Which are combination birth control pills (oral contraceptives) and what are the differences between the myriad of distinct prescription products? What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the different options?
Performance of Combination Birth Control Pills
Combination birth control pills are oral contraceptives which unite artificial estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin, like the natural sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) produced in a woman’s body.
Combination birth control pills may also be known as”combo pills” or just,”the pill.”
Unlike estrogen (the artificial preparation ethinyl estradiol) that is found in various brands of combination tablets, there are a number of distinct kinds of progestin which may be utilized (discussed below.)
Obtaining Combination Birth Control Pills
All combination birth control pills are available only by prescription. This means that you can’t buy at least one of these pills over the counter.
Your physician may or may not require a pelvic exam and Pap smear to be able to prescribe the birth control pill. Some physicians will prescribe combination pills on the grounds of careful medical history and blood pressure measurement (as the pill can increase blood pressure.) Even if your doctor does not demand a Pap smear when prescribing the pill, it is important to have Pap smears every three years between the ages of 21 and melancholy, and more frequently if you have had an abnormal Pap smear or positive HPV test.
Before you see your doctor, check out these ideas about how best to speak with your doctor about birth control and the questions you should ask.
Kinds of Combination Birth Control Pills
Combination birth control pills have been categorized as monophasic, biphasic, or triphasic based on whether the degree of hormones stays the same during the initial 3 weeks of the menstrual cycle or if it changes.
- Monophasic pills have exactly the identical amount of estrogen and progestin in each one of the active pills in the package.
- Biphasic pills alter the level of estrogen and progestin one time during the busy pills, together with the level of progestin increasing from the second half of the cycle.
- Triphasic pills alter the degree of hormones three times during the cycle, and the estrogen and progestin level can change.
Combination Birth Control Bundle Size
Combination birth control pills normally come in a one-month supply. Combination pills are often available in either 28-day or 21-day packs.
Both versions include 21 active pills. These are the pills that include the hormones that prevent a woman from getting pregnant.
In a 28-day pack, the last seven tablets are known as reminder pills. They do not contain any hormones. These tablets are taken during the fourth week, and their purpose is to assist the woman maintain her regular of taking a pill daily. Therefore, a woman is going to take a pill each day during the 4-week cycle.
In a 21-day package, the pills have been taken for the initial three weeks, and a girl takes nothing during the fourth week. She’ll begin a new pack of tablets eight days following the previous pack is completed. An example of a tablet brand that comes in a 21-Day package is Loestrin. These pill packs may be tricky because girls will need to remember to begin their new pill pack without any reminder pills.
There are just two combination birth control pill brands which have 24 busy days and only four placebo pills. These include:
- Yaz 28 (and Beyaz): The dose regimen of Yaz is exceptional in that it contains 24 times of hormone pills, followed by 4 reminder-day pills. This alternative might offer individuals fewer hormone fluctuations than the traditional 21 days of active pills per 28-day cycle. (See the warning, however, about Yasmin and Yaz 28 below.)
- Loestrin 24 Fe: Approved by the FDA in 2006, this pill manufacturer was the very first 24-day oral contraceptive approved in the US.
Extended Cycle Pills
Extended cycle combination pills (also known as constant cycle pills) have significantly more pills in each package. These pills can let you completely skip your period or reduce the frequency of your period. Studies indicate that extended cycle pills are safe. They also can be convenient and also improve the standard of life for many women who suffer with menstrual-related problems. Popular brands include:
- Seasonale is a continuous dosage pill that includes ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel. It could be taken continuously for 91 days and has been FDA approved for regular contraception in 2003. This regimen permits women to have fewer menstrual periods each year. This pill package has 84 active pills and 7 placebo tablets.
- Seasonique is another constant dose mix birth control pill which has been accepted by the FDA in 2006. Seasonique is similar to Seasonale in that ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel is taken continuously for 84 days. With Seasonique, however, the last 7 days of this 3-month cycle contain low-dose ethinyl estradiol rather than placebo pills.
- LoSeasonique also can be obtained. This formulation has less estrogen and progestin compared to Seasonique.
- Lybrel is a low-dose constant birth control pill. It is taken all 365 days of the year. In May 2007, it had been the first pill FDA approved for use to completely stop a woman’s monthly period. A lot of women who utilize Lybrel enjoy not needing their phases but discuss varying adventures with this pill manufacturer.
Girls can assess their pill package insert to learn precisely which hormones are found and at what doses throughout the cycle.
When using combination birth control pills, girls generally will have withdrawal bleeding (a period) during the fourth week. The hormones contained in the active pills avoid pregnancy during the entire month, so even through the fourth week (regardless if she’s taking reminder pills or no pills at all), a woman is protected against getting pregnant.
