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    Birth Control Pill 101

    I’ve written this article as a crash course for anybody taking “the pill”, or is involved with somebody who does. Your doctor doesn’t always tell you everything and there is a lot of skewed information on how to take and handle oral contraceptives.

    This information is integral for men and women with girlfriends or boyfriends everywhere. Chances are that you are a girl or are going to date a girl on some sort of birth control pill. This is for good reason because birth control these days is extremely dependable and convenient for both men and women. Let’s face it everyone, condoms are very safe and are the second best protection against an STD next to abstinence, but they don’t feel one-tenth as good as going all natural. This gives the much added benefit of natural pleasure and with the much added benefit of taking the load of pregnancy off of your mind (no pun intended.) Now as easy as it is for a woman to pop a pill every day, it’s still wise to remain informed about the pill and what is safe to do, and what never to try.

    Most oral contraceptives today are known as combination pills; this means that they have a certain dose of estrogen (Ethinyl Estradiol) and progesterone (Levonorgestrel). A typical birth control pill works in three ways: it releases hormones into a woman’s body that stops her from ovulating, it makes the mucus around the cervix thicker (making it much harder for sperm to get through), and it lowers the chances of the egg sticking to the wall of the uterus. It’s triple protection from a prospective bun in the oven.

    When on birth control it is wise to keep a certain timed schedule for taking the pill everyday. Pick any given time of day to take one pill and keep it. It honestly doesn’t matter biologically when you take it, or if you take it at a regular time, but it really does help you remember when it is commonplace in your daily schedule instead of just taking it to when you get around to it.

    When should I start taking the pill?

    It is generally advised that you start a pack of birth control the following Sunday after your menstrual cycle.

    Will the pill protect me from STDs?

    It will absolutely not. Oral contraceptive birth control, or birth control of any kind for that matter, will not protect you from STDs of any kind. It is a precaution against pregnancy and lightens menstrual cycles… nothing more.

    What if I miss a pill?

    No problem. Take two pills the following day and one pill every day after as if you were in a normal schedule.

    Ok, but what if I miss two or more pills in a row?

    It’s not the end of the world, but you’ve increased your chances of getting pregnant if you have unprotected sex. If you don’t want to take any risk (which you should never do with something this important) then continue back on your normal schedule as soon as possible and keep on it for at least two weeks. You should be safe after that, but a month would be for absolute certainty.

    I had unprotected sex and I haven’t been taking my pill regularly. What should I do?

    This is still not the end of the world. If you have a pack of at least 10-12 birth control pills left, you can use it as an emergency contraceptive. Depending on the measured dose of your birth control you can take a multiple dose of it to essentially stop a fertilized egg from becoming a potential pregnancy. Take five pills at once (or six, depending on the dosage) of the birth control within 72 hours. Wait another 12 hours and take another 5 (or six) pills. There is an almost guaranteed side effect of nausea. If you end up throwing up the dose of emergency contraception, see your local physician or Planned Parenthood clinic for a secondary solution.  Again, this acts as emergency contraceptive and is not as effective as taking the pill regularly, but chances are you will be fine. Be sure to watch for your next period and/or take a pregnancy test as soon as it will register (pregnancy tests vary from one to the other.) Here is compiled table of common birth controls and the necessary doses for emergency contraception…

     Brand  First Dose  Second Dose Ethinyl Estradiol
    in each dose (micrograms)
    Levonorgestrel
    in each dose (milligrams)
    Alesse 5 pink pills 5 pink pills 100 0.50
    Aviane 5 orange pills 5 orange pills 100 0.50
    Cryselle 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
    Enpresse 4 orange pills 4 orange pills 120 0.50
    Jolessa 4 pink pills 4 pink pills 120 0.60
    Lessina 5 pink pills 5 pink pills 100 0.50
    Levlen 4 orange pills 4 orange pills 120 0.60
    Levlite 5 pink pills 5 pink pills 100 0.50
    Levora 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
    Lo / Oyral 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
    LoSeasoique 5 orange pills 5 orange pills 100 0.50
    Low-Ogestrel 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
    Lutera 5 white pills 5 white pills 100 0.50
    Lybrel 6 yellow pills 6 yellow pills 120 0.54
    Nordette 4 orange pills 4 orange pills 120 0.60
    Ogestrel 2 white pills 2 white pills 100 0.50
    Ovral 2 white pills 2 white pills 100 0.50
    Portia 4 pink pills 4 pink pills 120 0.60
    Quasense 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
    Seasonale 4 pink pills 4 pink pills 120 0.60
    Seasonique 4 green pills 4 green pills 120 0.60
    Sronyx 5 white pills 5 while pills 100 0.50
    Tri-Leylen 4 yellow pills 4 yellow pills 120 0.50
    Triphasil 4 yellow pills 4 yellow pills 120 0.50
    Trivora 4 pink pills 4 pink pills 120 0.50

    Will birth control get rid of a pregnancy?

    No, studies show that it will not even harm a child in the womb. If you are pregnant, it would be advised that you go to a local Planned Parenthood clinic or physician to discuss how you want to handle a pregnancy. Abortion and adoption are of a different matter than birth control.

    Remember though, birth control is only 99.9% effective if taken properly. If you miss pills within your cycle, you are lowering the potency of the birth control increasing the chances of pregnancy. Birth control is very safe though it may have some affects on any given woman is the first month such as spotting, light nausea, tender breasts, water retention. Though I think it’s worth it when you first start out, for the benefits are quite a lot. Be safe ladies and gentlemen and have fun.

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