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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » How does the pill work??

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Author Topic: How does the pill work??
Star2be17
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Okay, everyone here talks about birth control pills and apparently they prevent pregnancy...i know all that. what i don't understand is why do you still get your period when you are on them? and why are your periods sometimes LONGER than usual? i thought the reason you can get pregnant to begin with is cuz u have your period. i hear that the pill just regulates them...but how the heck does that help prevent pregnancy??? im sooooo confused!

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I could never, ever be seen dead in your shoes, because you always wear ugly shoes. --Thabo Mbeki


Posts: 266 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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i'm glad you asked. i love answering this question!

sperm and egg combine to make a zygote, which implants and causes pregnancy. yeah, you probably knew that. but the great thing about the pill is that it works by stopping your from releasing that egg.

so why do you get your period still? that's a little more complicated. the Pill (by that, i mean combopills) have estrogen and progesterone. in the right amounts, this hormone combo blocks off the sequence of hormone releases (it's like a chain reaction and involves about 6 different hormones) that trigger ovulation. at the same time, that combination of hormones keeps your uterine lining from forming too thickly, and keeps it from disintegrating.

when you hit the green pills in a pack (they're placebo, aka sugar pills), your level of hormone falls just enough so that your uterine lining sheds -- thus you get a period, without having released an egg.

so why bother with the period at all? well, your endometrial cells that line your uterus divide rapidly (that's how your uterine lining gets thick during your cycle). this makes it easy for them to have genetic mistakes, which make endometrial tissue prone to become cancerous. shedding those cells every month is our natural way off preventing cancer and infection, as it also flushes out whatever nasties that may get in there udring the course of a month.
if i am too full of jargon, please ask more questions.

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Living proof that it's hip to be square .


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Star2be17
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*angelic chorus*

it all comes clear to me now! thank you so much...i think i understand! just one question though...

if the pill makes your hormones go all (for lack of a better term) screwy...can you grow body hair in "unusual" places and stuff? cuz i've heard that might happen...

Thanx again

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So you call this your free country?
Tell me why it costs so much to live.--3 Doors Down

I could never, ever be seen dead in your shoes, because you always wear ugly shoes. --Thabo Mbeki


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alaska
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As the pill does not contain testosterone, but estrogen and progesterone, it doesn not cause hairgrowth. In fact in some women who have hormonal disorders which cause hirsutism (lots of hairgrowth), special kinds of birth control pills and another medication can lessen excessive male-type hairgrowth.

Hormonal birth control does have side effects though. Check out this info from Planned Parenthood.

quote:
Some side effects that usually clear up after two or three months of use include


  • bleeding between periods
  • weight gain or loss
  • breast tenderness
  • nausea­ rarely, vomiting
  • changes in mood

Nausea and vomiting often can be reduced or eliminated by taking the Pill with the evening meal or at bedtime. (Do not stop taking the Pill if you feel sick to your stomach.) Irregular spotting and bleeding happen more frequently with progestin-only pills than with combination pills.

Other possible side effects include


  • headache
  • change in sexual desire
  • depression

Serious problems do not occur very often. Pill users have a slightly greater chance of certain major disorders than nonusers. The most serious is the possibility of blood clots in the legs, lungs, heart, or brain.

Women on the Pill who undergo major surgery seem to have a greater chance of having blood clots. Blood clots in the legs occur with increased frequency for women and men who


  • have one or both legs immobilized
  • are confined to their beds

It is important to stop taking the Pill about four weeks before a scheduled major operation. Do not start again while recuperating or while a leg or arm is in a cast.

Rarely, women who take the Pill develop high blood pressure. Very rarely,liver tumors, gallstones, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) occur in women who take the Pill. More detailed information about the use and risks of the Pill is provided in an insert included with each pill pack.



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Caro
~spanking new Scarleteen Sexpert~

"Through repetition the magic will be forced to rise."
Alchemical Precept


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Star2be17
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Why would you want to take the pill if there are all these side effects??

I know i know...to prevent pregnancy. but why not use condoms and some spermicide instead? birth control pills don't prevent STDs anyway, and condoms do! what are the benefits of the pill??


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alaska
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From the article I linked to from above:

quote:
Some Benefits

Taking the Pill is simple, safe, and convenient.

Many women who take the Pill have more regular, lighter, and shorter periods.

The Pill does not interfere with having sex. Many women say the Pill has improved their sex lives. They say they are free to be more spontaneous and do not have to worry about becoming pregnant.

The Pill offers many health benefits, including some protection against


  • infection of the fallopian tubes (pelvic inflammatory disease), which often leads to infertility
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • noncancerous breast growths
  • ovarian cysts
  • cancer of the ovaries
  • cancer of the lining of the uterus
  • troublesome menstrual cramps
  • iron deficiency anemia that results from
  • heavy menses
  • acne
  • premenstrual symptoms, as well as related headaches and depression(CT, p.411)
  • excess body hair (CT, p.411)

In fact, protection against developing cancer of the ovary or the lining of the uterus (endometrium) can last up to 15 years after stopping the Pill. Protection against endometrial cancer increases with each year of use­ women who use the Pill for eight years reduce their risk of getting endometrial cancer by up to 80 percent.

The Pill may offer some protection against osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.


I personally take the bc pill for medical reasons and am happy to use it as a back up method of birth control with condoms.
Spermicide really isn't a good choice with condoms, simply because many people are allergic to it, and because that puts you at a higher risk of STD transmission if a condom indeed ever fails.
For me personally, the benefits of the pill by far outweigh the side effects.

If I didn't have to be on hormonal birth control, I personally would probably still be on the pill or either practise fertility awareness, use condoms and abstain completely on my most fertile days or use a diaphragm with condoms. Diaphragms are a great non-hormonal method of birth control.

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Caro
~spanking new Scarleteen Sexpert~

"Through repetition the magic will be forced to rise."
Alchemical Precept


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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