Combined oral contraceptives are a group of hormonal contraceptives, i.e. means to avoid conception. These medicinal products comprise man-made versions of women’s sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. These substances inhibit ovulation (egg maturation) and contribute to the higher viscosity of the vaginal discharge making it impossible for sperm to produce fertilization. Tablets are usually taken for contraceptive purposes, but they can also be appointed as a means to help ease excruciating periods and endometriosis.
Find out more about this means of contraception before you buy birth control tablets.
Combined contraceptives overview
- When properly taken, the pills provide 99% effective protection from unplanned conception. The tablets must be daily used for twenty-one days, then stopping for seven days, during which menstruation-like discharge occurs. After these 7days, the tablets use is resumed from the beginning in the strict sequence.
- The medication must be used with an interval of not more than 26 hours. The lack of a schedule is fraught with pregnancy.
- The product can help relieve painful menstruation.
- Typical minor adverse reactions are fast mood fluctuations, breast sensitivity, and headaches.
- Although some users claim that they gain weight when taking contraceptives, there is no proof that they are a causative agent.
- Although the precautions for the products use contain information that they can contribute to blood thrombus development and uterine cancer, the probability of these dangers is very low.
- Combined contraceptives are not safe for smokers over thirty-five years of age.
- The medication is not effective against the sexually transmitted diseases.
Principle of action
- The tablets suppress ovulation, i.e. the maturation and exiting of the egg to the fallopian tube because of rupture of a mature follicle.
- They promote to the thickening of mucus in the cervix, making it impassable for sperm.
- The tablets alter the cervix mucosa making the attachment of the fertilized ovum impossible.
- They diminish the moving ability of sperm in the fallopian tubes.
A lot of pharmaceutical companies make combined birth controls but the main thing you must know is that they can be of 3 types:
- Monophasic pills: the most widespread type that has an equal quantity of the active substance in each tablet. The formulation is used every day for twenty-one days, then a pause of 7 days is made and the use is resumed.
- Phasic pills: these formulations comprise 2-3 types of distinctive color pills which have various dosages of hormones. Such pills are used also for 21 days with a 7-day pause after a course but they must be taken in a strict sequence written on the package and in the instruction.
- Every day pills: the most convenient kind that per pack has 21 effective and 7 reminder tablets which are either empty or filled with vitamins. This medicinal product is used daily without any pauses so it’s easier not to forget to begin a new package. However, these tablets are also taken in a strict order as they have various dosages of hormones and so that you won’t take the empty tablets when you must use 21 consecutive tablets with hormones.
If you still have any doubts after you read the official instruction that accompanies the tablets, you should consult a gynecologist or pharmacist before you buy birth control pills. Never use the tablets without following the instructions as it can lower the contraceptive effect or even cause hormonal imbalance.
How to use 21-pill oral contraceptives?
- Take the first tablet from the package which is either labeled by the day of the week (for instance, if it is Tuesday, you should take the tablet intended for Tuesday) or is of the first color.
- Proceed on taking the tablets at the exact or approximately same hour daily until the completion of the package.
- Cease using the tablets for seven days and anticipate having menstruation on these days.
- Start the new package on the 8th day regardless of the menstruation.
How the medications with 28 pills are used?
- Take the first tablet with the marking “start”.
- Proceed on using the tablets at the same hour daily in the predetermined sequence until the end of the package.
- At the time of using the seven last tablets, you can anticipate having a period.
- Start the new package right after the previous even if you are still on a period.
The majority of women can begin using the tablets at any day of the period cycle except for women who had recently given birth, had an abortion or miscarriage.
Most probably, you will require supplementary contraception means for the 1st week. It depends on which day of the cycle you started using the tablets.
If you begin using the tablets on the 1st day of the cycle, i.e. the first day of menstruation, you will instantly get an effective protection of unwanted pregnancy and you won’t need other contraception.
Only if you have a cycle of more than 23 days, you can also enjoy reliable protection from conception instantly even if you begin using the tablet on the 5th day of the cycle.
If you have a small cycle which is less than twenty-three days, you will need supplementary birth control for the first 7 days of the pills use.
If you begin using the pills on any other day, the protection isn’t effective instantly. You will have to use supplementary conception-prevention means for the 1st week of the tablets use.
Uninterrupted use of tablets
Monophasic pills which are of the same color and content of hormones, it is normal to start a new package right after the previous one is finished. It is done if you want to postpone the period, for instance, when you go on vacation.
However, it is highly not encouraged to take more than two packages without interruptions unless it is prescribed so by a doctor. The reason for that is that an unexpected bleeding can occur as the uterine lining does not hold fluid. Some women complain of a feeling of swelling after taking several packs of tablets one after another.
What should you do if you missed the intake of the contraceptive?
If you miss one or several tablets or begin the new package too late, it can lower the efficiency of the medication. The degree of danger of unplanned pregnancy in case of skipped tablets is contingent on:
- When they are missed;
- How many tablets have been skipped;
It is considered that the use of the tablet is late if it hadn’t been taken at the usual time. If it is taken more than twenty-four hours after the time it had to be taken, it is considered a skipped tablet.
One skipped tablet or the beginning of the new package one day later is not dangerous as this is still the time when you have “contraceptive coverage”. But if you skipped two or more tablets or begun the package two or three days later, it can endanger your contraception. Doing so you basically extend the 7-day break to 9 days and have a real risk of conception because during the break the ovaries do not get any effect of the tablets.
If you skipped a tablet, read the pack insert to see how you must take the tablets further and whether you require additional birth control or not. If you are unsure how to use the tablets after a break, make sure to consult your gynecologist and while you figure it out, use condoms for contraception additionally.
Birth control pills you can buy at 4RXStore
At our med store, we offer you to buy combined birth control tablets with different amounts of pills per package. Make sure to check the number of pills you wish to get (21 or 28) before you place your order. The medications listed below all render the effect described above and are used for the same purposes. They are different only in the composition: the first hormone is always synthetic estrogen (ethinylestradiol) while the second one can be one of few synthetic progestins.
- Alesse is based on ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel.
- Levlen is based on ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel.
- Mircette is based on ethinylestradiol and desogestrel.
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen is based on ethinylestradiol and norgestimate.
- Ovral is based on norgestrel and ethinylestradiol.
- Yasmin is based on ethinylestradiol and drospirenone.
The effect and safety of these medications differ for different women so you should consult a gynecologist and do the prescribed tests before you purchase any of these products and start using them. It is especially important if you have any chronic conditions or family history of cardiovascular conditions.