Contraceptive pills (or the pill) are an effective and popular way to prevent unwanted pregnancies with the help of hormones. If the contraceptive pills are used accordingly, the majority of them are more than 99 percent secure. This is one of the main reasons of why they are extremely popular among women that are looking for suitable method of contraception for them.

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How are contraceptive pills benefitting women?

These pills contain hormones such as estrogen and progestogen. There are many contraceptive pills available on the market from which some of them contain less and some more hormones than others. The newest types contain fewer hormones as possible without them negatively affecting the health of an individual.

These hormones prevent unwanted pregnancies in many ways. During ovulation, the ovum is in contact with the sperm in order to become fertile. The hormones in these pills prevent ovulation from happening so that fertilisation is not possible. In addition, the pills make the cervix mucus thicker, thereby making it more difficult for sperm to pass through. Thus, these pills have a preventative effect in many ways which makes them as effective as they are.1

How should I use the pill?

The instructions on how to use the pill depend on the manufacturer. Across the variations, it is a common procedure to take one pill at the same time every day. After three weeks there is a break of one week without taking the pill or it’s replaced with a sugar pill. You should make sure to read the instructions from the chosen brand very carefully and if needed ask for advice from your doctor. After the 3 weeks, your period will start. If you want to postpone your menstrual cycle you shouldn’t have the break.

The advantages of contraceptive pills

The contraceptive pills come with many advantages. In the following, we have listed a few of them.

  • It is up to 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies
  • It is easy to use, the pill needs to be taken by mouth once a day at the same time every day
  • It doesn’t have an effect on a person’s sex life
  • It has an immediate protection if it is taken at the beginning of the menstrual cycle
  • It offers protections also during the 7-day break
  • It may lessen period pains and heavy periods are less likely to occur
  • It enables you to delay your period if needed
  • It can help in maintaining clear skin and it works against acne

Side effects and disadvantages

The contraceptive pills can oppose possible side effects and thus, disadvantages. In the following, we have listed some of them.

  • During the first few months, it is possible to experience nausea, tightness on the chest, headache, mood swings or imperfections on the skin. Your doctor can prescribe another brand from a different manufacturer if necessary.
  • In rare occurrences, it is possible to experience high blood pressure
  • The risk of developing a blood clot is slightly higher
  • The risk of developing breast cancer is slightly higher
  • If you are experiencing nausea or diarrhoea you can’t be completely sure if that day’s contraception was effective enough
  • If you forget to take the pill regularly it is not going to protect you against unwanted pregnancies
  • The pill doesn’t protect against STIs

Is the pill suitable for me?

Compared to other methods of contraception, the pill has many advantages. However, there are women that shouldn’t be on the pill. Be cautious if you belong in the following:

  • Over 35-year-olds who smoke
  • If you are suffering from breast cancer
  • If you have had blood clots or vascular problems in the past
  • If you suffer from a liver disease

In addition, the pill is not suitable if you’re very overweight, smoke a lot, have migraines, diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure or if you’re breastfeeding. Always contact your doctor before going on the pill. Furthermore, remember that the pill is not a sufficient contraception method against STIs. Read more about other methods here.

Menstrual cycle

When you’re on any method of contraception you will not experience your menstrual cycle as you used to before. However, you will still have them each month except if/when you decide to skip them. The menstrual cycle happens because of the decreased hormone levels during the seven days when you are not taking the pill. Getting the period each month is a sign that you are not pregnant. Some might not experience periods at all because of the pill but it can also be a sign of pregnancy. This is why it is important to test yourself with a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy and the pill

On the pill, the chance of getting pregnant is really low. However, this is statistically possible, thus it is very rare. For the time being, there is no product that would provide 100% prevention. In addition, many forgot to take the pill regularly at the right time which also increases the chances of getting pregnant. If you forget to take the pill several days in a row, the risk increases significantly. This is why it is important to use another contraception method simultaneously, such as a condom.

The price and prescription

The price of the pill varies wildly according to the brand and the manufacturer. In addition, the price may vary depending on whether you choose the original product or the cheaper version. Preventive methods such as condoms can be purchased without a prescription, but buying contraceptive pills you must have a prescription prescribed by a doctor. Your doctor can evaluate what is the most appropriate contraceptive pill for you as the different brands come with different effects.


  1. How fast do contraceptive pills work? – Birth Control