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  • Hormonal methods of contraception

    hormones are chemicals that are produced in various body tissues. These chemicals then enter the circulatory system and serve to ensure the smooth functioning of various organs and tissues of the body. Many hormones responsible for the functioning of the reproductive system are produced by the system itself. For example, the female ovaries produce the hormone estrogen, and the testes of men - the hormone testosterone.

    For some reason, hormonal contraceptive methods are mainly targeted at women, not men. The most common among the hormonal methods - contraceptive pills, which in small doses introduce into the body of the woman hormones that regulate the female menstrual cycle. Some of these hormones cause the formation of a thick layer of mucus near the cervix, which does not allow spermatozoa to enter the uterus. There are also hormonal methods that prevent ovulation and( or) implantation.

    Contraceptive tablets

    Contraceptive tablets or simply "tablets", provided they are taken in accordance with the prescription of a doctor - a very reliable method of contraception. Historically, the appearance and widespread use of hormonal tablets is closely linked to the onset of the so-called "sexual revolution" in North America and Europe in the mid-1960s. Today, tablets are also widely used, but now this is being done with greater caution, first because of concerns about the wide spread of sexually transmitted infections and AIDS, including, secondly, the growing concern that,that hormonal methods of contraception have many side effects.

    The first factor is reflected in the fact that most people now prefer barrier methods of contraception. The second of the above factors led to the fact that the hormonal tablets themselves underwent some changes. Today they contain the same ingredients as in the mid-60s, but have become more efficient and balanced. Today, such tablets have fewer side effects, and they can be selected according to the individual properties of the organism and the needs of the user. Currently, tablets are the most used contraceptive in the UK.They are used by approximately 3 million( about 26%) women aged 16 to 49 years.

    Today there are two types of contraceptive pills. The first is a combination tablet containing estrogen and progestogen. The second type was called "mini-tablets", because it contains only one hormone - progestogen.

    Use of contraceptive tablets

    • Combined tablets are usually available in plastic packaging, where each tablet occupies a separate cell. Such a package, as a rule, contains exactly 21 tablets. Women should take one tablet a day, until the pack is empty. When a woman finishes taking pills, her menstrual cycle begins. As soon as the menstrual cycle ends( usually on the 28th day after taking pills), a woman opens a new pack of pills. Sometimes the package can contain 28 tablets. In this case, tablets that are taken throughout the menstrual cycle are hormones that do not contain hormones. This is done in order to develop a habit for women to take pills every day. If hormone pills are taken in accordance with the prescriptions of the doctor, they provide the woman with good protection for all 28 days.

    • Tablets containing only progestogen are also available in 28 packs. They should be taken one at a time, without interruption. The main condition for their use is that such tablets should be taken every day at the same time. The time difference can not be more than three hours. If the gap in time is more than 27 hours, then the protection will be violated. In connection with all the above, it is especially important that the woman herself determines the time in which she could take the pill every day.

    • For progestogen tablets to work, when using them, you must strictly follow the doctor's instructions. If using a combination of tablets, a woman missed one or two tablets or started a new pack immediately, then the protection simply does not work. If you miss the time of taking the progestogen tablet, then the protection with this contraceptive will be lost and the woman will have to consult your doctor or contact the family planning clinic to discuss the situation and choose another contraceptive. If a woman has any doubts or is worried about the use of oral contraceptives, she should not stop taking pills in the middle of the pack, and seek medical advice that will help solve her problems and maybe pick up other contraceptives.

    • However, even if a woman takes combination tablets or progestogen tablets according to the prescription of the doctor, sometimes, due to some unforeseen circumstances, the protective properties of the tablets may not work. For example, the tablet should be in the stomach for a fairly long period, only then it will enter the circulatory system. If a woman vomits before the ingredients have entered the circulatory system, which usually takes at least three hours, this will be equivalent to the fact that she missed taking the pill. In this case, she must take another pill instead of the first. If, after this pill, she feels bad, the protective properties will not work. From this it must be concluded that she will have to choose another, more suitable contraceptive. We should also mention that in case of stomach upsetting, the tablet ingredients may not enter the circulatory system, which means a possible violation of the protective function.

