Hormonal contraception by "the pill" is the method most used to prevent pregnancy and for birth control. The pill may also be prescribed for menstruation disorders, acne and excessive hair growth (see below). If used properly the pill is 99,9% reliable.
Hormonal contraception pills usually consist of a combination of 2 female hormones: an estrogen and a progestagen. There also exist special devices like a ring or a patch containing these hormones.
There are biphasic and triphasic preparations which are designed to mimic the pattern of the cycle more closely. In sequential preparations an estrogen alone is taken for part of the cycle.
The minipill only contains a progestagen and is therefore used by breastfeeding women.
Combined oral contraceptives are taken for 21 days (sometimes 22 days) followed by an interval of 7 (or 6) days when menstrual bleeding will occur. Some preparations contain 21 (or 22) active tablets and 7 (or6) dummy tablets for easy counting days.
Low-strength preparations contain ethinylestradiol (estrogen) 15-20 mcg .
Standard-strength preparations contain 30-50 mcg of an estrogen
High-strength preparations contain 50 mcg of ethinylestradiol
The formulation with the lowest dose of estrogen compatible with good cycle control should be chosen.
Morning after pill
Emergency contraception should be taken within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse to be effective.
A. Take 1 tablet of a special morning after pill such as NorLevo (Levonorgestrel 750 mcg) within 72 hours. Take another tablet 12-24 hours after the first one.
B. Take 2 tablets of a high-strength preparation such as Neogynon or Stederil-d within 72 hours and 12 hours later again 2 of these tablets.
C. In the case you use a standard-strength product you can start taking 4 tabs containing the progestin, and repeat this after 12 hours. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to be sure.
Click on the pill of your choice and you will find more specific information.
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