Birth Control

How Effective Are Oral Contraceptives?

January 31, 2018

Cosmetic Dentistry –most commonly called”the pill”–are a popular birth control method. Performed by mouth once a day, these pills are meant to inhibit fertility.

How Do Oral Contraceptives Function?

Most oral contraceptives are taken for 21 days and are followed by seven days of placebo pills, or simply a seven-day fracture from taking pills. During these seven days, puberty generally happens.

During those first 21 days, however, your system absorbs the combo of progesterone and estrogen from the tablets, which then prevents ovulation (the release of your eggs from the ovaries) from happening. The lining of your uterus can also be influenced, and the mucus in your cervix changes as well, in order to stop sperm from getting into the uterus.


The pill is thought of as greater than 99% effective. In cases where this oral contraceptive does fail, it is typically due to user error. Some women may overlook one or more active pills in a row. Others might forget to begin the next packet of active pills. In rarer cases, vomiting or diarrhea, or interaction with other medications, can decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

Is There More Than 1 Type of Oral Contraceptive?

Different manufacturers of oral contraception include various proportions of estrogen and progestin.  There are even progestin-only pills, which are sometimes called mini-pills.

Additionally, there are variations in other hormone levels. Ultimately, some pills are monophasic (delivering exactly the same dose of hormones each day) while some are multiphasic (doses vary daily ).

There are some birth control pills, for example as Yaz, that are promoted as being able to decrease the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD: heightened physical and psychological symptoms that occur before childbirth.

Others are said to be effective in treating acne. 

If you forget to take your pill, women who have unprotected sexual intercourse may also be prescribed the morning after pill, an emergency contraceptive.

Other Upsides 

In addition to those pills which are said to treat PDD or acne, the birth control pill can be occasionally prescribed to treat heavy or irregular menstruation or endometriosis.

Negative Effects 

As with most drugs, everyone’s body can react in a different way. Here is a partial list of those side effects that have been reported by those with birth control pills:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps or bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Acne
  • hair growth in unusual places
  • Bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
  • Changes in menstrual flow
  • Painful or missed periods
  • Breast tenderness, enlargement, or discharge
  • Loss of appetite
  • reduction of vitality
  • Depression
  • reduction of libido

Should you experience these or any other symptoms after starting to take birth control, seek the advice of your physician. You might need to try a different brand of oral contraception, using another mixture of hormone levels.

Like any new medical regimen, open communication is essential.