    • There are medicines that can disrupt the effect of combined hormone tablets. These include some antibiotics, anabolics( painkillers), tranquilizers, cramping remedies, and antifungal agents. These same drugs can cause and disruption of the action of the progestogen tablets.

    • It should be noted that some of the above medicines may lose their

    efficacy under the influence of combined hormone tablets and progestogen tablets. Therefore, your doctor should review the medications that you are taking.

    • If a woman smokes, if she is over 35 years old and if she has excess weight, then most likely, her hormone tablets will not work. However, progestogen tablets may be appropriate.

    • Before registering a woman with a combination hormone pill, the doctor should review her medical history and find out if she has contraindications for cardiovascular disease, liver disease, certain gynecological diseases, metabolism or hormonal problems( such as diabetes).In addition, the doctor must make sure that the woman does not suffer from deep depression or a strong migraine. If any of the above occurs, then the doctor should help a woman to choose another method of contraception. As for progestogen tablets, they are not related to the activity of the cardiovascular system or any other internal diseases. They also do not affect the level of blood pressure. However, in the presence of breast cancer, uterine cancer, serious liver disease or severe arthrosis, progestogen tablets should not be taken.

    • In order for a doctor to pick up a contraceptive, he must first check your blood pressure, weight, check the vagina and take a smear for analysis.

    • If the doctor still prescribed you a combination hormone tablets or progestogen tablets, then after three months you will again need to check with your doctor.

    • When a woman begins taking hormone pills, sometimes between the menstrual cycles, she may have a discharge that contains blood.

    Efficacy of

    With proper administration, combined hormone tablets or progestogen tablets give an effect equal to about 99%.The decrease in effectiveness is usually due to the fact that sometimes women miss the taking of tablets or take them at the wrong time. There are other reasons that reduce the effectiveness of the tablets. Understanding the mechanism of the pills reduces the likelihood of such problems.

    Advantages of

    • Oral contraceptives are the most effective and reliable contraceptive.

    • Both types of tablets are easy to use and do not interfere with making love. Many couples argue that the use of contraceptive pills reduces the fear of the possibility of becoming pregnant and contributes to a more open expression of feelings during intimacy.

    • The use of combined hormonal tablets contributes to the fact that menstrual cycles in women become shorter, pass in a less painful form and more regularly. For those women who have contraindications to the use of combined hormonal tablets, progestogen tablets are a great alternative.

    • Interruption of the course of taking both types of tablets does not give negative results if the woman decides to have a child. Therefore, unsuccessful attempts of women to become pregnant after taking hormonal tablets are likely associated with some other reasons that reduce the ability to fertilize.

    • Combined hormone tablets also reduce the possibility of cancer of the uterus and ovarian cancer( cancer types, the most common in women).In addition, they protect the body from diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease and various types of fibroids. There are pills that can contribute to the weakening of premenstrual syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

    • Progestogen tablets can be taken even by nursing mothers.

    Negative moments of

    • In order to get the desired effect, the tablets should be taken regularly. Tablets progestogen

    should also be taken every day and only at a specific time.

    • Before taking pills, women need a doctor's advice and recommendations.

    • Tablets can not prevent infection with AIDS or other forms of sexually transmitted infections.

    • Some women are contraindicated.

    • Combined hormonal tablets may give some side effects, for example: nausea, headache, spotting during the period between menstrual cycles;quantitative and qualitative changes in the hairline;weight gain, candidal stomatitis, changes in skin pigmentation. Some improvement in these tablets reduces side effects. Moreover, the side effect can disappear completely if you replace tablets with others. Progestogen tablets also have side effects, for example, pain in the chest, cramps in the legs, complete absence of the menstrual cycle or irregularity.

