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Birth Control Pill

How Does it Work?

Pills (estrogen/progestin & progestin-only) prevent ovaries from releasing eggs. The cervical mucus also thickens to prevent the joining of sperm and egg. Both types can also prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus.

How Well Does it Work?

If taken correctly, the pill has a 95% success rate. However, birth control pills must be taken at the same time every day. The pill can also be ineffective if two or more pills are missed, if they are taken in the wrong order, or if the pack is started too late. The pill offers no protection against STDs.

What are the Advantages?

  • More regular periods
  • Less menstrual flow
  • Less menstrual cramping
  • Less iron deficiency anemia
  • Less acne
  • Less premenstrual tension
  • Significant reduction of ovarian and endometrial cancer risk
  • Offers protection against breast tumors and ovarian cysts
  • Risk reduction for osteoporosis

Who Should Not Use the Pill?

  • Women who think they might be pregnant
  • Women who smoke
  • Women with a tendency to develop blood clots
  • Women who have had liver tumors, breast cancer, or uterine cancer
  • Women with heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels
  • Diabetics

What Are Some Common Side Effects?

  • Breast tenderness
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Spotting between periods (usually clears up within 2-3 months)
  • Depression
  • Increased or decreased sexual desire

Missed Contraceptive Pill Triage Guidelines

Following guidelines apply to Cyclessa (Organon), Desogen (Organon), Mircette (Organon), Ortho Novum 7/7/7, Ortho Tri Cyclin, Ortho Tri Cyclin-Lo, and Yasmin (Berlex).