THE PILL

Hormonal Method

The pill is a form of contraception that consists of tablets containing hormones that needs to be swallowed at the same time every day.

DURATION

EVERY
MONTH

BENEFITS

Highly effective

Widely available

Easy to use

 

    TAKE IT ONCE A DAY AT A TIME1

    It’s the little tablet taken once a day.1

    There are a few different types of pill to choose from, so it’s about finding the one that’s right for you. The combined pill contains estrogen and progestin and mini pill contains only one hormone, a progestin.1

    The pill can have many benefits, however remembering to take it on time is a must. The pill is only available by getting a prescription from a medical professional.1

    The Pill

    HOW TO

    Using the pill is easy: just swallow a tiny pill every day. The pill works best if you take it every day on schedule, but almost everyone on the pill forgets to take it sometimes. Knowing what to do when you miss a birth control pill is important. You’ll need to know the brand name of the pill you’re on in order to use this tool. You can find the name on your pill pack or by calling your doctor or the drugstore where you got it.2

    Different pills have different cycles, with some pill types you have to take hormone- free pills during the breaks to maintain continuous intake.2

    PROS OF CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS

    • Highly effective when used correctly.1
    • It’s easy to use.2
    • It permits sexual spontaneity and doesn’t interrupt sex.1
    • Some pills may reduce heavy and painful periods.1
    • Can improve acne and hirsutism, also can help in Treatment of premenstrual syndrome, and irregular periods.6
    • Easily reversed method of birth control if you hope to get pregnant.3
    Pros

    CONS OF CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS

    • Skipping pills or taking them late may reduce effectiveness.3
    • Some women may experience depression or mood swings.4
    • Some women experience breast tenderness, nausea, headache, weight gain.3
    Cons

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

      No, there are a few different types of pill to choose from, so it is about finding the one that is right for you. It’s important to take the pills as directed because Forgetting to take your pill means it won’t be as effective.1

      The pill is an effective way to prevent pregnancy, If you follow the instructions and use the birth control pill correctly it gives you great protection against pregnancy.5

      No. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and any medications you take to determine which birth control pill is right for you.3

      Combination pills contains both estrogen and progestin, the mini-pill contains only progestin. Combination pills prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg, thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus. All of these actions help keep sperm from joining the egg. The mini-pill slows an egg's progress through the fallopian tubes, thickens cervical mucus and thins the endometrium, all of which help prevent sperm from reaching the egg. The mini-pill sometimes also suppresses ovulation.3

      Yes, hormonal contraceptives can improve acne and hirsutism, also can help in Treatment of premenstrual syndrome, and irregular periods.6

      If you decide you want to get pregnant.2 Long-term use of oral contraceptives does not hurt a woman's chances of becoming pregnant.7

      It depends on the type of pill. Combination Pills: Most of them come in 28-day or 21-day packs, take 1 pill every day for 28 days (four weeks) in a row, and then start a new pack on day 29 (in case of 28-day pack), or Take 1 pill every day for 21 days (3 weeks) in a row. Then don’t take any pills for seven days (week 4). You’ll get your period during the fourth week while you aren’t taking any pills (in case of 21-day pack). progestin- only pills: only come in 28-day packs. All 28 pills have hormones. You must take progestin-only pills within the same 3 hours every day to be protected from pregnancy.2

      Women who have used [oral contraceptives, or OCs] for four years or more should be reassured because we found no evidence that long-term OC use deleteriously affects fecundability. Researchers found that long-term users of oral contraceptives, like short-term users, experienced a temporary delay in fertility, compared with those who were discontinuing barrier contraceptive methods. But also indicated that longer-term OC use was associated with a higher likelihood of pregnancy, compared with OC use for less than two years.7

      If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you SHOULD NOT use hormonal contraceptives. That’s because there’s evidence that these medicines might increase the risk of the cancer coming back.8

      References:

      1- Queens Land Health. 9 types of contraception you can use to prevent pregnancy. Available at: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/types-contraceptionwomen-condoms-pill-iud-ring-implant-injection-diaphragm. Last accessed 18 Jun 2020.

      2- Planned parenthood. How to Use Birth Control Pills | Follow Easy Instructions. Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-controlpill/how-do-i-use-the-birth-control-pill. Last accessed 18 Jun 2020.

      3- Mayo clinic. Healthy Lifestyle Birth control. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/birth-control/in-depth/best-birth-controlpill/art-20044807. Last accessed 18 Jun 2020.

      4- MGH Center for Women's Mental Health. Do Oral Contraceptives Cause Mood Swings or Depression? Available at: https://womensmentalhealth.org/posts/you-askeddo-oral-contraceptives-cause-mood-swings-or-depression/. Last accessed 18 Jun 2020.

      5- Planned parenthood. What are the benefits of the birth control pill? Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-pill/what-are-thebenefits-of-the-birth-control-pill . Last accessed 18 Jun 2020.

      6-  American society for reproductive medicine. Non contraceptive Benefits of Birth Control Pills. Available at: https://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-andpublications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/documents/fact-sheets-and-infobooklets/noncontraceptive-benefits-of-birth-control-pills/. Last accessed 18 Jun 2020.

      7- Boston University school of public Health. Long-term Oral Contraceptive Use Doesn’t Hurt Fertility, Study Finds. Available at: https://www.bu.edu/sph/2013/04/04/long-termoral-contraceptive-use-doesnt-hurt-fertilitystudyfinds/#:~:text=Long%2Dterm%20Oral%20Contraceptive%20Use%20Doesn,t%20 Hurt%20Fertility%2C%20Study%20Finds&text=Long%2Dterm%20use%20of%20oral,B U%20School%20of%20Public%20Health. Last accessed 18 Jun 2020.

      8- Breastcancer.org. 2021. Is There a Link Between Birth Control Pills and Higher Breast Cancer Risk?. [online] Available at: https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/study-questions-birth-control-and-risk [Accessed 22 October 2021].

      PP-PF-WHC-IQ-0007-1

      SUPPORTED BY

      A coalition of international partners with an interest in sexual and reproductive health