The birth control pill is a popular and effective method of preventing pregnancy. Birth control pills are made of one or two synthetic hormones similar to those naturally produced in a women's body. When taken exactly according to instructions, the pill is about 99% effective. Birth control pills either prevent ovulation (estrogen and progesterone combination pills) or create changes in the cervix and uterus (progesterone-only pill) which make it difficult for the sperm and egg to unite.
Medical screening is required before a woman can get a prescription, due to its ingredients and the change in the body which it produces, the birth control pill is not appropriate for every woman. Women who should not take the pill include:
- Women over age 40
- Women who smoke
- Women with hypertension, diabetes, liver disease or abnormal breasts or uterine growth.
- Women who are seriously overweight
After passing the medical screening, a woman will receive a prescription with exact instructions on how to take the pill. It is important to follow the prescription instructions precisely so that the pill is effective. The pill does not provide protection against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.