Birth Control Pills
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Birth control pills are the most popular contraceptive option in many countries. These pills are a combined-hormone method used to suppress the onset of ovulation. They also inhibit fertilization by making the cervical mucus thicker. This method has been found effective and acceptable to many women. A birth control pill was federally approved as a contraceptive in 1960. A birth control pill contains a combination of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. These hormones prevent ovulation and subsequent fertilization. Innovation of such pills expanded a so-called “frozen limit” in the sphere of medicine.
Before, nobody would think that such thing as a small pill could prevent pregnancy. People devised many other ways of contraception, but none of them was as easy in use as a pill. That is why, the invention of birth control pills has become a huge breakthrough in this field, expanding a new frozen limit. It has pushed the edge of what was socially acceptable in regard to contraceptives decades ago. Nothing can be easier now than taking a pill and forgetting about the worries.
Initially, the birth control pills were meant to reduce the chances of pregnancy. However, currently, they can be used for short-term convenience. In other words, they are used for non‑contraceptive reasons, such as eliminating the chances of having periods during special events like athletics (Carroll 392). These pills seem to be rather useful, but at the same time, there are curtain health risks that taking them presupposes. For example, many women forget to take a pill at some time, thereby reducing the effectiveness. The pill will produce positive results only when taken daily. Also, it may be necessary to use other methods of contraceptives during the first week, in case the pill fails to work. Besides, a woman may experience some contraindications. Thus, to reduce the chances of complications, it is advisable to consult a doctor befoe using any contraceptive methods.
Further, many over-the-counter drugs, prescribed medications and herbal supplements may lower the effectiveness of the pill. Similarly, birth control pills may also alter the effectiveness of another drug. Therefore, when a woman takes any other medication, she should inform about it a health care provider prior to taking birth control pills (Carroll 393). For instance, such antibiotics as amoxicillin and tetracycline may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. The antifungal medications can cause bleeding and spotting, while vitamin C in daily doses of 1,000 mg or more may increase effect of estrogen.
While today’s birth control methods are far less dangerous than those of the 1970s, there is still some evidence showing that they pose some health risks. The majority of health risks resulting from the use of birth control pills are circulatory diseases, such as heart attack and deep vein thrombosis (Zonderman, Shader, and Triggle 52). Additionally, some women suffer from headaches, especially in the first months after beginning the use of pills. In extreme cases of headaches, the affected women should switch to a pill with a different chemical composition. Nausea and vomiting may occur with estrogen based programs. Irregular menses, weight gain and blood clots are some other contraindications.
Further, there are findings showing a significant increase in blood pressure in women that use contraceptive pills that contain more than 50 mcg of estrogen. The risk normally increases with the long-term pill use (Zonderman, Shader, and Triggle 52). When a woman ceases taking the pills, the blood levels gradually decreases to normal limits. Thus, the continued use of these contraceptives is a risk factor that may worsen woman’s cardiac conditions.
The main purpose of the birth control pill is to reduce the probability of pregnancy during an uunprotected sexual intercourse. However, they have another significant disadvantage. Their availability has increased unplanned and unprotected sex, especially among the youth (Goroll and Albert 879). Moreover, not everybody realizes that the pills cannot be used to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore, it is advisable to use condoms even when a woman is using the contraceptive pills. Additionally, it is possible to buy the pills over the counter even without the medical prescription. This has created a dangerous trend because it is advisable to get medical advice on such issues as the blood level. A woman may unknowingly be at an increased risk of other health problems (Goroll and Albert 879). As a result, the effectiveness of the hormonal regimens decreases over time, which may lead to conception.
Birth control pills have been in use for a long time, and they are successful in preventing pregnancies. However, as any other medication, it has its side effects. They are highly associated with bleeding in between periods, irregular menstrual cycles and weight gain (Bell 10). Most studies have shown that many women gain weight rather than lose a few pounds. The estrogen hormone causes fluid retention in the body. It is important for a woman who gains weight because of the birth control pills to consult a doctor and to be checked for insulin resistance.
In conclusion, an introduction of the birth control pills has expanded “frozen limit” in contraception. These pills are supposed to be used for preventing pregnancy. However, besides pushing the edge of the socially acceptable, they have particular disadvantages. Thus, people, especially the young ones, involve in an unplanned sex because women can get the pills without medical prescription. Moreover, there are side effects and health concerns connected with the use of these pills, such as nausea, headaches, increased risk of high blood pressure and others.
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