Contraceptive Pill Types, Instructions and More

Want to know the ins and outs of the contraceptive pill and how this affects a woman as well as what to do if the pill is missed during a monthly cycle, read on the get more details.

Contraception is the one way in which a man and a woman can prevent pregnancy from happening. There are several forms of contraception on the market, including the combination of estrogen and progestin, a vaginal ring and latex condoms. The pill is often the most used form of contraception, as when it is taken properly it can be up to 99.9% effective. However, the pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, which is where the latex condom should be used.

Common Types of Contraceptive Pills

1.     Progestin Pills

These pills contain progestin and are considered to be 88% effective. Since the pill only uses the hormone progestin, the person will find that they have fewer side effects than with other types of pills on the market.

2.     Ulipristal Acetate Pills

This pill is only available via a prescription from a doctor. In the US, this is known as Ella; in Europe, it is marketed under the name EllaOne. This pill is often referred to as an emergency pill as it can be taken up to 5 days after having unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.

3.     Progestin and Estrogen Pills

This is the most common type of birth control pill that is found on the market. Those who use this combined hormone pill cut their chances of pregnancy by around 75%. However, since these pills do combine two hormones, those who take this are more likely to experience nausea and vomiting.

4.     Mifepristone Pills

These are highly effective in small doses, yet they are only available in China, Russia, Vietnam and Armenia. The pill has hardly any side effects and has proven to be very effective.


In most cases, the pill is effective within a month of starting the pill. However, drug interactions and not taking this properly can affect the effectiveness. During this time, a doctor may recommend using another form of birth control to ensure pregnancy does not happen. Check with your doctor.

How do You Take Contraceptive Pill?

1.     Get the Pill

In order to get the pill, a woman must visit the doctor as they have to do a pelvic exam and look at family history before prescribing this pill to anyone. Upon being approved to take the pill, the nurse or doctor will go over how to take this, and what to do if a pill is missed. After a few months of taking the pill, the woman will have to be evaluated to ensure that there are no problems with the blood pressure and other issues often associated with birth control pills. Those who actively have sex should get exams every 6 months to 1 year.

2.     Know the Pill Package

Inside the pill package, the pills are usually labeled with the days of the week, as a reminder to take this every day. The active bills are going to be a different color than the inactive pills. Usually there are 21 birth control bills with 7 placebo pills that allow the menstrual cycle to start. There are some pill packs that have 28 active and 7 inactive pills.

3.     Take the Pill

In most cases, women are going to start the contraceptive pill on a certain day. This should be done even if the woman is on her period. In some cases, a woman is told to wait for her period and begin this a few days after the period starts. This is all dependent upon the type of pill that the woman is taking and what her doctor feels is the best option.

4.     Start Another Pack

You will begin a new pack of pills depending upon the type of birth control pill being taken. For those who take a 21-day birth control, they will start the new pack 7 days after finishing the last pack, while those who take a 28-day birth control will start a new pack right after finishing the the old pack.

Try Not to Miss Pills

Birth control pills are most effective when taken on a routine basis, which means that you need to take the pill at the same time each day. However, if you miss a pill, be sure to take this as soon as you remember. Even if you are scheduled to take another pill the same day, still take the pill that you missed. Since you did miss a pill, keep in mind that this makes this form of contraception less effective, thus you should use a form of backup for the next week until you get the pills evenly back into the body.

For those who travel out home, make sure that you are carrying pills with you so as to take the pill timely. If a woman has unprotected sex when she has not been taking the pills properly, she needs to talk to her doctor about a form of emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.

Possible Side Effects

With any form of birth control there are side effects. For those who take the contraceptive pill, the side effects are often not serious and do not bother the woman at all. These non-serious side effects include nausea, vomiting, swollen or tender breasts, spotting between periods, periods that are light, and small mood changes.

There are times in which side effects can be serious and when this is the case, the person needs to tell their doctor immediately. These serious side effects include stomach pain that is severe, feeling weakness or a pins and needles feeling in the body, jaundice, severe headaches, blurry vision, unable to catch breath and chest pain. These are very serious and do require that the woman see someone to pinpoint the cause.There are other women that may find they lose sexual desire, which is often considered an influx of too many hormones running through the body.

In most cases, doctors will have the woman back in the office within a few months to see how the contraceptive pill is working and if there are any side effects that could be affecting her.

Tip and Precautions

1.     Is It Suitable for Any Woman?

In most cases, there is no risk for a woman to take the pills. However, women who have had breast cancer, blood clots and heart or liver disease, are often not recommended for taking the pill as it can have adverse effects. In addition, those women who are over the age of 35 or women smoke are not recommended to take the pill. For the most part, any woman who has no serious illnesses can take the pill without any issues.

2.     Watch Out For Interactions

There are interactions that can happen with these contraceptive pills that can affect just how effective they are. It is important that a person know what these interactions could be and tell the doctor of any medication and supplement including natural and herbal that a person may be takento ensure that there are not interactions.With this being said, always have a backup birth control method to use in the event that you forget a pill or do have an interaction that inhibits the birth control pill from working properly.



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