Your body naturally produces hormones, which are chemicals that regulate how your body works. Some of these hormones control your menstrual cycle. Birth control pills also use hormones, although these are synthetic, or “man-made,” hormones. Normally, your body goes through a cycle each month which involves ovulation (the releasing of eggs by your ovaries). If an egg is fertilized at that time, and attaches to the womb (uterus), pregnancy occurs. However, hormones in the pill (which mimic the natural hormones in your body) prevent pregnancy from occurring in a variety of ways.

Lupin Pharmaceuticals has three different types of oral contraceptives:

  • The Combination Pill – a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin,
  • The Progestin-Only Pill – as the name implies, contains only the hormone progestin.
  • The Emergency Contraception Pill – contains a higher dosage of the hormone progestin. This option gives you 72-hour backup protection to help prevent pregnancy after an unexpected event, such as if:
    • Your method of birth control failed (for example, your partner’s condom broke)
    • You did not take your birth control pills as directed
    • You had sex without using any form of birth control
    • You were the victim of a sexual attack

All three types of pills use hormones to prevent pregnancy:

  • They prevent eggs from leaving the ovaries (ovulation). You cannot get pregnant if there is no egg to fertilize.
  • Progestin thickens the mucus in your cervix, making it difficult for sperm to reach the eggs.
  • Hormones in birth control pills can also affect the lining of the uterus, preventing an egg from attaching.

EFFECTIVENESS

 

Oral contraceptives are one of the most effective and reliable forms of birth control available, second only to surgical methods. In fact, when used correctly, the pill is over 99% effective. Compare that to condoms which have an approximate failure rate of 14%, or the diaphragm with spermicide, which has an approximate failure rate of 20%.

The key to the effectiveness of the pill is to use it properly. That means that you must:

  • Have it properly prescribed by your healthcare practitioner
  • Carefully read the Patient Information leaflet included with your pills
  • Take it exactly as directed, every day, at the same time
  • Do not skip or miss pills
  • Do not delay in starting the next pack of active pills
  • Speak to your healthcare practitioner about any questions or concerns

While the failure rate of the pill is less than 1% if used correctly, many women do not use it correctly and miss pills, raising the national failure rate to about 5%, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, this rate is far lower if you take your pills as directed.

Remember, while the pill is one of the most effective birth control methods out there, you are ultimately in control of how effective it will be. Always take it correctly, as directed.