Hormonal contraception is one of the most comfortable methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies. There are many different methods of hormonal contraception – birth control pills, birth control inserts or implants, patches, contraceptive injections.
The awareness of the mechanism of action of this method plays a very important role – hormonal contraception has appropriately selected doses of synthetic sex hormones that inhibit their secretion by the hypothalamic-anterior pituitary system in the female body, which inhibits ovulation.
Various methods of hormonal contraception
Hormonal contraception is based on the supply of artificial hormones to the body. Artificially manufactured substances act in a similar way to the natural female sex hormones. In hormonal contraception, hormones from the estrogen group and a hormone from the progestogen group are used. Most preparations contain both of these hormones, and some drugs only contain hormones from the progestogen group.
Contraception is highly effective, incl. by inhibiting ovulation, thickening of the mucus that prevents sperm from moving, slowing down the fallopian tube transport, changes in the endometrium.
- One-component pills contain progestin and therefore can be used by breastfeeding women. The mechanism of action of this method is based on increasing the density of the cervical mucus, which makes it difficult for the sperm to move into the egg. It is taken at the same time every day. If a dose is missed, additional protection should be used for 7 days. Combined tablets contain both types of hormones. They are used daily for 21 days. After finishing the packaging, a 7-day break should be taken and a new packaging should be started.
- Contraceptive patches work by continuously releasing hormones into the body from the patch when sticking to the bare skin. This route of administration of the progestogen causes the substance to have less effect on the liver. The patches are used daily for three weeks. Take a break for a week afterwards.
- The ring in the vagina is a little circle that releases the progestogen for 21 days. The woman places the disc in the vagina and removes it after 21 days. After the menstrual bleeding is over, the disc is replaced.
- Contraceptive injections are administered intramuscularly, and hormones prevent implantation in the mucosa. The treatment is repeated every 8 or 12 weeks. The first dose is given on days 1 to 5 of the cycle.
- The “72 hours after” pill is a method of contraception after intercourse. It can hardly be called contraception and should not be treated as such. It is used in emergency situations, e.g. when other applied methods have failed. The tablet works after fertilization but before the embryo is implanting. Therefore, it is a legal termination measure by law.
- Contraceptive implants are placed in the skin of the forearm. The applied rod is constantly releasing hormones. The contraceptive effect lasts for 5 years. After this time, it is removed and, if necessary, a new one is implanted.
Hormonal contraception in Poland, is it worth it?
The primary indication for the use of hormonal contraception is pregnancy prevention. However, it can also be used in the treatment of ailments related to uterine hypoplasia and its effects (menstrual disorders), menstrual disorders and the postmenopausal period, ovarian failure or removal, amenorrhea, painful menstruation, PMS, acne, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, inhibition of or a reduction in lactation
Hormonal contraception should not be used in girls who are under the age of 21. Despite the completed maturation, some changes in the system of regulating the secretion of sex hormones still take place in their bodies. Pregnancy is also a contraindication – you cannot administer hormones that could cause a miscarriage during pregnancy. The doctor will refuse to prescribe a prescription for contraception in the case of cardiovascular diseases, thromboembolic diseases and after viral hepatitis.
Before deciding to use hormonal contraception, you should always visit the gynecologist’s office. The doctor will conduct a medical interview and order additional tests to exclude other diseases or genetic burden predisposing to their occurrence. The tests that are performed before starting hormonal contraception include: pregnancy test, gynecological examination, blood test, blood pressure measurement, vaginal ultrasound, cytology and breast examination. Blood tests are also ordered – blood count, peripheral blood smear, blood glucose level measurement, blood coagulability tests, blood lipid level assessment, liver tests, and natural sex hormone levels.
Before starting hormonal contraception, a check is made to make sure that the woman is not already pregnant. For this purpose, a gynecological examination is performed, which is also designed to rule out possible diseases of the woman’s reproductive organs. The gynecologist must be sure that there are no diseases in the woman’s body that could contraindicate the use of contraception. The gynecologist carefully examines the breasts, performs cytology and may sometimes order an ultrasound of the reproductive organs.
Before introducing hormonal contraception, it is also important to check your current body weight and calculate your BMI. If it is greater than 30, contraception may be dangerous for the woman. Contraception can increase the risk of gaining weight, so its composition should be selected depending on many factors.
Advantages of hormonal contraception
Hormonal contraception is a method that has many advantages. Among the most important are, among others
- Durability and effectiveness – hormonal contraception is one of the most popular and effective methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy. Combined with other security measures, it gives a 99% guarantee.
- Serious Illness Prevention – Contraception is used to relieve many pain and hormonal problems. It reduces the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and rectal cancer.
- Safety – properly selected hormonal contraception is a safe method that should not cause side effects. That is why it is so important to choose a professional gynecologist who will do the necessary examinations.
The choice of a hormonal contraceptive method depends on many factors, the most important of which is the woman’s wish and acceptance. These are usually healthy patients in whom any type of contraception can be used. In a situation where the patient suffers from diseases or has been through severe diseases, the risk of side effects increases. In this case, the method should be selected accordingly.
The long-term effect of using hormonal contraception is a reduction in the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and rectal cancer.
Contraception also has a negative impact on the possibility of becoming pregnant, and does not even fully delay this process. Many women can become pregnant in the first year after stopping contraception, and fertility often returns in the first month.
If you want to reduce the pain associated with painful menstruation, relieve the painful premenstrual syndrome, regulate the menstrual cycle, and you care about the safety of the therapy, hormonal contraception is the perfect solution to help prevent any problem!