How Do Birth Control Pills Work?


The birth control pill (also called "the pill") is a hormonal pill which is taken daily and aimed at preventing pregnancy from occurring. Hormones are important components in the bodies of living organisms and they work by changing how the body organs function. In the case of the hormonal pills, they works by altering the functioning of the ovaries which are responsible for producing eggs.

How Birth Control Pills Work

  • The pill contains two hormones (progesterone and estrogen) that are responsible for stopping ovulation (which is the release of the egg) from taking place. If ovulation doesn’t occur no egg will be produced which means the sperm will have nothing to fertilize and hence pregnancy not occurring.
  • Thickening of the cervix mucus; the pill also works by hardening the cervix mucus which makes it impossible for the sperm to penetrate and reach the egg which may have been released from the ovary.
  • Altering the lining of the uterus; altering the lining of the uterus is also another way of how the pill works. After the egg has been fertilized it attaches itself to the lining of uterus to get nourishment and grow but this isn’t possible when a woman takes the pill. The hormones in the pill alter the lining of the uterus and make it impossible for the egg to attach itself into the wall. If this happens pregnancy will not take place.

How Are Birth Control Pills Packaged?

Birth control pills either come in a pack of 21 or 28 pills. For the one that comes in the pack of 21 pills, the woman is required to take one pill daily for 21 consecutive days. In the 21 pills pack all the pills are active and should therefore be taken from day one to the 21st day. The 28 days pill pack contains 21 active pills which are to be taken for 21 consecutive days, and 7 extra inactive pills. The seven inactive pills have no major function but to remind you that you should start the next pack immediately you are through them.

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When To Start Taking Birth Control

If you were initially using the 21 day pill pack, you are supposed to start the next pack of pills seven days after you are through with the first one. If you were on the 28 day pill pack, you should start the next pack immediately you take the last pill in the previous pack.

Note that the effectiveness of any birth control pill depends on whether you take it as required or not. Taking all the pills as required and without skipping a day will almost guarantee a 99 % effectiveness but the opposite is true when you don’t take the pills as prescribed by your doctor. If you skip taking a pill for a particular day(s) the chances of you getting pregnant is high and what you are required to do is to use other backup birth control methods like a condom or to completely avoid having unprotected sex for a while.

Evaluating Whether or Not to Use Birth Control

There are many things to analyze when you are deciding whether or not to take birth control. Every person's body is different and requires different things. Additionally, birth control does not act as a way to live a promiscuous life and not deal with the physical and moral consequences. As always, try to be a good person in all that you do and allow birth control to help you do that.

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cherrycrime26 profile image

cherrycrime26 4 years ago from NY, Now Living in Atlanta Ga

Very informative Hub, good information, Voted up

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