Birth Control Methods
- Combined oral contraceptive (COC) - this type of pill contain oestrogen and progesterone
- Minipill progesterone only pill (POP) - this type contains progesterone only no oestrogen
- Birth control patches and rings - both contain oestrogen and progesterone products
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
What is the mechanism of action?
- Stop ovulation
- Change in cervical mucus
What is the failure rate?
This is about 2%. The main reason is forgotten pill intake other reasons include women taking antibiotics or having vomiting or diarrhoea rendering the pill ineffective, therefore, with these conditions additional method of protection is advised.
Are there any benefits of the pill apart from contraception?
- Good control of menstrual cycles, less heavy and less painful
- Improve facial hair and acne
- Treatment of pelvic congestion and endometriosis
- Prevent ovarian cyst development
What are the side effects?
Pills are safe, however, possible side effects are:
- Very rare association with cardiovascular disease and deep vein thrombosis
- Unestablished association with breast cancer
- Weight gain very minimal if any
- Headaches, nausea, bleeding between periods and breast tenderness all temporary and subside after a few weeks
What is the vaginal ring?
The vaginal ring is a flexible, plastic ring that is placed in the upper vagina. Side effects are vaginal irritation, discharge and higher failure rate.
What is the contraceptive patch?
Evra is a self adhesive oestrogen and progestogens patch applied once weekly for three weeks every month and having a week break to allow a period. It can be applied to the arm or buttocks. Side effects are allergy to skin, DVT and cardiovascular disease.