How fast do birth control pills actually work? This is a very obvious and important question to ask if you are worried about a possible unwanted pregnancy to occur. It is a very traumatizing situation for someone who does not want an unwanted pregnancy. After all, it is about avoiding the pregnancy as soon as possible. Be it an unprotected sexual intercourse or some other accidental way, unwanted pregnancies can give you quite the nightmares. Female contraceptive pills have become one of the most popular methods of birth control. In fact, they paved the way to planned parenthood. But, how fast do they actually work? The answer to this question is not totally straight-forward as there are a lot of factors on which it depends.
Are All Birth Control Pills Similar?
Before answering this question, it is important to know that there are actually two types of birth control pills. The two types of birth control pills or oral contraceptives are:
1.Combination birth control pills.
2.Progestin-only or mini birth control pills. As the name suggests, combination pills contain a combination of two hormones, namely, estrogen and progestin. Whereas, Progestin-only contain only progestin and are often called the mini-pill.
How Do These Female Contraceptive Pill Work?
When it comes to combination birth control pills, they work mainly by suppressing ovulation. In simple words, they prevent the release of an egg and avoid fertilization. So, when no fertilization occurs, there cannot be a situation of pregnancy. The cervical mucus is also thickened by the combination birth control pills so that it is difficult for sperm to pass through. It also thins down the lining of the uterus. A thinner lining of the uterus makes the attachment of the fertilized egg to it very difficult thus, avoiding pregnancy.
On the other hand, Progestin-only or mini-pills suppresses ovulation in near about half the users. The main job of the progestin-only birth control pill is to thicken the cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to pass through and reach the egg. Apart from this, it thins the uterine lining as well like the combination pill. This makes it very difficult for the fertilized egg to embed.
Are These Birth Control Pills Safe?
Female contraceptive pill should be avoided by women who have had a history of the following conditions:
- An undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
- Chest pains
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Severe headaches
- Endometrial cancer
- Breast cancer
- Heart diseases or an uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Liver diseases or liver tumors
- Condition of an increased blood clotting
- Currently pregnant.
There are severe risks involved with women who are smokers, especially when using a combination pill. In fact, combination pill should absolutely not be used by women who are over 35 years of age who are smokers. There are serious side effects involved such as a heart attack, stroke and blood clots.
Common Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills These are the common side effects that come along with using birth control pills:
- A possible weight gain
- Changes in mood
- An upset stomach or nausea
- Spotting in between periods
- Tenderness of the breasts or breast swelling.
How fast do these Birth Control Pills Work?
When it comes to combination pills, it is all about when you start off your first pack. When taken on the first day of your period, they start working right away in preventing pregnancy. It is important to give the pill 7 days before it starts protecting against pregnancies, if taken at any time after your period. It is very important to use condoms during that time.
On the other hand, Progestin-only pills can be taken at any time during the menstrual cycle. However, it takes 48 hours for the progestin-only or mini-pill to take effect after you start it. So, during that time it is necessary to have back up method if sexual intercourse takes place. It is important to note that the mini-pill has a lower dose of hormones when compared to the combination pill. So, the effects fade away after 24 hours. This is the reason that you need to take them at the same time every day for them to work effectively in preventing pregnancy. In case you are late in taking it or miss it, a back-up contraception should be kept ready for those 48 hours again.
Effectiveness Rate Of The Birth Control Pill
When birth control pills are used correctly, their effectiveness rate is over 99%. However, a 9% failure rate is associated with them if not used correctly, according to an article by Healthline. This means that out of 100 women, 9 are likely to get pregnant in a year.
This is the reason why a birth control pills are needed to be used accurately. A regular schedule should be maintained and these birth control pills need to be taken on time. If you have trouble remembering to take them on time, there are apps available out there that can help you out.