Progestin Hormones in the Blend Pill
All mix pills contain estrogen (typically ethinyl estradiol) and a specific kind of progestin made to mimic the natural hormone progesterone. All these progestins include:
- Ethynodiol Diacetate
- Norethindrone Acetate
You may desire to learn more about the role of progestin in the pill and why some types of progestin may fulfill your needs better than the next.
A Warning About Yasmin and Yaz 28
Contrary to other combination birth control pills, Yasmin an Yaz 28 include the progestin drospirenone which may raise cholesterol levels, and this increase in potassium could potentially cause serious heart-related or other problems. These pills might not be the right method for you if you’ve ever had kidney, liver, or adrenal gland disease. There is also some concern that drospirenone may increase the risk of blood clots.
Estrogen Dosages in the PIll
Ethinyl estradiol is the form of synthetic estrogen found in oral contraceptives. The higher the amount of estrogen in the pill (the higher the amount of micrograms of ethinyl estradiol) implies the higher the effects of estrogen within the body (both positive and negative.)
Low-Dose Combination Pills
Low-dose mix pills contain the lowest amount of estrogen (20 mcg) and one of the types of progestin. Brand names of the Type of pill include:
- Loestrin 1/20
Regular-Dose Blend Pills
Normal dose pills contain 30 to 35 mcg estrogen and one of the types of progestin. Brand names of this type of pill include:
- Demulen 1/35
- Femcon Fe
- Necon 1/35
- Norinyl 1/35
- Ortho-Novum 1/35
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
- Ovcon 35
- Zovia 1/35E
Phasic Combination Pills
Phasic combination pills have varying levels of estrogen and progestin made to closely mimic the hormonal phases during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Brand names of the Type of tablet include:
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen
- Ortho-Novum 10/11
- Estrostep Fe
- Ortho-Novum 7/7/7
High-Dose Blend Pills
High-dose combination pills have around 50 mcg of estrogen plus progestin. Brand names of this type of pill include:
- Ortho-Novum 1/50
- Demulen 1/50
- Ovcon 50
Combination Pills With Added Purposes
The main intention of birth control pills would be, of course, to prevent pregnancy. However there are some brands and combinations of hormones that might pack an excess punch, and assist with other concerns as well. In other words, there are a few noncontraceptive benefits of the pill which vary between manufacturers.
A few of the conditions for the pill may help (and is occasionally approved for too ) include acne, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, endometriosis, and painful periods. Additionally, the pill might help decrease your risk of esophageal, ovarian, colon and blood-related cancers, though there may be an increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoke and cervical and breast cancers in current users of the pill (the increased risk seems to go away in five years of quitting the pill)
Beginning the Pill
If you’re only beginning the pill, it can be helpful to research on some of the fundamental things you want to learn to utilize the pill effectively. You may also have questions regarding how the pill works.
When choosing the pill, it’s also very important to know about what drugs may lower the pill’s effectiveness. For example, lots of men and women do not know that taking an antibiotic for a bladder disease may significantly decrease the effectiveness of the pill–and raise the chance that you just become pregnant.
Changing Your Birth Control Pill
There are several distinct pills to select from, but it’s very important to talk with your physician about ways to switch birth control pills if you do so.
Comparison of Combination Pills to Progestin-Only Pills
The combination birth control pill is somewhat more powerful compared to progestin-only pill. Nevertheless many women’s bodies don’t respond well to the estrogen in the combination pill. For those who have these concerns, such as elevated blood pressure on a combination pill, a progestin-only pill may be a good option.
Bottom Line on Combination Birth Control Pills
In wading through the information above, you’ve probably noticed that there are lots of factors to think about in choosing the right pill for yourself. The kind of estrogen in tablets is exactly the same (ethinyl estradiol) but the dose can vary. Estrogen may have both positive and negative effects within the body, and the right dose for you will depend on your own wishes and your health history.
Unlike petrol, there are numerous distinct types of progestins which might be utilized. Each one of them may have both benefits (such as the control of acne) or risks (including the chance of blood clots) and it is important to talk with your doctor about that progestin might be best for you as an individual.
The benefit of having numerous distinct combinations of pills is there are many other choices to pick from if a single type leads to unwanted effects. At the exact same time, it is important to talk with your physician about how to switch birth control pills if you do that.
The pill is very effective when used correctly, and can even kill the proverbial two birds with one stone for some people with premenstrual syndrome, acne, menstrual cramps, and other conditions. Nevertheless, it’s most effective in each these abilities when used carefully so that tablets are not missed and if you talk with your doctor promptly about any side effects or worries.