Before the accidental development of the birth control pill, women were trying everything from herbal douching to diaphragms to one of the oldest methods, the pull out method. But non of those methods would prove to be as effective as the pill. The pill became available to women in 1957 for treatment of gynecological disorders and in 1960 became FDA approved. Three years later approximately one million women were on it, and today there are about 11 million women who are taking birth control pills.
Even though it was introduced as a treatment for gynecological problems, today its initial purpose is to prevent pregnancy. In addition to that, it has also been prescribed for moderate cases of acne as well as treatment for symptoms of PMDD. In order to make the right choice regarding the pill, it's a good idea to know what's in them and how they work.
There are several types of birth control pills that are available today, with the majority consisting of synthetic estrogen and progestin, two female hormones. The amount and the type of estrogen and progestin that is put into the pill varies and is different for each type. These hormones work in several ways to prevent conception:
1. Primarily, they prevent the release of an egg from the ovary, which is called ovulation.
2. Secondly, they make the mucus of the cervical lining thicker which makes it more difficult for the sperm to swim through to reach the uterus.
3. Thirdly, the hormones make the lining of the womb un-attachable and un-inhabitable for the egg to grow.
It's a dependable method that works 99.9% of the time, as long as it is taken correctly and consistently. On the contrary, there is still that 1% of failure if it is not taken routinely.
As with any pharmaceuticals, possible side effects should be taken into consideration as well as the benefits. The most usual and common side effects are dizziness, breast tenderness, lowered sex drive, spotting, headaches, mood swings, and nausea. Although these side effects are common they usually go away after a few weeks.
The more serious side effects include blood clots, high blood pressure, depression, heart attack, stroke, liver damage, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
Recent studies on progesterone found a link between the progestin hormone and the increased risk of blood clot formation and blood potassium levels. Not everyone that takes the birth control pill experiences side effects and most women actually do pretty well on it.
Now that you know the facts, you must consider one more factor, yourself. I mean your health history. Acknowledge any previous health conditions or problems and find out if they are contraindications to birth control pills. The pill is not recommended for women who have had kidney, liver, or heart problems, gall bladder disease, certain types of cancers, obesity, unmanageable diabetes, and smokers. It is also not recommended for women who have suffered from sickle cell, epilepsy, heart attack, stroke, and uterine bleeding.