    • Among users of tablets there is a group of people at high risk. The risk of taking hormonal tablets should not be harmful to health, i.e.should be balanced. Medical workers through the various analyzes, tests and the study of the history of disease should identify people at risk. It often refers to those who smoke a lot and has a predisposition to diseases of internal organs. Such people use hormonal tablets is not recommended. In addition, taking hormone tablets is dangerous for everyone who is prone to hypertension and liver disease. I would like to note that it is not yet clear how the combined hormonal tablets affect breast cancer and cervical cancer. And yet, the side effects associated with the use of hormonal tablets cause less harm to women's health than an unplanned pregnancy. Thus, if you are not yet 35 years old, if you do not smoke and you do not have a predisposition to diseases of the internal organs, taking hormonal tablets will be safer for you than rejecting them. Among users of progestogen tablets, the risk of ectopic pregnancy increases if the contraceptive does not work. For the same reason, an ovarian cyst may occur. It is still unknown whether progestogen tablets affect weight gain, cardiovascular disease, thromboembolism, and hypertension. But, like combined hormone tablets, progestogen tablets are not as harmful as an unplanned pregnancy.

    • Combined hormone tablets are not recommended for smokers who are over 35 years of age.

    • Both types of tablets are not always combined with certain medications.

    • Some women believe that the intake of chemicals that affect the natural development of the body and its balance is extremely harmful, and for this reason refuse the method of contraception considered.

    Injectable hormonal contraceptives

    Injectable hormonal contraceptives are the usual name for intramuscular injections of the progestogen, which are usually done by a doctor or nurse. Such injections are repeated every 8 or 12 weeks and are designed to provide protection from pregnancy. In the UK, there are two common types of injections: Depo Provera, which provides protection for 12 weeks, and Noristerat, which works for 8 weeks. The essence of such hormonal protection is that the hormone introduced into the shoulder or buttock gradually enters the circulatory system of the body.

    The principle of action of these drugs is different from the principle of action of tablets progestogen. And although many side effects from such injections are similar to those that result from the use of progestogen tablets, these methods of contraception should not be confused, because there is a significant difference between them. The essence of the effect of injectable progestogen, for example, is that it prevents ovulation. However, some women complain that their menstrual cycles stop at all.

    Efficiency of

    Worldwide, approximately 3 million women in 90 countries use hormonal injections. The effectiveness of this method of protection is 99%.And this means that during the year only one in 100 women using hormonal injections can become pregnant.

    Advantages of

    • Hormonal injections are one of the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy, which does not give irreversible results. One injection provides protection from pregnancy for 8 or 12 weeks.

    • Such injections are considered one of the most convenient individual contraceptive methods. When they expire, the woman goes and makes a new injection. In this case, no one can know that she uses this method of contraception.

    • Just like hormone pills, injections do not interfere with the expression of fervent feelings during lovemaking.

    • Like progestogen tablets, hormone injections contain progestogen, which prevents the risk of certain diseases. In addition, hormonal injections can have a positive effect on the body and even block the development of certain diseases that a woman who uses injections suffers from.

    Negative aspects of

    • Women who do not tolerate injections refuse to use this contraceptive.

    • Using this method of preventing pregnancy, a woman must visit the doctor every 8 or 12 weeks.

    • Just like progestogen tablets, hormone injections have some side effects. However, these effects are unlikely to be comparable to such damage to health as an unplanned pregnancy. The injections of Depo Provera usually contribute to the fact that the woman begins to gain weight. In addition, in some women predisposed to osteoporosis( a disease associated with the dilution of bone in a limited area of ​​a bone), after hormonal injections, this disease may begin to progress.

    • Hormonal injections often result in menstrual cycle disorders in women, and long-term use of such injections is usually accompanied by a complete lack of it.

    • Among the negative aspects of the use of hormonal injections, one should also mention that they can not be abandoned in one day, therefore their effect on the body continues, as a rule, 2 to 3 months. Therefore, if a woman decides that she needs to become pregnant, she should think about this in advance.

    • In order to become pregnant after applying such injections, a woman needs to restore her normal menstrual cycles, which will also take some time.

    • Some women are of the opinion that any artificial chemical effect on the body violates its natural state. Therefore, they avoid using hormonal injections.

    • In addition, hormonal injections do not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections.