Birth Control Overview (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What is the effectiveness, and what are the side effects of birth control pills?
Birth control pills
Birth control pills, also known as oral contraceptives, have been marketed in the United States since 1962. Over the past 40 years, there have been changes in the types of estrogen and progestin (hormones) used in the pills and lower amounts of hormones overall.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the birth control pill is the leading birth control method used by women under the age of thirty. Birth control pills today are designed to improve safety and reduce side effects. Lower doses of estrogen are associated with a decrease in side effects such as weight gain, breast tenderness, and nausea.
Birth control pills are available in an oral pill and chewable pill, usually taken by mouth and swallowed with a liquid. Over 30 different combinations of birth control pills are available in the United States. The majority of the pill combinations have 21 hormonally active pills followed by 7 pills containing no hormones. A woman begins by taking a pill on the first day of her period or the first Sunday after her period has begun. By taking a pill a day, a woman can usually take pills consistently throughout her cycle.
Progestin-only birth control pills
Progestin-only pills, also known as the mini-pill, are not used widely in the United States. Less than 1% of women use oral contraceptives as their sole method of birth control. Those who use them include women who are breastfeeding or cannot take estrogen.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/26/2016
Wayne Blocker, MD
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Birth Control Types - Experience
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Birth Control Types - Pills
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Birth Control - Natural Methods
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Birth Control - Side Effects
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