Combination oral contraceptives (COCs)

Mode: Daily
Efficiency: 99%.
Direct use: by itself
Hormone content: synthetic hormones estrogen and progesterone

The contraceptive pill including is a method known for more than 50 years to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Combined contraceptives are those that contain in small quantities synthetic analogues of two female sex hormones: estrogen and progesterone.

Most modern contraceptives are combined oral contraceptives, but even among them there are different groups. For example, there are pills with a monophasic mode of use – most of them (that is, each pill of the contraceptive contains the same amount of hormones), and there are pills with a multiphasic mode (when the doses of hormones in different pills change). The contraceptive pill is suitable for very many women.

Oral contraceptives are prescription drugs. This means that only a gynecologist can recommend the pill suitable for you, and issue a prescription for them, so his consultation is mandatory!

Combined oral contraceptives (pills) must be taken every day, at the same time. The cycle of intake is always 28 days: for example, there are pills that must be taken for 21 days and then take a break for 7 days, during which a menstrual-like reaction occurs. Some drugs contain 24 active pills and 4 placebo pills (inactive), in which case there is no need to take a break, each subsequent package is taken after the previous one.

If taking the next pill was delayed for less than 12 hours, the reliability of contraception is not reduced. However, a delay of more than 12 hours or skipping the pill can significantly affect effectiveness, so additional contraceptive methods, such as a condom, are required for at least 1 week after skipping the pill.

Keep in mind: when taking the combination pill over the age of 35, you should not smoke! Consult your doctor if you smoke and are on the combination pill.

Use additional methods of protection, such as a condom or spermicides, if you are taking antibiotics, anticonvulsants, laxatives, suffer from diarrhea or complain of other digestive problems, as in this case the contraceptive effect may be reduced.

The main mechanism of action of OCs is suppression of ovulation, so pregnancy is impossible. In addition, the viscosity of mucus in the cervical canal increases, making it difficult for sperm to pass into the uterine cavity.

How long can I take birth control pills?

If there are no contraindications – as long as you need to protect yourself from an unwanted pregnancy. There are women who take the pill without a break for 10 years.

How often should I take a break from taking birth control pills?

If there are no medical contraindications to taking the drug or if a woman has not decided to get pregnant, there is no reason to stop taking the pills. This is a generally accepted point of view in modern medicine. Interruptions in taking the pills can only harm: after all, the body only has time to adjust to one rhythm, as he is asked to readjust again.

If you need long-term contraception, is it not better to put a coil?

The spiral may have limitations. First, it is undesirable for women who have not given birth. Sometimes, spirals can be a kind of “transport for germs” entering the uterine cavity. And if you use a coil and have more than one partner, the chance of infection increases dramatically. Talk to your doctor for advice.

Is there an additional positive effect of taking contraception for a long time?

There is strong evidence and statistical data that birth control pills help prevent certain types of female cancers. Taking oral contraceptives for at least a year significantly reduces the chance of ovarian and uterine cancer. For those who have been using them for more than 10 years, the risk of ovarian cancer is reduced by 80% and uterine cancer by 60%.

If your sex life isn’t very regular, isn’t it better to take the pill once after sex rather than taking chemo all month?

Those who believe that if you have sex infrequently, it’s much safer to take one pill a couple of times a month than to swallow them every day are putting their bodies at great risk. Not only does one postcoital (emergency) contraceptive pill contain 6 times more hormones than a regular pill, this “one-time” introduction of hormones is the hardest shake-up for the body. Regularly resorting to “fire” contraception, you can disrupt your hormonal balance, which often leads to various diseases. Doctors generally do not consider such pills as a method of regular contraception.