Biology Of Birth Control

Myths and misinformation about contraception could increase the risk of the transmission of STDs or the rate of unintended pregnancies.

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Biology Of Birth Control

Pakistan is globally recognized as a country facing challenges in controlling its population growth. Its alarming population growth rate of 2.4 percent per annum, which translates to between 4m and 5m children being added to the total each year, is no less than an existential threat. If you want to have sex but do not want to get pregnant or have a baby (or at least not yet), it is your right to use contraception (also called family planning or birth control).

Poor management of sex education leads to misconceptions and the creation of myths in a society or community. Many young people or even married couples think they know all the facts about contraceptives, when the truth is, there is a lot to be learned about them.

Myths and misinformation about contraception could increase the risk of the transmission of STDs or the rate of unintended pregnancies.

There are different types of contraception methods, and some might suit you more than others. Contraception stops sperm from meeting an egg during sex, thereby preventing pregnancy.

Contraception is medically defined as an option used in family planning to prevent pregnancy by interfering with the woman’s normal process of ovulation. This, at the same time, impedes fertilization and, therefore, embryo implantation in the uterus.

A series of events called the menstrual cycle happens about once every month to prepare a woman’s body for pregnancy. Changing levels of natural chemicals in the bloodstream called hormones control these events. The reproductive organs affected by these hormones include the vaginal cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

The ovaries produce two main hormones called estrogen and progesterone. As the level of estrogen begins to rise, it causes the normally thick mucus inside the cervix to thin out. Estrogen also triggers other hormones to cause one of the ovaries to release an egg. This process is called ovulation. If a woman has sex during this time, a man’s reproductive cells called sperm can pass through the thinner mucus to fertilize an egg in the uterus.

Estrogen causes the lining to thicken, which prepares it to receive a fertilised egg. Rising progesterone levels cause glands in the lining to release fluid that feeds the fertilized egg. Progesterone also causes the thinned-out mucus in the cervix to thicken again, which prevents sperm from passing through.

If an egg hasn’t been fertilized, the levels of both estrogen and progesterone begin to fall; this drop in hormone levels causes menstruation. A process where the uterus sheds its inner tissue lining and blood through the vaginal birth control pills or medications that a woman takes every day to prevent pregnancy.

The most common and effective type of birth control pill is a combination pill; it contains both estrogen and progesterone, which is a man made hormone similar to progesterone. The estrogen and progesterone in the pill maintain constant levels of these hormones in the body. These levels prevent the body from releasing similar hormones that cause ovulation. Without ovulation, there is no egg available for fertilization, so a woman can’t get pregnant.

Progestin also prevents pregnancy by keeping mucus in the cervix thick enough so sperm can’t get through it. A third effect of progestin on pregnancy involves its influence on the lining of the uterus in contrast to natural progesterone.

Progesterone is slightly different chemically, and overtime it makes the uterine lining thinner instead of thicker as a result if fertilization of an egg does take place. The lining may be too thin for it to stay in the uterus, so it passes out of the body with the next menstrual period. Combination pills usually come in 28 day packs, depending on the brand of pill.

The first 21 to 24 pills are active pills because they contain hormones. The last 4 to 7 pills are inactive or reminder pills that don’t contain any hormones. Inactive pills allow the horrible levels in the body to drop so that bleeding during the menstrual cycle can occur.

Even though the inactive pills don’t contain any hormones, the woman remains protected against pregnancy during this time. Inactive pills are also called reminder pills because they keep a woman in the habit of taking a birth control pill. Every day, progestin-only pills or mini pills only contain progestin, just like the combination pill contains progestin in the progestin.

Only pills can prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, and thinning out the lining of the uterus. Women may choose progestin-only pills if they can’t tolerate the estrogen in combination pills due to side effects or other medical reasons.

All progestin-only pills cause active menstrual bleeding, which may occur once every month, on and off throughout the month, or there may be no bleeding at all for the highest protection against pregnancy.

It is important to take progestin-only pills at the same time every day. Both combination and progestin-only birth control pills are about 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly.

This means about one out of every 100 women will become pregnant each year if they use them correctly every day. However, they are only about 92% effective with typical use, which means about 8 out of every 100 women will become pregnant each year if they don’t always remember to take them every day.

One safe method to avoid pregnancy is to select the best time for mating, usually known as Day 14. Ideally, the female menstruation cycle is of 28 days, so, the first 10 days after bleeding is over and 10 days before the next bleeding starts, the mating is safe, and one never needs to have any contraceptive method to try.