Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Contraceptive Pills

Contraceptive Pills
1.       What is contraceptive pills?
Contraceptive pill is the medication used to prevent pregnancy.  It is a combination of 2 female sex hormones that prevent pregnancy by changing the hormone balance of the body to stop ovulation.  There are 28 day and 21 day packets and the difference between them is the 7 day inactive sugar pills.
2.       How effective and how safe are they?
If the contraceptive pills are taken as instructed, they are at least 95% effective and safe.  You can start your 28 day pack on the first day of your next period and the 21 day pack on the 5th day of your cycle.  To maximize the effective of the pills, you should take your pills regularly every day at the same time and create a good habit of doing so.  In women with breast feeding, the pills can interfere with the quality and quantity of breast milk.  Therefore, it is better to use progestogen only pills or mini pills during full breast feeding.
3.       What should you do if you miss a pill or take it late?
·         If you miss the pill, rule 7 day applies.
·         You should take the pill as soon as possible, even if it means 2 pills in one day.
·         Take the usual pill at the usual time.
·         If you miss the pills for more than 12 hours, then you should use an alternative
 contraceptive method, such as condoms for 7 days.
·         If these 7 days run beyond the last hormone pills in the packet, skip the 7 inactive
 sugar pills and proceed directly to the first hormone pill in the next pack.
4.       What are the common side effects of the pills?
The most common side effects of the pills are nausea, breast tenderness, break through spotting which is bleeding between your usual periods.  These side effects tender to settle after a couple of months on the pills.  Other side effects includes vaginal thrush, migraine headache, high blood pressure and blood clots in the veins.  You should see your doctor to sure that you are fit for the pills before start taking them.
When you are on the pills, your period tends to become lighter, shorter and more regular.  Your period may also become less painful and the blood may be brownish.  You may find that your skin and your hair conditions improve.  A special pill can be used if you have acne.
5.       What about alcohol and other medications?
If you have alcohol in moderation, it does not appear to interfere with the pills.  Medications that may reduce the effectiveness of the pills include antibiotics, vitamin C, medications used to treat epilepsy and tuberculosis.  If you take antibiotic, continue taking the pills and use an alternative contraceptive method, such as condoms for 7 days.
6.       What are the special rules to follow?
·        Smoking can increase in risk of the pills and other health risk, so you should stop smoking.
·        Make sure you tell your doctor if you are taking the pills when other medicines are prescribed.
·        Vomiting and diarrhea can reduce the effectiveness of the pills, so you should use an additional contraceptive method, such as condoms as in rule 7 day.
·        You should report any persistent or heavy bleeding between periods to your doctor.
·        You should report any blurred vision, severe headache or pain on your chest or limbs to your doctor while on the pills.
·        You should have regular breast self-examination monthly and regular Pap smear every 2 years.
·        You should have regular blood pressure checkup and regular review by your doctor every 3 monthly while you are on the pills.

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