Women who are sexually active but want to avoid pregnancy have several methods of birth control to choose from. Oral contraceptives, also called birth control pills, when taken properly, are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Even women who are not sexually active may use birth control pills because of their effectiveness at minimizing menstrual cramps and preventing acne. There are many different types and name brands of birth control pills. Not all contraceptives are the same. Here are two popular birth control pills.
1: Ortho-Cyclen is a 28 day pill pack containing the two hormones progestin and estrogen. These hormones work in two ways. They prevent the egg from being released from the ovaries and they thicken vaginal fluid to make it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg. An added bonus to Ortho-Cyclen pills is that they can prevent menstrual pain and acne. The hormones in the pill prevent the uterus from contracting while bleeding, minimizing painful cramping. The hormones also decrease the amount of sebum the skin produces which is a leading cause of acne. This pill is at least 99% effective when taken at the same time everyday and without interruption. These pills come in 21 or 28 day packs. On the 28 day packs the last seven pills are simply placebo pills; they make women take a daily pill so that the first day of the new cycle is not forgotten.
2: Plan B, also known as the morning-after-pill, is two day program for women who did not use any method of birth control. The method can be used for up to five days after unprotected sex but is more effective the sooner after the act. One or two pills are taken the first day day; one or two pills are taken the next day around the same time. There may be some light cramping and nausea. This form of birth control is available to anyone in the United States over the counter as long as they are over the age of eighteen however in some states a consultation with the pharmacist will be required.
There are many types and name brands of oral contraceptive pills. Although some states allow women to purchase birth control without a prescription, someone seeking a birth control method for the first time is encouraged to speak with their doctor or a health care provider. There are many options to consider and it is important to remember that some pills may pose certain health risks to individuals. Birth control does not protect a women or her partner from STD’s. When oral contraceptives are combined with condoms the chances of STD’s and unwanted pregnancy are reduced significantly.