ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS

Packs of Birth Control Pills

ORAL CONTRACEPTION (BIRTH CONTROL PILLS)

 

What are the birth control options?

Options include oral contraceptive pills (birth control pills or OCPs), skin patch or vaginal ring. For lower maintenance, there is the Depo Provera injection or an implant under the skin (Nexplanon).  Last but not least, there are also implantable uterine devices (IUD) which can either be copper or hormonal. For further information regarding the above options, please see previous articles.

 

How do birth control pills work?

Oral contraceptive pills work by inhibiting ovulation.

 

How effective are they?

They are very effective. With perfect use, 1/100 may become pregnant and with typical use 9/100 may become pregnant during the first year.

 

Do birth control pills (oral contraceptive pills) prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

No! Besides abstinence and using a condom properly and consistently, there is no birth control method to prevent STDs.

 

What are the benefits of oral contraceptive pills (OCP’s)?

Benefits of hormonal birth control include lighter/shorter menstrual periods, decreased risk of uterine and ovarian cancer and decreased acne and hair growth.  OCP’s can also treat certain disorders like PCOS and endometriosis.

 

What are the possible risks of OCP’s?

Although uncommon, there is a small increased risk of blood clots, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, especially if you are prone to these diseases before starting birth control.

Author
Kirstie Cunningham, MD, FACOG President, Metro Health and Wellness, LLC

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