Contraceptive pills that are consumed every day by a woman via her mouth (orally) in order to prevent her from becoming pregnant are known as ‘Daily Oral Contraceptive Pills.’ These pills contain a small number of hormones that prevent ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary). Birth control pills can also alter the uterine line temporarily in order to prevent a fertilised egg from implanting itself. Different forms of birth control or contraception are available, such as pills, patches, barriers (including condoms), and so on.1 

How many types of oral contraceptive pills exist?

There are two types of birth control pills available. Hormones that prevent pregnancy are present in both types of pills.

  • The mini pill or progestin-only pills that contain only progestin.
  • Combined oral contraceptive pills that contain both estrogen and progestin.

There are other synthetic estrogen and progesterone variants that, in addition to birth control, can help with acne, hair loss, painful and heavy periods, and other difficulties. The COCP is the most widely used birth control pill, followed by the Mini Pill. However, if you are in the first six weeks of breastfeeding, are a smoker, have a history of blood clots and heart disease, and so on, the estrogen in the COCP may not be appropriate for you. Your doctor will most probably prescribe a mini-pill in such a situation.

How does the daily oral contraceptive pill work?

Oral contraceptive pills, as previously said, include hormones that are released into your body. Furthermore, these hormones prevent an egg from being released from the ovary (also known as ovulation). If you don’t ovulate, fertilisation (sperm combining with an egg) won’t take place, and you won’t be able to get pregnant. The pill’s hormones also thicken the mucus on the cervix, acting as a barrier, and preventing sperm from travelling to the egg. This is how the pill prevents the occurrence of pregnancy and helps in birth control.

How effective is the pill in preventing pregnancy?

The birth control pill is 99% effective if taken consistently every day at the same time. In order to prevent your body from ovulating, you must take the pill at the same time every day. This will greatly decrease your chances of becoming pregnant.

Are there any side effects of the pill?

While birth control pills are generally safe, there are some risks and side effects to be aware of. Hormones found in birth control pills have different effects on different people. Common side effects include decreased sex drive, nausea, headaches, spotting or bleeding between periods, breast soreness, abdominal cramping, and an increase in vaginal discharge. If you’re getting any of these side effects, they’ll most likely go away within a few months of taking the pill. If things do not work, you should see a doctor. They may suggest you to switch to a different birth control pill.

NOTE: The pill DOES NOT protect you against the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI)! Condoms are the greatest way to protect yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections. Condoms, in combination with the pill, will help you avoid both STIs and pregnancy.