Oral Contraceptives

Oral Contraceptives

Advantages
  • no added activity required at the time of intercourse
  • reliable
  • relatively low cost through UHS
Disadvantages
  • no protection from sexually transmitted diseases
  • nausea, breast tenderness, and weight gain are common in the first 3 months
  • other significant side-effects
Non-contraceptive benefits
  • relief of menstrual cramps
  • decreased flow
  • cycle regularity
  • decreased incidence of Mittelschmertz (middle of the month spotting and/or pain)
  • decreased incidence of functional ovarian cysts, ectopic preganancy (implantation of a fertilized egg outside the uterus), ovarian and endometrial cancer, iron-deficency anemia, and benign breast disease
Contraindication
  • pregnancy
  • previous history of thrombophlebitis or thrombolytic disease, acute or chronic liver disease, estrogen-dependent carcinomas, undiagnosed uterine bleeding, heavy smoking, gall bladder disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol

Women with the following contraindication may initiate the pill, but will be seen at more frequency intervals by their physician:

  • Migraines
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Oligomenorrhea (frequent menstruation)
  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)

Contact your health care provider if you experience:

  • Depression
  • A breast lump
  • Jaundice (yellow skin color)
  • ACHES
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Chest Pain (severe)/Cough
    • Headache (severe); dizziness, weakness, or numbness
    • Eye problems (loss of or blurred vision) or severe speech problems
    • Severe leg pain (calf/thigh)
Combined Pill

A combined action of progesterone and estrogen, it inhibits the release of the egg and maintains cervical mucus, which inhibits sperm passage. It is taken at the same time daily for 21 days of the cycle, typically beginning on a Sunday on/or after the 1st day of the menstrual cycle. Menses will occur 1-4 days after the last pill is taken. Placebo pills may be taken for those seven days (28 day pack), or you can restart the pills 7 days later (21 day pack).

Effectiveness
  • one of the most effective reversible forms of birth control
  • a back-up method is suggested
  • most effective taken at the SAME TIME every day
  • certain drugs like Dilantin and other antibiotics reduce its effectiveness, requiring a back-up method.
Side Effects
  • breakthrough bleeding or thrombus (blood clot) formation
  • nausea/vomiting
  • weight gain
  • breast tenderness
  • low dose pills (< 35mcg) help reduce side effects
Mini Pill

This pill contains progesterone only and is used for contraindications to estrogen such as past history of thrombophlebitis or clot formation.

Side Effects
  • may cause amenorrhea (absence of period)
  • irregular spotting and bleeding patterns

Birth Control Pills Information An excellent link to more information.