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Are Birth Control Pills Safe?

Are Birth Control Pills Safe?

Birth control pills are a popular choice among women who need a reliable method of preventing unintended pregnancies. The pill can also offer health benefits for those who experience abnormally heavy bleeding and other gynecological issues.

At Alpha OB GYN, Sowmya Reddy, MD, FACOG, offers several types of contraceptive options, including birth control pills. Dr. Reddy ensures the pill is both an effective and safe option for you based on your existing health and your plans for family.

How birth control pills work

Birth control pills contain hormones that stop the release of eggs from your fallopian tubes (ovulation) to prevent fertilization of eggs by sperm.

There are two kinds of birth control pills:

Combination pills

Combination birth control pills contain both estrogen and progestin hormones. In addition to preventing the release of eggs, these pills also cause the mucus in your cervix to thicken, which further blocks sperm from reaching eggs for fertilization.

Progestin-only pills

Progestin-only pills contain only progestin. These pills work similarly to the combination pill, thickening cervical mucus and preventing the release of eggs for fertilization.

You must take birth control pills consistently for them to prevent pregnancy. Missing one or more doses can increase the likelihood you’ll become pregnant.

Birth control pills also won’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). You should still continue to use condoms to prevent catching or spreading STDs if you have a new sexual partner or have sex with multiple partners.

The safety of birth control pills

Birth control pills have been available for pregnancy protection for over 50 years and many women are able to use the pills without issues. However, some existing health issues may prevent you from using the pill as a method of birth control.

Dr. Reddy evaluates your overall health before prescribing birth control pills. She may consider a different method of birth control if you have a history of:

Some women also have an intolerance to hormones and aren’t able to take pills that contain estrogen or progestin. 

You may also need to consider other birth control options if you’re over 35 and have a history of smoking because of the increased risk for blood clots and other complications.

Other birth control options to consider

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to birth control. That’s why Alpha OB GYN offers several options for birth control to meet your unique needs and health concerns.

If you’re not a candidate for birth control pills because of your age or medical history, Dr. Reddy can suggest other forms of birth control that contain no hormones, such as condoms or nonhormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs) that use copper instead of hormones. Copper is toxic to both sperm and eggs and also triggers an inflammatory response in your uterus that prevents unintended pregnancies.

To find the right birth control option for you, schedule a contraceptive consultation online or call the Alpha OB GYN office nearest to you for an appointment today.

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