THE PILL

Hormonal Method

The pill is a small tablet containing hormones that needs to be swallowed at the same time every day.

DURATION

EVERY
MONTH

BENEFITS

Highly effective

Widely available

Easy to use

 

    TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME

    The Pill is a tablet you take once a day – there are a few different types of pill. The combined pill contains estrogen and progestin, which stop the ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens the cervical mucus, which keeps the sperm from getting to the egg. The so-called mini pill contains only one hormone, a progestin, which offers an alternative to those affected by the hormone estrogen.

    You should swallow the pill at the same time every day, whether or not you have sex. Ask your healthcare provider whether the combined pill is a suitable method of contraception for you based on your medical history and, if yes, which is the best type for you.

    The Pill

    HOW TO

    Taking the pill is the same as taking other tablets, you put one in your mouth and swallow it. You should swallow the pill at the same time every day, whether you have sex or not. Forgetting to take your pill means it won’t be as effective as it can be and you could find yourself getting pregnant. If you miss 1 or more pills, or start a pill pack too late, have a look into the Patient Information Booklet provided to you with the pill pack. In case of doubt, or if you experience any side effects, please talk to your healthcare provider.

    Different pills have different cycles, with some pill types you have to take hormone-free pills during the breaks to maintain continuous intake. Check if our pill reminder is available in your country so you can stay on top of your routine and stay protected.

    PROS / CONS

    • Highly effective when used as directed
    • It’s easy to use
    • It permits sexual spontaneity and doesn’t interrupt sex
    • Some pills may reduce heavy and painful periods
    • Some pills may have a positive effect on acne
    • Can be taken over a long period of time
    • Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
    • It requires keeping track of the number of days taken
    • Some women experience mood swings, depression or depressed mood
    • Some women experience breast tenderness, nausea, headache, weight gain
    • It may cause changes in your menstruation cycle
    • It is not common, but some women who take the pill develop high blood pressure
    • It is rare, but some women will have blood clots, heart attacks and strokes

    GIRLS TALK

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    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

      No, there are many different types of contraceptive pills available, and each of them is slightly different. The important thing is to follow the instructions that come with your pill package exactly. It’s important to take the pills as directed because missing pills or taking them not on time make them less effective. If you have any questions about how to take the pill, ask your healthcare provider for further advice.

      Hormones used in the pill are mostly a synthetic form of the natural hormones progestin and estrogen. Some contain only a progestin, e.g. progestin-only pill, others a combination of progestin and estrogen, e.g. the so-called combined pill.
      The combined pill mimics a pregnancy to your body, although you are not pregnant, what prevents you from ovulation. It also thickens the mucus in the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to get through.
      The progestin only pill works by thickening the mucus at the entrance to the womb. In some women it may also prevent ovulation.

      Some contraceptive pills can improve the condition of your skin and hair; others help with symptoms such as acne, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and irregular menstrual bleeding.

      The pill is one of the most reliable forms of contraception, giving a very high degree of protection against pregnancy when taken as directed.

      No it is not necessary to take a 'pill break' unless you want to get pregnant. There is no effect on long-term fertility even if you take hormonal contraceptives for years.

      SUPPORTED BY

      A coalition of international partners with an interest in sexual and reproductive health