What is Progestin and Estrogen and How Do They Work in Birth Control?
Aug 22, 2019 10:08
Oral contraception was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1960. Along with pregnancy prevention, some women use birth control for other reasons, including treating acne, regulating heavy periods, reducing severe cramps, and managing endometriosis.
Menstrual Cycle Basics
Estrogen and progestin are the two main hormones that facilitate the menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels increase during the beginning of the cycle and promote the thickening of the bloody lining of the uterus. Approximately 14 days into the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels reach their peak and ovulation begins.
Progesterone levels rise after ovulation and thicken the lining of the uterus. This prepares the uterus to receive a fertilized egg. If the egg implants in the uterine lining, conception takes place. However, if the egg does not implant, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and menstruation will begin.
Progestin and Estrogen in Birth Control Pills
Synthetic forms of progesterone and estrogen are the main components of birth control pills like Mononessa. The synthetic form of progesterone is called progestin. Drug makers have worked on fine-tuning the levels of progestin and estrogen to reduce side effects.
Progestin and estrogen work together to maintain consistent hormone levels. Therefore, estrogen levels remain the same, ovulation does not take place, and fertilization doesn't happen. The cervical mucus also thickens, which helps deter the sperm from reaching the egg and makes the uterus less likely to implant a fertilized egg successfully.
For best effectiveness, oral contraceptives should be taken at the same time every day which helps regulate hormone levels. Missed doses, or taken at varying times may result in pregnancy. The directions on the package should be followed exactly.
As with any medication, there are side effects when taking birth control pills. A small sample of side effects includes nausea, vomiting, weight gain or weight loss, and bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods. Women over 35 who smoke are at an increased risk for stroke. It is recommended to fully read the list of side effects that come with your birth control pill and tell your doctor if any symptoms arise.
While the birth control pill can prevent pregnancy, it will not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Additional protections should be taken to avoid contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and HPV (human papillomavirus), which can cause cervical cancer, and other sexually transmitted diseases.
If oral contraception is being considered, speaking with a medical professional is recommended. They will be able to suggest the right pill based on your specific needs and supply the prescription.
Access to birth control has never been easier with online services like Nurx. With direct access to medical professionals, you can be confident that you are selecting the right birth control option for your specific needs, including age and past medical history. If you have insurance, you may receive birth control free of charge, or if you are without coverage, costs are as little as $15. What's more? There is no shipping cost. Nurx is a no-brainer option when it comes to your health.
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