December 10, 2009

Pro’s & Con’s of Oral Contraceptives

Posted in Category : Women's Health

If you have been using a birth control pill or an oral contraceptive, then you may probably be happy about the convenience and the reliability that the oral contraceptive offers. However there are likely to be lingering questions about the potential consequences of using birth control pills or oral contraceptives on your overall well-being.

Conventional birth control pill causes the reproductive organs to stimulate a steady 28-day monthly cycle. You must be aware that the first 21 days, when the oral contraceptives are ingested contain reproductive hormones in them. For the final week of the month, you consume a placebo. While ingesting the pills with a placebo effect, you may shed blood from the vagina, which is a mimic of a regular monthly discharge of blood, as in menstruation.

The continuous consumption of a birth control pill or oral contraceptives helps in preventing hormonal fluctuations that are responsible for the problems associated with menstruation such as cramping, severe headaches and other discomforts. Continuous use of birth control pills or oral contraceptives can be good for only about three months. However the continuous use of oral contraceptives can expose you to a greater risk of shedding blood between your monthly cycles.

Use of Contraceptives

The use of birth control pills can be convenient in avoiding or preventing monthly cycles especially if you have an important occasion or travelling on a journey. There is a common thought among many women that birth control pills cause weight gain. However a number of studies show that the effects of oral contraceptives on weight gain is almost negligible and is not counted at all. Studies reveal that the pills may be instrumental in causing water retention in the body especially around the breasts, hips and the thighs, which may cause women to think that birth control pills cause weight gain. The presence of estrogen in oral contraceptives is also known to affect fat cells, causing them to become larger but not numerous.

Some scientific studies claim that using oral contraceptives for a long period of time may increase the chances of developing cervical or liver cancer. On the same note, the use of birth control pills can also decrease the risk of other types of malignant tumors such as cancer of the ovaries and cancer of the uterine lining. What is known for sure is that oral contraceptives affect the levels of total cholesterol in the blood. The estrogen in oral contraceptives causes a spike in HDL cholesterol and decreases LDL cholesterol, but brings about an increase in total cholesterol levels and blood lipid levels.