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Working of Birth Control Pills

Contraception is a much-needed way to keep the population number under control. Various contraceptive methods are available and used by people. Birth control pills are used by women to prevent pregnancies, let's learn how these pills work and the science behind them.

What does the birth control pill contain?

birth control pills

Birth control pills contain a variety of mixtures of hormones, like estrogen and progestin. These combinations of hormones are called combination pills and work as a great method of contraception. Birth control pills are taken every day by women in order to obtain achievable results. Some birth control pills only contain progestins and work in a slightly different manner than combination pills.

How do birth control pills work?

Women undergo cyclic changes every month, these hormone level changes cause events like ovulation and menstruation. Ovulation refers to the release of a healthy ovum from the ovary. This happens due to hormones like follicles stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones are released from the pituitary gland present in the brain. After ovulation, hormones like estrogen and progesterone increase in levels and are produced by the ovary. These hormones are important for the thickening of the inner lining of the uterus and the successful implantation of the zygote.

Birth control pills work as they do not let ovulation occur. No ovulation results in the conceiving of a zygote or embryo. High levels of estrogen and progestin mimic the conditions of the phase after the ovulation. Levels of FSH and LH drop due to ingestion of the pills, thus leading to no ovulation. No egg availability ensures no fertilization.

Progestin thickens the mucus within the cervical canal, hence hindering the path of sperms toward oviducts. These pills also thin out the lining of the uterus, making an inhospitable environment for the survival of the zygote or the embryo.

Dose of birth control

contraceptive pills

Birth control pills are taken every week of the month. Usually, the three weeks of dose have hormones within them. These are hormonal pills acting on the suppression of ovulation. The last week's pills do not have any hormones in them and are called placebo pills. The absence of external hormones makes the body undergo a withdrawal stage. In this stage, estrogen levels drop dramatically and menstruation occurs. This is also called a false period since no ovulation has occurred.

Birth control pills hinder the process of ovulation to ensure no fertilization between sperm and ovum. These birth control pills are highly effective in results and have been found usable in treating various conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS). These pills however have been found to have several side effects on women, however, for many the advantages have outweighed the disadvantages.


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