Birth Control Pills and Your Period
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Birth control is effective at preventing pregnancy, but it has other uses as well. Find out how birth control pills help treat a difficult period.
Transcript: Since the 1960s, birth control pills have been helping women have sex without worrying about pregnancy....
Since the 1960s, birth control pills have been helping women have sex without worrying about pregnancy. They have the EXTRA advantage, too. They help a woman regulate her period. Most women take combination pills, meaning they contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. Typically, a woman will have a 28 pill pack. She'll take one pill containing hormones each day for 21 days, and then she'll take pills WITHOUT hormones each day for 7 days. During these 7 days she'll have her period. A woman's natural cycle can range from 21 to 35 days long. Birth control pills can regulate it so that a woman can expect her period on the same day each month - no surprises. Some combination pills suppress a woman's period COMPLETELY, or for all but 4 weeks per year. The pack contains inactive pills for only a few weeks per YEAR as opposed to one week per MONTH. If a woman needs to skip just ONE period, she can throw out the inactive pills and take the next month's hormone pills through the 7 days. This is generally considered safe by physicians. As many as ONE THIRD of women who take the combination birth control pill take it not to avoid PREGNANCY, but to TREAT other conditions, such as dysmenorrhea-severe cramps - and menorrhagia, heavy menstrual bleeding. Birth control pills will relieve the pain and LIGHTEN periods because they stop ovulation. Without OVULATION, there are lower levels of some PROSTAGLANDIN hormones that trigger cramps and blood shedding. Combination pills can also treat two other menstrual disorders - POLYCYSTIC ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, and ENDOMETRIOSIS. The pill reduces the amount of male hormones, which are in excess in a woman with PCOS. Women with endometriosis take combination pills to prevent the overgrowth of the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus. Birth control pills do come with drawbacks. They may very slightly increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. The pill also raises the risk of STROKE and BLOOD CLOTS, especially in smokers and women over 40. Many women - such as those with HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE - are NOT good candidates for the pill. Ask your doctor before taking ANY hormonal contraception. Check out other videos in this series to learn more about menstruation and menstrual disorders.More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-27 | Tags »
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If you're a woman who can't take estrogen but is looking for the right oral contraceptive, taking the mini pill may just be for you. Check out this video for more information.
Transcript: There are more than 40 types of the birth control Pill available in the United States! How do you pick...
There are more than 40 types of the birth control Pill available in the United States! How do you pick one? Although all oral contraceptives help prevent pregnancy, every form is a bit different. One brand, the progestin-only Pill, is often referred to as the "mini pill." The mini pill is between 90 and 98 percent effective, slightly less than other forms of oral contraceptives. The mini pill gets its name because, unlike other forms of oral contraceptives, it does not contain estrogen. The mini pill works by thickening a woman's cervical mucus, making it very hard for sperm to enter her uterus. This is convenient for women who cannot take estrogen, or who react poorly to strong doses of hormones. But because the mini pill has fewer hormones, it must be taken at the exact same time each day, which can be hard to remember for some. Another disadvantage of the mini pill is that some women experience breakthrough bleeding between periods. If you're not sure about the mini pill, check out our other videos to learn about additional forms of oral contraception!More »
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Are you looking for the best contraceptive? Picking the Monophasic Pill may be the right decision. Watch this video to learn more about oral contraceptives and their benefits.
Transcript: Oral contraceptives are the most popular method of non-permanent birth control in the United States....
Oral contraceptives are the most popular method of non-permanent birth control in the United States. No wonder there are so many to choose from! Orthro Cept and Alesse are examples of a form of oral contraceptives called the "monophasic" pill. This birth control is over 99 percent effective when used correctly. A woman on a monophasic pill takes 28 pills during each cycle. Twenty-one of these are "active" and contain an equal amount of two synthetic hormones, estrogen and progestin. The remaining seven tablets in a packet are placebos. During the time a woman takes these, she does not receive hormones and usually gets her period as a result. One newer form of monophasic pill, called Seasonale, allows a woman to go three months without her period. It does so by containing 84 active pills, followed by one week of placebos. The steady dosage of estrogen and progestin in all monophasic pills may produce fewer side effects, like breakthrough bleeding, than other Pills. For some women, the high dose of hormones can prove too much. If you're not sold on monophasic tablets, check out our other videos on picking your Pill!More »
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Do you want to try a contraceptive that gives you 100% results? Multiphasic Pill is the way to go. It is a common birth control pill. Watch this video to learn more about it.
Transcript: The birth control Pill was invented in 1960, and has exploded in popularity since then. Today, you can...
The birth control Pill was invented in 1960, and has exploded in popularity since then. Today, you can choose from 40 kinds of oral contraceptives! The most common type of birth control pill is the muliphasic form, which contains different levels of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progestin each week. Multiphasic pills are over 99 percent effective when used correctly. Some multiphasic pills, like Mircette, change hormones once during a woman's cycle. Other multiphasics, like Orthro Tri-Cyclen, alter hormone levels once a week. These are also known as triphasic Pills. Both forms of multiphasic pills contain 21 active tablets and seven placebos. While taking placebos, a woman will usually have her period. Multiphasic pills are a good choice for women who are sensitive to the steady doses of hormones delivered by other forms of oral contraception. But multiphasic pills won't work for women who can't take estrogen, or for those who are bothered by light breakthrough bleeding. If you're not sure about multiphasics, check out our other videos on picking the ideal birth control Pill for you!More »
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Can the hormone content on the pill affect your sex drive? Find out more about the pill and libido by watching this video.
Transcript: Recent published research notes that 40 percent of women experience reduced sex drive while taking the...
Recent published research notes that 40 percent of women experience reduced sex drive while taking the birth control Pill. Why? A key component in female sexual desire is testosterone, a hormone many think of as being male. But women have it too, and every month when ovulation occurs, their ovaries actually make excess testosterone. Biologically, thats because women are fertile when theyre ovulating, and the body secretes testosterone to encourage reproductive behavior! But, women taking hormonal contraceptives dont have active ovaries, so the testosterone normally made there - 50 percent of the bodys production - isnt secreted. A. A womans B. adrenal glands make the other half of her testosterone, and they, too, are affected by the Pill. Why? The Pill doesnt just reduce testosterone production - it also encourages the liver to make a protein called SHGB, which hiders its effect. Thats because, when someone pops the Pill, the liver erroneously assumes the body has produced too much estrogen and fights back with the SHGB. But what about women who dont experience decreased libido on the Pill? Well check out their story in our next video.More »
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If you're on the pill, you may have notice a decrease in your sex drive. So, what's the deal? Check out this video for more information on the pill and libido.
Transcript: According to recent research, hormonal contraceptives reduce sex drive in almost half of women - but...
According to recent research, hormonal contraceptives reduce sex drive in almost half of women - but what about the rest of them? If youve been popping the Pill since puberty and have not noticed any changes in your sex drive, you may wonder why. After all, it is proven that hormonal contraceptives lower levels of testosterone, the passion hormone, in all women. Yet it only lowers libido in some! There is no definitive answer as to why some women feel passionate while taking the Pill and some dont, but a popular theory is that non-hormonal factors come into play. For example, some women love not having to worry about unwanted pregnancy, which could kick-start their sex drive. Others are so passionate about their partner emotionally, that they may not need the physical presence of lots of testosterone. Whatever the reason for hormonal contraceptives unwanted side effect, if youre not experiencing it, dont mess with a good thing!More »
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Millions of women use the pill to prevent pregnancy. Watch this video to learn more about the pill at work.
Transcript: Eighteen million women worldwide pop a Pill once a day to avoid pregnancy! How do they work? Oral contraceptives...
Eighteen million women worldwide pop a Pill once a day to avoid pregnancy! How do they work? Oral contraceptives generally all work in the same manner: They prevent a woman from ovulating, or releasing an egg, each month. The Pill is over 99 percent effective if used correctly! At the beginning of a woman's menstrual cycle, levels of the hormone estrogen rise for about 14 days, which is when they peak. At this point, the body's ovaries react to the high estrogen level by releasing an egg to be fertilized. After ovulation has occurred, another hormone, called progestin, begins to increase, preparing the uterus to allow a fertilized egg to implant. Oral contraceptives contain synthetic versions of both the hormones progestin and estrogen. They prevent ovulation from occurring by keeping hormone levels from fluctuating. That means that excess estrogen isn't made to release an egg and excess progestin doesn't cause the uterus to prep for a fertilized egg to implant.More »
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Safe sex doesn't have to be boring. Lots of fun can be had while being smart sex. Learn more about making safe sex sexy by watching this video.
Transcript: Believe it! You can spice up your love life up while still being smart about sex. Safe sex means not...
Believe it! You can spice up your love life up while still being smart about sex. Safe sex means not getting anyone else's semen, vaginal fluids, blood, or breast milk in your body. The only way to ensure that doesnt happen is to use a latex condom, dental dam, or latex gloves to protect yourself against transmission. But sex is about playeven responsible sexso make introducing safe sex practices part of your bedroom game! Use a water-based lube, like Astroglide, to make things go super-smoothly! Try buying some glow-in-the-dark condoms, and don't tell your partner what they do until the lights go out! Or take turns putting on the condom. Unroll it gently at the same time as one of you massages the penis. This ensures being safe feels good! Safe sex comes with some hot benefits! Condoms can help to maintain an erection and can fend off premature ejaculation. Its clear that safe sex is the hottest thing going on in todays bedrooms!More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-27 | Tags »
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If you forget to use a condom, then the morning after pill can help. These pills contain hormones that help prevent pregnancy. To know more, watch our video.
Transcript: Forget to use a condom last night? The morning-after-pill offers protection against pregnancy today....
Forget to use a condom last night? The morning-after-pill offers protection against pregnancy today. Emergency contraception, or EC, is a pill that contains hormones which can help stop a pregnancy from occurring. Many people believe that EC causes an early abortion, but that's not the case. Actually, the medication prevents or delays the ovaries from releasing an egg, or stops a previously released egg from being fertilized. These are the same ways in which other hormonal birth controls prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraception is most effective when taken within 72 hours from the time of intercourse. However, about half the women who take it experience nausea and vomiting due to EC's high concentration of hormones. If you're looking for EC, one form-called Plan-B- is available over-the-counter for women over 18. Other brands require a doctor's prescription. Know that, at best, EC drugs are only 89 percent effective...so ensure that it truly is a "Plan B" for you!More »
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Tired of taking the pill? Behavioral birth control may be just the thing for you. Learn about the pros and cons of this method by watching this video.
Transcript: Behavioral methods of birth control rely on couples adjusting their sexual practices to reduce the chances...
Behavioral methods of birth control rely on couples adjusting their sexual practices to reduce the chances of an unplanned pregnancy. These methods are advantageous in that they are free and require no prescription. Withdrawal is a method of birth control whereby a man pulls his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. This can prevent pregnancy by keeping a sperm from meeting the egg. Unfortunately, 30 percent of people who rely on the withdrawal method conceive anyway. This is because even pre-ejaculate can cause a pregnancy. It also takes a LOT of self-control for a man to pull out at the height of pleasure, particularly if he is prone to premature ejaculation. Some couples rely on behavioral "fertility awareness methods," or FAMs. These depend on a woman tuning in to her body's ovulation cycles and refraining from sex on days when she is likely to release an egg. Before a couple can use FAMs, they must understand that a man's sperm can live in a woman's body for five or six days. A woman's egg, meanwhile, survives for one day after release. There are several ways to determine if a woman is ovulating, one of which is called the temperature method. A woman's body temperature rises minutely-between 0.4 to 0.8 degrees-on the day she ovulates, and remains elevated until her period. A couple is less likely to conceive between three days after the temperature rise to the day it falls again. A woman's body temperature rises minutely-between 0.4 to 0.8 degrees-on the day she ovulates, and remains elevated until her period. A couple is less likely to conceive between three days after the temperature rise to the day it falls again. Other couples use the calendar method, where the woman charts her menstrual cycles and abstains from sex on the days she's likely to be fertile...usually the five days prior to, day of, and day after, ovulation. Other FAMs include the standard days method, whereby a woman uses a special string of beads to chart ovulation, and the mucous method, where she monitors vaginal discharge to determine when conception is likely. While each of these FAMs can work, they are only about eighty percent effective, assuming the methods are followed strictly. Human error and other common factors can contribute to the failure rate. This is because ovulation can be altered by even slight stressors, like illness or diet alterations. In addition, most women don't ovulate at the same time every month, and charting fertility patterns consistently requires much dedication! Because behavioral methods other than abstinence have such a high margin of error, they are NOT recommended as primary means of birth control. In addition, none of the behavioral birth control methods (with the exception of abstinence), offer ANY protection against another common result of intercourse: sexually transmitted diseases. Intercourse can easily result in conception, so couples who don't wish to have a child should use birth control when being intimate. Talk to your doctor about the method that's best for YOU.More »
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Many people who have sex choose to use over the counter birth control. Learn more about non prescription birth control in this video.
Transcript: Millions of people who choose to engage in sex use over-the-counter, or OTC, methods of birth control,...
Millions of people who choose to engage in sex use over-the-counter, or OTC, methods of birth control, including male and female condoms, the sponge, and spermicides. Over-the-counter methods are appealing because they are available without a prescription, are inexpensive, and don't alter a woman's hormones. The most commonly used method of birth control is the male condom. A condom is a latex or plastic sheath that is worn on the penis to collect semen. If used perfectly EVERY TIME, condoms are 98 percent effective against pregnancy, but with typical use, they are about 85 percent effective. In addition, condoms are most effective when used with a separately applied vaginal spermicide. To put on a condom, unroll it over an erect penis to the base, leaving about a half- inch of space in the tip for semen. The female condom is another OTC method, effective 95 percent of the time when used perfectly, or 80 percent effective with typical use. It offers some protection against STDs and is a good alternative for people who are allergic to latex. The female condom is a plastic pouch with rings at both ends. It is inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix and prevent sperm from entering the uterus. To use it, insert the closed ring into the vagina like a tampon. Let the outer ring hang an inch outside the vagina. While using a lubricant can make both the male and female condom more comfortable, NEVER use an oil-based brand with latex, as this can cause breakage. Condoms are more effective when combined with another method of birth control, like spermicides. Although spermicides can be used alone, they only reduce pregnancy by 85 percent, and are ineffective at protecting against STDs. Spermicides, which are available in cream, foam, jelly, and suppository form, block the entrance to the uterus and immobilize sperm. Although each preparation is a bit different, a spermicide should generally be inserted into the vagina about ten minutes before intercourse. Spermicide should be reapplied before each additional sexual encounter. Another birth control method that utilizes spermicide is the soft, plastic female sponge. The sponge covers the cervix to block sperm, and generally reduces pregnancy risk by 70 to 90 percent depending on a woman's conception history and accuracy of use. The sponge continuously releases a spermicide. The sponge can be inserted up to 24 hours before intercourse and must remain in place for at least six hours afterward. Before inserting the sponge, activate the spermicide by moistening it with water and squeezing gently. Then, fold the sponge upward from the loop at the bottom and slide it deeply into the vagina. While each of these OTC methods offers protection against pregnancy, none of them are 100 percent effective, and only condoms offer any protection against STDs. Sex is fun, but it does come with risks. Remember to talk to your doctor AND your partner about the birth control method that is right for you, and to use it correctly every time!More »
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Permanent birth control is more common than you'd think. Click here to watch this video and find out more about these birth control methods.
Transcript: Non-reversible birth control, or sterilization, is the most popular method of preventing conception in...
Non-reversible birth control, or sterilization, is the most popular method of preventing conception in the United States, perhaps because it does NOT affect a couple's sex life. The female procedure is called tubal sterilization and the male operation is called a vasectomy. No matter which procedure a couple chooses, they must know that their decision is PERMANENT and does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Vasectomy is more common than tubal sterilization and the procedure is nearly 100 percent effective. A man's reproductive cells, called sperm, are made in the testes. They then pass through two tubes, called the vas deferens, and mix with other fluids to form semen, which exits the penis during ejaculation. A vasectomy works by blocking both vas deferens tubes, therefore preventing sperm from entering the semen. Usually, a vasectomy takes place in a doctor's office under local anesthesia. An incision is made on each side of the scrotum. Then, a doctor will either tie the vas deferens, block them with clips, or cauterize them with heat, cold, or electrical currents. Also available is a "no-incision" procedure, which involves making a small puncture in the scrotum to reach the tubes. The cost for a vasectomy varies from 400 to 1,000 U.S. dollars. After a vasectomy, sperm remain in the body for about three months. Until a semen analysis shows an absence of sperm, a couple MUST use additional birth control as conception is still possible during this time of sperm clearing. A tubal sterilization is equally as effective, but is more invasive and costs more than a vasectomy...In the United States, up to $6,000. Therefore, it's generally advised that a mutually monogamous couple undergo a vasectomy over a tubal ligation. During tubal sterilization, a woman's fallopian tubes are closed. Because these tubes are where egg meets sperm, this makes pregnancy impossible. All tubal sterilizations involve an incision and are performed in an outpatient hospital setting under general anesthesia. Interestingly, as a non-contraceptive side benefit, a tubal ligation has been associated with a reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer. Most commonly, a minimally invasive procedure involving a laparoscope is used for the tubal sterilization process. However, a mini-laparatomy can also be performed when necessary. Additionally, sterilization can be completed during a cesarean-section if so desired. While each procedure is a bit different, they all involve a surgeon making an incision in the abdomen. The tubes are either tied shut, fastened with clips, or cauterized. A method which does not involve an incision is called the Essure permanent birth control procedure. During this procedure, the cervix is numbed and a camera that provides a view of the uterus called a hysperscope, is inserted into the vagina. Two soft metallic coils are then placed at the opening of the fallopian tubes. The coils cause scar tissue to grow and block the tubes. This method must be followed by a radiologic test called an HSG, or hysterosalpingogram, to demonstrate that the tubes are definitively blocked and another form of birth control is no longer necessary. Permanent sterilization is just that-permanent. If you are considering this option, it's vital to weigh the pros and cons with your partner before undergoing these life-changing procedures!More »
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A diaphragm is an internal birth control device. It has proved to be a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy. Learn more about diaphragms in this video.
Transcript: A woman can often avoid an unwanted pregnancy by inserting one of several prescription forms of birth...
A woman can often avoid an unwanted pregnancy by inserting one of several prescription forms of birth control, such as the diaphragm, the ring, or the implant. Women who use internal birth control appreciate that it is not felt by either partner, nor does insertion interfere with sex play. On the other hand these forms all require a doctors prescription to obtain and are initially more expensive than over-the-counter methods. The most common of these, the diaphragm, is a dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim made of latex or silicone. This barrier method is used with a spermicide cream or jelly. The diaphragm is inserted into the vagina and fits securely over the cervix. This blocks entry to the uterus, while the spermicide immobilizes wayward sperm. The diaphragm should be inspected under a light before insertion to be sure that no punctures have developed. Two hours or less before intercourse, squirt spermicide in the cup and spread the extra around the rim. Find a comfortable position and separate the vaginal labia. Fold the cup in half, then push the device back in the vagina. The front rim should be wedged behind the pubic bone and the cup should be covering the cervix entirely. Leave a diaphragm in place for six hours after intercourse. If properly cared for, a diaphragm can often be used for about two years. But because changes, such as weight gain, can alter the fit of the diaphragm, bring your device with you to every ob-gyn appointment. Both the contraceptive vaginal ring, called the NUVA-ring, and the progestin implant, called Implanon, are hormonal methods which protect against pregnancy by suppressing ovulation. For this reason, they are more than 99 percent effective with perfect use, compared to the diaphragms 94 percent. The implant, or Implanon, is a plastic device which is the size of a match. Once inserted, it begins releasing the hormone etonogestrel, a progestin, immediately. A doctor inserts Implanon into the arm after numbing the area with local anesthesia. It can be left in place and be effective for up to three years, or can be removed earlier if pregnancy is so desired. Women who use the implant may experience irregular bleeding, but some wind up not menstruating at all. The vaginal ring, on the other hand, contains estrogen and progesterone and encourages a normal 4-week cycle. NuvaRing is a small, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina once a month. Its then left in place for three weeks, and taken out for one, during which time menstruation occurs. Insert the ring by pressing the sides together and sliding it gently into the vagina. Unlike with the diaphragm, exact placement is not crucial, since the ring releases hormones through the vaginal mucous. Because both the ring and the implant alter a womans hormones, some side effects, like irregular bleeding, weight gain, or breast tenderness may result. All of these methods are effective, but require more of a commitment than over-the-counter birth controland NONE of them protect against sexually transmitted diseases. If youre considering internal methods of birth control, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of each before making a decision!More »
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