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Hormonal contraceptives: everything you need to know

What are hormones for?

Nowhere in the literature, the Internet or the doctor's office, you will find comprehensive information about why you should start taking hormonal contraceptives or why not. The opinions of some experts claim that they need to be taken for life from an early age, while others are inclined to believe that it is permissible to use them in short courses for treatment. But in fact, the truth is on both scales.

Hormones play an essential role in the human body, controlling all vital processes, including reproductive ones. When the hormonal balance is in balance, a person's life is in a state of "Zen". But the hormonal system, like any other in our body, can malfunction. In this case, synthetic derivatives come to the rescue.

In women, mainly, hormonal fluctuations lead to a number of "uncomfortable" consequences:

Disruption of the menstrual cycle
Mood swings and psycho-emotional disorders
Weight jumps
Diseases of the genital area
Inability to conceive or carry a child
Cosmetological defects, acne and pimples, rashes on the face and body, hair loss

And there are many other troubles when hormonal correction is required. In addition to treating the female reproductive system, drugs are also used as a targeted method of contraception. But in this case, it will be correct to undergo at least a minimal examination, because this is a serious drug, not vitamins.

How do hormonal contraceptives work?

The mission of such contraceptives is to prevent pregnancy. And this happens under the influence of synthetic hormones or combined oral contraceptives (COCs), which in micro doses either "lull" the eggs, or increase the viscosity of mucus in the vagina and suppress the function of ovulation, which is controlled by the pituitary gland. It also maintains a normal level of progesterone, which is necessary for carrying a baby. That is, the pituitary gland paused the reproduction of offspring, the eggs are not ejected from the ovary unnecessarily, so fertilization becomes impossible.

Hormonal contraceptives

What examination should be done before using COCs?

Before the doctor understands the full picture of your health based on the tests, be sure to share the maximum information about your lifestyle, hereditary and chronic diseases, if any.

For example, for girls who smoke, oral contraception is prohibited, because taking these drugs can affect the blood circulation process, thicken the blood, which, in combination with nicotine, can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and venous pathologies. A biochemical blood test is considered desirable (COCs are contraindicated in diabetes mellitus, liver and kidney diseases), urinalysis, ultrasound of internal organs and pelvic organs, mandatory examination by a doctor. It would be ideal if you take a blood test to check the level of progesterone, estrogen, prolactin, LH - luteinizing hormone and FSH - follicle-stimulating hormone, estradiol, androgenic steroid hormone, which, in addition to male organs, is also present in the ovaries, and all of these points affect general condition of the reproductive system. But, the quality of the female body depends not only on the functioning of the female genital organs. Derivatives of the thyroid gland also help to ensure a harmonious life, which, if possible, are also desirable to pass. These are TSH, free T4, free T3 - they affect general well-being, the nervous system, blood pressure, skin and hair condition, carbohydrate metabolism, and therefore weight. This is the perfect picture. But, most often, the doctor prescribes contraceptives, guided by minimal information, which is sometimes enough. To undergo examinations or not is a matter of the patient's conscience, but not an obligatory appointment of a doctor.

How to choose hormonal contraceptives

All of them are divided into 2 types: combined tablets (COC) and mini-pills. As you can understand, the combined ones consist of two components, mini-tablets are based on one.

COC and mini-drank

Differences between COC and mini-drank

They differ not only in composition, but also in their effect on the body.

Mini-pills, as a rule, consist of a micro-dose of gestagens. The clinically proven efficacy is lower than that of the combined ones, but there is a plus - they are suitable for breastfeeding and 1.5 months after childbirth. Due to the fact that the drug contains one low-dose component, it acts only on the endometrium, without affecting the main functions of the reproductive system. So, their reception makes the attachment of a fertilized egg impossible and pregnancy does not occur. This principle of action of mini-pills gives an undeniable advantage over COCs - minimizing side effects. The choice in favor of the mini-pili is also made by the doctor in the case when the patient has serious reasons for prohibiting the use of combined OCs - arterial hypertension, chronic liver diseases, diabetes, migraines. COC, unlike the previous version, has a more massive effect, because the contraceptive effect occurs through the pituitary gland. The combined ones are divided into three more types: monophasic - each pill in the package contains the same dose of hormones, does not cause an increase in pressure, does not provoke an increase in body weight, does not retain fluid, and does not have a significant effect on the liver. Diana, Silest, Marvelon, Silest, Lactinet, Logest. biphasic - contain different doses of hormones: the first majority contain estrogens, in the rest, progestogens are connected to estrogens. This approach mimics the natural fluctuation of hormones in a girl at different periods of the cycle. Drugs in this group are not often prescribed. Antiovin, Regevidon, Minisiston, Adepal three-phase - contain different doses of hormones, but in total - the smallest or micro-dose - compared to previous drugs. They are considered the most modern and most naturally imitating the cycle. Triziston, Tri-regol, Tri-merci, Trinovum.

Pros and cons of COC

If you have a question about the choice of contraceptive pills on your agenda, you should understand that even a full examination, a thorough consultation with a gynecologist and an examination will not be able to give completely favorable predictions regarding the use of hormonal pills. The body of each lady is individual, as is the selection of funds.

Considered the most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies

They have “pleasant bonuses” in the form of clear skin, getting rid of blackheads and acne, lack of oily skin, weight loss, pain relief during menstruation and elimination of PMS, breast enlargement.
additionally have a preventive and therapeutic effect on the female reproductive system
convenient and easy to use
reduce the risk of developing cancers of the ovaries, endometrium and cervix


will not protect against vaginal infections and fungi, dangerous diseases
require strict admission discipline at the same time every day
may cause unwanted side effects: headaches, nausea, fluid retention, increased appetite, mood swings
full recovery of the ability to conceive is restored in a woman from 2 to 6 months
not compatible with certain medications (anticonvulsants and antibacterials) and lifestyle (even occasional alcohol and smoking)
How to take hormones correctly
All contraceptives are available with either 21 active pills in a blister, or 28.
Carefully read the instructions, follow all the manufacturer's instructions
The tablets should be taken from 1 to 5 days of the onset of menstruation. If this is a pack with 21 tablets, then after taking the last one, a break is taken for 7 days and after that it is important to start the next pack, regardless of the day on which menstruation began. If there are 28 contraceptive pills in a pack, then no breaks are needed. After the last pill, immediately start the next one. In this case, menstruation occurs from the 21st to the 28th day.
Check your appointment every day! (a strict reception at the same time applies to a mini-drink, since its effect is short-lived and a delay even by 2-3 hours reduces the contraceptive effect to zero)
In the first week of using the drug, it is recommended to use additional methods of protection against unwanted pregnancy.
With a sharp appearance of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea after a pill, you should immediately stop taking hormones and try to find other drugs and methods.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions when skipping birth control
If, for any reason, withdrawal bleeding does not occur (expected periods), do not interrupt the appointment and consult a gynecologist
Among the strict contraindications for these types of contraceptives are:

malignant and benign tumors of various locations
liver and kidney pathologies
pathology of the heart and blood vessels

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