Approved by FDA back in 1960, “the pill” continues to be the most popular and convenient birth control method ever invented. Commonly called as oral contraceptives, birth control pills are the synthetic forms of hormones like oestrogen and progesterone.The pills are of two kinds, namely, combination pills and mini pills. Majority of the available pills are combination pills as they contain both the hormones. Mini pills are called so since they contain only progesterone. A woman, from the fifth day of her period should initiate the course of birth control pills. The pill should be taken without paying regard to whether her menstrual bleeding has ceased or not.
Combination pills come in packs of either twenty-one or twenty-eight. If it is a twenty-one pack, then she should take a pill each day and should stop on the twenty-first day. Then, a break of seven days should be given before starting the next pack. Within these seven days, she will most likely menstruate. Women who opt for the twenty-eight-pill pack should take the pills on all days. They can start using the next pack without giving any break. This is because, in such a pack only twenty-one pills contain hormones and the rest seven pills are inactive ones.
Control pills prevent ovulation by regulating the hormone levels in a consistent manner. Without the natural rise in oestrogen, due to which uterus lining gets prepared for the egg, ovary fails to get the signal for egg release. With out the egg, neither fertilisation nor the resultant pregnancy will take place. As an added preventive step, the cervical mucus is also thickened in order to check the entry of sperm.
If in case, you forgot to take the pill on one particular day do make sure that you take two pills on the following day. If two pills are consecutively missed during the third week of the pill pack, you need to start a new pack at the earliest since it is your fertile period.