of these symptoms. If it is necessary to use antibiotics, the combined pills are continued, additional contraception is used for the duration of use of antibiotics, plus another 7 days. If you are going to have surgery while taking the combination drugs, you should stop taking the pills four weeks before.

Pregnancy can occur as early as one month after stopping the medicine. On average, a woman’s ability to give birth is restored after three months.

Contraceptive pills may reduce the risk of developing benign tumors of the breast, uterine and ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, uterine myoma, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, eliminate acne, and prevent hair loss. Combined contraceptive pills can be used for emergency contraception.

The contraceptive effect comes from the first day of taking the pills, if a woman sticks to the established schedule for the drug. Disadvantages of hormonal contraceptives include the need for daily intake of the drug, increased risk of pregnancy if you miss taking the pill.

Before you start taking hormonal contraceptives, you should have a gynecological examination and consult your doctor. It is also necessary to warn your doctor about the use of hormonal contraception when prescribing any other medication. If hormonal drugs are combined with drugs such as rifampicin, griseofulvin, carbamazepine, barbiturates, the contraceptive pill regimen must be adjusted.

Injectable contraceptives (the only drug registered in Russia is Depo Provera) are administered once every three months.

Advantages of this type of contraception

The most important is its high effectiveness. Taking contraceptives reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy, prevents the development of inflammatory diseases of the genitals, prevents the development of benign and malignant tumors, normalizes the menstrual cycle, reduces lower back pain occurring in the middle of menstrual cycle. Hormonal birth control pills do not interfere with the fertility of the body. The ability to fully conceive is restored after 1-2 months after the end of taking the pill. Contraceptive pills are widely available, simple and convenient in use, they can be successfully used for 5 years without interruption under the supervision of a doctor.

Disadvantages of hormonal contraception

There are medical contraindications. With long-term use or overdose, birth control pills can have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, increasing the predisposition of the body to hypertension, atherosclerosis, blockage of blood vessels. Sometimes there are situations when you have to stop taking the pill: injuries, depression.