Birth Control-Family Planning Methods.
Choosing the right birth control pills for women is very important. The following below are the different types of birth control pills and methods.
ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES (Birth control pills)
Most birth control pills contain 2 chemicals or hormones similar to those produced in a woman’s body to control her period. These hormones are called estrogen and progesterone.
The pills comes under many different brand names with different strengths and combinations of the 2 hormones.
Generally, brands that contain a relatively small amount of both hormones are safest and work best for women. Most women should start with pills from Group 1 or 2.
GROUP 1 : Fairly low amounts of estrogen and progesterone
- Brevicon 1 + 35
- Norinyl 1 + 35, 1 + 50
- Ortho-Novum 1/35, 1/50
- Noriday 1 + 50
- Ovysmen 1/35
Then the amount of hormone in these brands listed below changes during the month, so it is important to take the pill in order. They are :
To assure effectiveness and minimize spotting of blood, it is important to take the pill at the same time each day, especially with pills that have low amounts of hormones.
Women who are bothered by spotting during the second week after their period can often lessen the problem by taking 2 pills daily instead of 1 during the days when spotting takes place. To avoid confusion, take the extra pills from a separate package, making sure that they are of the same color.
If spotting continues after 3 or 4 months, you can change to one of the brands in Group 2. If there is still bleeding between periods after 3 more months, try a brand from Group 3.
As a rule, women who take birth control pills have less bleeding with their periods. This may be a benefit especially for women who are anemic. But if a woman misses her period for months or is disturbed by the small amount of blood with her period, she can change to a brand with more estrogen in Group 3.
For women who have very heavy menstrual bleeding or whose breasts become painful before their period begins, a brand low in estrogen but high in progesterone may be better. For example :
GROUP 2 : High in progesterone, low in estrogen
- Microgynon 30
Brands from Group 2 are not recommended for women who have pimples or a lot of hair on their arms or lip, for high progesterone may make these condition worse.
Women who continue to have missed periods or spotting after using a brand from Group 2 or who have become pregnant previously while using another type of pill can change to a pill that has a little more estrogen. For example :
GROUP 3 : A somewhat higher amount of estrogen. Most of these also have higher progesterone.
- Ovcon 50
The brands Ovulen and Demulen will often control spotting that continues even when taking pills from Group 3. But these are very strong in estrogen and for this reason, are rarely recommended. They are sometimes useful for women with severe acne.
Women who are disturbed by morning sickness or other side effects after 2 or 3 months of taking the pill, and women who have a higher risk for blood clots can use a brand of birth control pill that is very low in both estrogen and progesterone. For eexample :
GROUP 4 : Very low in both estrogen and progesterone
- Perle LD
- Loestrin 1/20
The disadvantages of brands in Group 4 are that they often cause mid-period spotting, and there is an increased chance of pregnancy if only one pill is forgotten.
Women who are breast feeding or who should not use regular pills because of headaches, mild high blood pressure or because they are over 40 years old, may want to use a pill with only progesterone. This is also called the Mini pill. For example :
GROUP 5 : Progesterone only- the mini pill
These pills should be taken at the same time every day, even during the period. Menstrual bleeding is often irregular. There is also an increased chance of pregnancy if a pill is forgotten.
The emergency contraception pills are taken immediately or within 72 hours after unprotected sex can prevent pregnancy in most cases. The failure rate is 2%.
This is according to the type of pill available.
- Group 1 or 2 pills (low estrogen) : Take 4 followed by 4 pills 12 hours later
- Group 3 pills (high estrogen) : Take 2 followed by 2 pills 12 hours later.
Half of the women taking the pills will feel some nausea. If vomiting occurs within 1 hour, the dose should be repeated together with promethazine to control the vomiting.
CONDOMS (Rubbers, Prophylactics, Sheaths)
This often comes in packages of 3. There are many different brands of condoms. Some are lubricated, some come in different colors and some have spermicide.
In addition to helping prevent pregnancy, condoms (especially those with spermicide) can also help to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Many people use condoms along with another form of birth control.
For this to be effective, the diaphragm must be used with a spermicide cream or jelly, which should be spread inside the diaphragm and on the rim before it is put into the vagina.
A common brand of this, is Neo Sampoon. This is a tablet containing spermicide that a woman puts deep in her vagina near her cervix. The suppository should be put in 15 minutes before having sex. Follow instructions on the package. It is a fairly effective method of birth control, especially if the couple also uses condom.
INTRAUTERINE DEVICE (IUD)
There are several different kinds of intrauterine devices. They are :
- Copper T
- Copper 7
- Lippes Loop
- Safety Coil
Another kind of intrauterine device is Progestasert, it must be replaced more often than others. Another kind of IUD, the Dalkon Shield causes more problems than others and should not be used.
Because infection and other problems can occur with IUDs, only women who live close to a health center should use them. IUDs can be used by women who have never had a child, but if infection occurs, it may be harder for a woman to get pregnant later on.
The best time to have an IUD, put in while the woman is having her period or just after.
The common brands of these are Depo-Provera, Net-En. Injectable contraceptives are being used in many countries but there are still arguments over their safety. Many people now believe they are safe, except for women who for medical reasons cannot use birth control pills.
Periods may be irregular and often become very light or stop after the first year. This is not serious, but worries some women. Older women may mistake this for the menopause. Stop getting more injections and become pregnant. Seek medical advice if very heavy bleeding occurs.
The common brand for this is Norplant. Implants are a very convenient and highly effective form of birth control. Because they contain only progesterone, they can be used by women who should not use regular pills because of headaches, mild high blood pressure or because they are over 40 years old.
Six small rubber tubes are put under the skin in a woman’s upper arm by a specially trained health worker. They prevent pregnancy for 5 years, but can be removed sooner if the woman wants to become pregnant. The tubes should be inserted 7 days after the woman starts her period.