Birth controls pills have been in use since 1960 when the US Food and Drug Administration approved them. Today, there are more than 40 different types to choose from which you can get from your local health rep.
Another name for the pill is called oral contraception. There are two types namely combination and progestin pills. Both are made of hormones and before you can buy them, you need to get a prescription from your doctor.
Progestin pills were first introduced in the 1970s. This pill does not contain estrogen so it does not always prevent ovulation. For this to work, the female must take this at a certain time during the day and this must be taken regularly because one missed pill could greatly reduce its effectiveness.
There are advantages to using progestin pills. Since it does not contain estrogen, it can be used by nursing mothers as well as those who are suffering from certain health conditions such as migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease or thromboembolism.
The combination pill contains estrogen and progestin and there are three types available.
The first is called Monophasic pills and which contain the same amount of estrogen and progestin because the hormone levels are the same. So, users are less likely to experience mood changes that are a direct result of fluctuating hormone levels in the body.
Some examples of these are Alesse, Brevicon, Desogen, Levlite, Loestrin, Modicon, Nelova and Yasmin. The newest among them is Seasonale which was introduced into the market in 2003. Each pack contains 91 tablets and is designed to prevent menstruation for the entire time period. Tests have shown those who take it will experience only 4 periods in one year.
You also have multiphasic pills that were introduced 10 years after progestin was made available to the public. Just like the others, the person has to take them at a specific time. Some say this is an improvement over those which came out in the past because of the reduced number of incidents of side effects associated with birth control pills such as amenorrhea, breakthrough bleeding and spotting.
Biphasic pills can change the level of hormones once during the menstrual cycle. Some examples of these include Jenest, Mircette, Necon 10/11, Nelova 10/11 and Ortho-Novum 10/11.
The third type is called triphasic since it contains three different doses of hormones. Taking them will gradually increase the dose of estrogen and progesterone into your body. Examples of these include Cyclessa, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Triphasil, Tri-Levlen, Trivora, and Tri-Norinyl.
There are emergency contraceptive pills or ECP but these are not supposed to be used as a contraceptive. It is designed to protect the woman after unprotected sex and so far, only one pill has been approved by the FDA and this is called plan B which contains the progestin called levonorgestrel. The difference between the other birth controls pills to this is one is that you can purchase this over the counter.
What type of birth control pill should you use will depend on what your doctor will recommend after you have undergone your medical evaluation. One thing that you may have to deal with regardless of what you take is the side effects. Until such time that doctors have developed a better pill, this is something you will have to deal with to prevent getting pregnant.