Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Contraception - 2

In the last post I'd talked about the Barrier methods of contraception. This post is dedicated to Hormonal methods of contraception.

As I had explained in the last post, contraception is achieved by preventing the sperm & the egg from meeting or if the meeting has taken place, then from preventing the mated egg & sperm to settle down in body & grow up into a baby.

For the entire reproductive process in human body, both males & females, certain hormones are essential. In women these hormones rise & fall with different phases of monthly cycle. The timely & adequate rise & fall is essential for the normal functioning of cycle. Imbalance between these hormones leads to menstrual irregularities or scanty or heavy cycles & Infertility. So it is essential that these hormones remain in balance.

The Two most important hormones of female reproductive cycle are Estrogen & Progesterone.The interaction between these to decides the time when egg is released & if fusion between egg & sperm takes place, they condition the Uterus to receive the fused gamete & help it grow.

All the Hormonal pills bring an imbalance between these two hormones & thus preventing fusion of the egg & sperms or else preventing the fused product to settle. But these drugs if taken without supervision & in inadequate or too high doses can lead to hormonal imbalances & menstrual irregularities. Thus these pills should be used with CARE, CAUTION & UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION ONLY.

I have seen cases where women who use Contraceptive pills to abort, ended up bleeding profusely, some even die before we can help them medically. At times improper consumption of pills leads to severe menstural irregularities, changes in hormonal cycles.

Contraceptive pills though have very high efficacy in preventing pregnancy, there disadvantage lies in the fact that they DO NOT offer any protection from sexually transmitted diseases. So while using OCP's you should make sure that your partner is using a Condom.

Currently Hormonal pills are used as-

Oral Contraceptive Pills - to be used daily, as directed by the doctor till the woman does not want to conceive. (Long term consumption of OCP has been associated with risk of breast cancer, so do make sure that you raise this concern with your doctor)

Emergency Contraceptive pills - Used as an emergency measure to prevent pregnancy within 72 hrs of having Unsafe Sex. These days due to heavy advertising, I-pills have become a convenient alternative for women to use after unsafe sex.This highly irresponsible & dangerous. In such circumstances, these pills be consumed only with consultation of a doctor.

Medical termination of Pregnancy in early weeks of pregnancy - We get a lot of patients in the OPD who come to us after having consumed drugs to abort & then ending up in emergencies or women who insist that we give them drugs to abort pregnancy irrespective of the age of gestation. A word of caution about this. Use of Drugs to abort should be done only with MEDICAL ADVICE, this is for the good of your own health & life.

As I have said before, don't get swayed by the massive Information that is available these days, Use that information Judiciously. Act Responsibly & Stay Safe.

(This post contains just basic medical information regarding Hormonal pills for general awareness. It is not intended as medical advice nor should it be taken so.
Kindly turn to your doctor in case of any queries regarding the above post.)


Adee said...

you are putting your medical knowledge for a noble use Meeta. thanks for posting all this information here.r

Dr.Dheep said...
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Dr.Dheep said...
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Dr.Dheep said...

A good post. In case people dint know, a male contraceptive pill is already in the works. check this out http://bit.ly/pill4male

meeta said...

@Adee Thanku glad u liked it.

meeta said...

@De Dheep Thanku for the link, Sir. I am aware of the male contraceptiv pills to..but the post was aimed at routinely available methods so skipped the that part. :-)