The Pill – What are you swallowing?

WHATISINTHEPILLThe saying you are what you eat should not just apply to food, but also to the medication you consume. Women take oral hormonal contraceptives like Tic Tacs, with no questions, no worries. I mean why wouldn’t you? Doctors give them away like candy.

When it comes to food, you watch the sugar and fat content, likewise you should also be checking the amount of artificial hormones contained in the pill you take daily. Finding out what exactly is in your meds and their effect on your body should be as habitual as checking how many calories are in your muesli bar.

These are the questions you should ask and the answers you need to know:

Q. So what is in the oral contraceptive pill (OCP)?
– The synthetic hormones: estrogen and progestin

Q. What are the two types of OCPs?
– The mini pill and the combined pill

Q. And the difference?
– The mini pill contains only 1 type of synthetic hormone progestin
– The combined pill contained 2 types of synthetic hormones estrogen + progestin
– The combined pill balances out the side effects of only-progestin mini pills

Q. What is progestin and what does it do to your body while on the pill?
– Progestin makes the fluid at the opening of the uterus (womb) thicker preventing sperm from coming in and fertilising the egg like a plug
– Progestin prevents ovulation (release of an egg from ovaries)
– Progestin thins out the lining of the womb making it less receptive to a fertilised egg

Q. What are the side effects of progestin?
– breakthrough bleeding
– nausea
– breast tenderness
– weight gain
– mood swings
– increases risk of blood clots
– vaginal dryness

Q. What is estrogen and what does it do to your body while on the pill?
– Estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus to prevent breakthrough bleeding
– Estrogen triggers the production of a thin, watery muscus that interferes the sperm from fertilising the egg
– Estrogen also prevents ovulation

Q. What are the side effects of estrogen dominance? (too much estrogen)
– low sex drive
– bloating
– increases risk of blood clots
– weight gain
– headaches
– mood swings
– irregular periods
– excessive menstrual bleeding

Pressing for answers to some unanswered questions? Comment below or ask us from our Twitter or Facebook @tbhthepill.

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