Oral contraceptives birth control pills are hormone-containing medications that are taken by mouth to prevent pregnancy. They prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and also by preventing sperm from penetrating through the cervix. By far the most commonly prescribed type of oral contraceptive in the United States contains synthetic versions of the natural female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This type of birth control pill is often called a combined oral contraceptive.
PIP: It is estimated that million women use oral contraceptives in the U. The 2 types of pills available are combination products containing both an estrogen and progestin, and single entity products with only progestin. Although more side effects are associated with estrogen, combination pills are the preferred prescription. Most often side effects are mild and disappear after continued use or switching to another type of pill. Some of the side effects are nausea; weight gain; chloasma; cervical extrophia and leukorrhea; hypermenorrhea; spotting and breakthrough bleeding; galactorrhea and pituitary tumors; choreiform movement disorder; endometrial cancer; and, hepatic effects. Fetal exposure to exogenous estrogens and progestins has been reported to result in increased risk for the heart and neural tube defects.
Choosing the right birth control pill can be a challenge. Learn the pros and cons of different types of birth control pills. If you're considering taking birth control pills, you're not alone. Birth control pills are some of the most popular contraceptives.
Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious side effects from oral contraceptives, including heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes. This risk is higher for women over 35 years of age and heavy smokers 15 or more cigarettes per day. If you take oral contraceptives, you should not smoke. Oral contraceptives birth-control pills are used to prevent pregnancy.