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Hormonal Pills and Other Types of Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal Pills and Other Types of Hormonal Contraceptives

There are many ways to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections or STIs through contraception. Aside from the usual latex condoms that are used in intercourse, there are hormonal contraceptives that provide the same effects and better efficacy. What are the types of hormonal contraceptives?

Hormonal contraceptives make use of hormones to lower the possibility of pregnancy. They may consist of both estrogen and progesterone or are made up of only progesterone. Hormonal contraceptives may be taken orally, injected, placed on the skin, or even placed inside the vagina.

What are the types of hormonal contraceptives?

There is a vast number of hormonal pills and hormonal contraceptives available throughout the world, and many of them are available in the Philippines. Here are the following hormonal pills and other types of hormonal contraceptives that are obtainable in a local setting:

Pills or oral contraceptives

Pills are one of the most common hormonal contraceptives used around the globe. They can be obtained through public health centers and even in some drug stores. Logenthol, Mercilon, and Micropil are a few brands that can be found in local drug stores.

What makes oral birth control differ from one another is the level of estrogen and progestin they contain. The pills must be taken every day to ensure efficacy of preventing pregnancy.

Some advantages of hormonal pills are:

  • Less painful dysmenorrhea or cramping
  • Makes the menstrual cycle either more consistent or delay its arrival
  • Noticeable decrease of acne on the face
  • Can reduce the likelihood of getting ovarian cysts

Some disadvantages of hormonal pills are:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Irritability
  • Spotting

If you are considering taking pills, remember checking if you are getting too much or too little hormones because of the pills and switch to another brand. Talk to a health professional regarding.

Transdermal patch

Transdermal patches are bandage-like adhesives that are applied on a weekly basis for 3 weeks. The patches are put onto the buttocks, abdomen and upper torso of the user. Transdermal patches can be applied on the start of the menstrual period but they can generally be used at any time as long as you are not pregnant,

It is important to know that women who use the patch have relatively higher estrogen levels than those who use hormonal pills and other types of hormonal contraceptives.

Some advantages of the transdermal patch include:

  • Ease of use
  • Less painful dysmenorrhea or cramping
  • Reduces the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease or PID
  • Can lessen acne

Some disadvantages of the transdermal patch include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Patches may get detached
  • Needs constant changing to ensure efficacy
  • Cannot use lotions or creams on the skin that has the patch applied on

Vaginal Ring

The vaginal ring is a small and flexible plastic ring that is used for 3 weeks and used a week after without the ring itself. It is more consistent when it comes to providing concentration of hormones than hormonal pills and other types of hormonal contraceptives.

Some advantages of vaginal rings include:

  • Less painful dysmenorrhea or cramping
  • Makes the menstrual cycle either more consistent or delay its arrival
  • Noticeable decrease of acne on the face
  • Can reduce the likelihood of getting ovarian cysts

Some disadvantages of vaginal rings include:

  • Requires a backup contraceptive 7 days after a new ring is put on if intercourse will occur
  • Withdrawal bleeding is likely after removal

Injectable progestin

This is an injectable type of hormonal contraceptive that makes use of progestin to avoid pregnancy. They must be injected regularly every 12 weeks in order to be effective. You may have to wait 12 months later in order for your fertility to come back after having progestin shots.

In the Philippines, only progesterone shots are available in the market. Depo Trust is an injectable progestin brand that can be bought in drugs stores. They can be administered through various health centers, clinics, and even with experienced service providers.

Some advantages of the injectable progestin include:

  • It is effectively immediately after the injection
  • Has only a few minor side effects
  • Helps decrease menstrual flow
  • Less painful dysmenorrhea or cramping

Some disadvantages of injectable progestin include:

  • May experience nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Spotting

The side effects will disappear after a few more doses of the injection since estrogen is a natural hormone that the body accepts.

Subdermal implant

Subdermal implants are small, rod-like hormonal contraceptives, which contain progestin. It is inserted into the non-dominant arm with anesthesia and will remain in your body for 3 years to continuously release progestrogen slowly.

Some advantages of the subdermal implants include:

  • Reversibility of fertility after it is removed from the skin
  • Does not need to be taken manually
  • Does not affect intercourse whatsoever
  • Has no estrogen-related side effects like nausea or affects the breast milk

Some disadvantages of the subdermal implants include:

  • They cannot be removed manually since they require a professional to be removed
  • The rods need to be taken out after some time
  • No protection against sexually transmitted infections or STIs
  • Rods are expensive

Most women can use subdermal implants but those who have cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and high blood pressure need to visit their doctor for follow-ups. Women who are currently breastfeeding, those with a history of stroke and breast cancer cannot use the contraceptive at all.

Intrauterine devices or IUDs

An IUD a small, flexible plastic that is placed into the uterus or uterine cavity. In the Philippines, there are 2 types of IUDs available: The Copper T380 and the hormone-releasing IUD.

The Copper T380 has copper coiled around and uses copper to prevent pregnancy. It can be effectively used for around 12 years. The hormone-releasing IUD, on the other hand, releases progesterone and has an efficacy of 5 years.

Some advantages of IUDs include:

  • Very effective
  • Safe to use
  • Does not affect breast milk
  • Only applied once

Some disadvantages of IUDs include:

  • Side effects such as swelling and heavy menstrual flows
  • Device might be misplaced and removed without knowing
  • Pelvic examination is required to insert the IUD
  • Cannot prevent sexually transmitted infections or STIs

How do we choose the right birth control method?

When considering options for hormonal pills and other types of hormonal contraceptives, look into factors such as sensitivity to increased hormones, general health, lifestyle, and frequency of intercourse. You may discuss with a healthcare provider regarding which option is most suitable for you.

Conclusion

Hormonal pills and other types of hormonal contraceptives can be as effective as condoms, but they can have many side effects depending on the person. A person may experience better menstrual flow, reduced acne, and even a decreased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. Although not all contraceptives can protect against STIs and may actually do more harm than good with its disadvantages. It is important to discuss thoroughly with both your partner and a doctor which hormonal contraceptive is the right one for you.

Learn more about Contraception here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Hormonal contraception

https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/hormonal-contraception

Accessed October 21, 2021

Hormonal Contraception

https://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/documents/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/hormonal-contraception/

Accessed October 21, 2021

Side effects of hormonal contraceptives

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/1215/p1509.html

Accessed October 21, 2021

Birth control options

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11427-birth-control-options

Accessed October 21, 2021

The Philippine Clinical Standards Manual on Family Planning

https://doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/publications/FPCSM_2014.pdf

Accessed October 21, 2021

Birth Control: Pros and Cons of Hormonal Methods

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tw9513

Accessed October 21, 2021

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Written by Angeli Del Rosario Updated 3 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza