This is a pill to kill the chances of conception. This is the pill that gives you, the Memsaab, all the control. You decide whether or not you want to conceive.
Women’s knowledge about pregnancy and contraception has increased manifold in the last couple of decades. The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill first became popular in the sixties. The pill has given control in the hands of women and along with control, women now have an option to choose whether or not to conceive. But even now there are many myths and misconceptions about conception and the pill that we need to dispel. But first we need to understand the basic working of the pill.
How The Pill Works: Estrogen and Progesterone found in the combined pill work on three levels to provide contraception. First, the release of ovum from the ovary is stopped so that there is no chance of fertilization. The next level is to make the mucous released by the cervix thicker so that the sperms cannot pass through. This again eliminates the chances of fertilization. The pill also has a backup plan. The third level of contraception that the pill provides is thinning of the lining of the uterus. Even if fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg cannot implant on a uterus with thin lining.
How Effective Is The Pill? The pill is the most effective method of contraception apart from sterilization and abstinence. If taken exactly in the prescribed way, the contraception provided is almost 100% i.e. If 100 women take the pill religiously for one year, none of them is likely to conceive. Whereas if these 100 women relied on condoms for contraception, 5 of them could get pregnant during the year. If no method of contraception is used, around 20% of these women could fall pregnant during the year.
How Is The Pill Taken: The first ever pill is taken on the first day of the period. The pill usually comes in packs of 21. So you take one pill every day at the same time, for three weeks (21 days). After that one week goes without any pills and you can expect your period in this one-week. After one week you start the next pack of 21 tablets. You must remember to take your pill everyday, at the same time.
It is recommended that you do not start or stop taking the pill abruptly. Expert medical counsel must be taken before embarking on the pill programme. There are both advantages and disadvantages of taking the pill. Watch out for the next article in the series. These are things that every Memsaab must know.