How to Choose Best Birth Control Pills?
OK so you are thinking of using a low dose birth pill for the first time. What do you need to know to help you to make that final decision? These few facts may bring you up to speed so that you can trot off to the doctor and discuss which pill is best for you at this point in your 'contraception career'.Low Dose Birth Control Pills affect Ovulation, Your Cervical Mucous and the lining of your Uterus
First of all, let's assume that you already know that a low dose birth control pill contains synthetic hormones (estrogen and progestin) that prevent you from becoming pregnant 99% of the time (if used correctly and consistently) by stopping you from ovulating each month (releasing an an egg from your ovaries). If there no egg for a little male sperm to penetrate/fertilize then no baby can develop. The other 'action' that occurs each month as a result of taking a low dose birth control pill is that the mucous around your cervix (neck of your womb) is THICKENED by the progestin ingredient in the pill. Why does this help to protect you from getting pregnant- because that little sperm finds it a heck of a lot harder to swim through thick stuff than thin stuff so even in the event of an egg 'escaping', the poor little guy is exhausted even before he ever gets to that egg of yours! The third way in which the low dose birth control pill affects your body is to THIN the lining of your uterus which makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant and grow there should it get that far. This action is a controversial one for some women who view this 'back up' effect as abortion.
When does ovulation occur?
Ovulation usually happens around day 14 of your cycle (a woman is fertile when she is ovulating and ovulation usually occurs mid cycle) most women know exactly when this happens but it can vary by about a week, depending on the length of your cycle. Ovulation almost always occurs 14 days before the next bleed. The process itself requires a maximum of thirty-six hours to complete. In general, women do not ovulate until at least 10 days after stopping birth control pills.
If an egg IS fertilized by a sperm, it may implant itself in the uterus 6-12 days later if 'conditions are receptive, if you take the pill every day the conditions are NOT receptive.
Starting low dose birth control pills the first time- on which Day do I take the first pill?
IMPORTANT: Use 'back up' such as condoms, diaphragm, or foam during the first month of pill taking. You can choose which day to start your low dose birth control pill taking regime:
- on the day your period begins OR
- on the first Sunday after your period begins. This will result in your period almost always beginning on a Tuesday or Wednesday every 4 weeks OR
- on the fifth day after your period begins OR
- you can start your low dose pill today if there is absolutely no chance that you could be pregnant. Use a backup method of contraception until your first period.
If you are using a 21-day pack, stop taking pills for 1 week and then start your new pack but you must not forget to start again 7 days later as extending the 'gap' between packs is one of the main reasons why women get pregnant while on the low dose birth control pill!
I'm worried about having to remember to take a pill every day
You will soon get into a routine- but it helps if you link your pill taking to another action you carry out daily such as cleaning your teeth or having a glass of water at bedtime. Keep you low dose birth control pill pack next to your toothbrush or in your bedside table drawer. The pills work best if you take one at about the same time every day (this is especially important for the 'mini' pill). Check your pack of low dose birth control pills each morning to make sure you took your pill the day before. For more facts about the 'what if' scenarios when you are on the pill, read THIS doctors excellent information.
Carole Pemberton brings you up to date with the latest information on contraceptives, including low dose birth control pills like Yasmin to empower you to enjoy your sexuality while successfully managing your birth control.
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