Birth control pill – how to use it? risks and contraindications

The contraceptive pill is the contraceptive method with the highest percentage of effectiveness. By combining small amounts of an estrogen (usually ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin, if taken in the right way (basically don’t forget about it!), it inhibits the hormonal events that induce ‘ovulation.

Today, the Birth Control Pill is used by over 100 million women worldwide. Usage varies widely based on age, education, marital status, cultural traditions and country of origin: for example, a quarter of women aged between 16 and 49 in the UK currently use the pill, while in Japan only 1% of women.

In Italy, 16.2% of women aged between 15 and 44 use the pill (14th in Europe, ahead only of Spain, Slovakia, Poland and Greece).

The contraceptive pill, after 21 days of ingestion, is suspended for 7 days (4 for 24-day pills). During this interval, the so-called “suspension bleed”, similar to a period, should occur. After 7 (or 4) days, resume the pill for a new cycle.

How to use the birth control pill:

The contraceptive pill is not just used for contraceptive purposes; may be prescribed to treat certain conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, adenomyosis , and painful menstruation ( dysmenorrhea ).

In addition, oral contraceptives are often prescribed to treat mild or moderate forms of acne. The pill can also induce menstruation at regular intervals in women with irregular menstrual cycles or with some conditions characterized by dysfunctional uterine bleeding.

Risks of the birth control pill:

First you should know that the Birth Control Pill does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS or papilloma virus infection; the pill would slow down the circulation of blood in the veins of the legs and therefore, under very special conditions, could facilitate the formation of clots, increasing the risk of venous thrombosis .

Also, recent scientific studies have shown that in the latest birth control pills to date, the risk of venous thrombosis is known to decrease if the birth control pill contains lower doses of ethinyl estradiol (this is the scientific name for estrogen ).

Pills containing levonorgestrel (the scientific name for progestin), however, are the ones that have been on the market the longest and would also be the safest and minimal health risk.

Contraindications of the contraceptive pill:

Many women struggling with contraceptive choice avoid the Birth Control Pill , convinced that it makes them fat or causes cancer. In fact, the only confirmed contraindication, which in any case varies considerably from woman to woman, is a slight tendency towards water retention .

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Attention also to venous circulation, some studies have shown a greater predisposition to thrombus formation, as mentioned above. The best thing is to go through the speech with the gynecologist, to inform him about the pros and cons of each variant present on the market, so that he can prescribe the one that best suits his needs.

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