Alrighty folks, so we have likely all heard of the contraceptive pill or ‘the pill’. It’s a fabulous little hit of hormones that allows women to control their fertility. The pill basically tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant and therefore creates an environment in the uterus where it is hard for sperm to implant and impregnate a women. This is also why you can skip your period when you are on the pill, because your body thinks it already has a baby, how clever is that! Thank you science you gem!
You can hear about a lot of side effects from the pill, and like anything, those can vary from person to person. We really ought to cut the pill some slack though. For every thing that makes up this planet of ours, there is someone that is allergic to it, therefore, it makes absolute sense that one pill cannot work perfectly for everyone. It would be kind of worrying if it did. This is why science (aka the real MVP) has come to our rescue by creating…. LOTS OF DIFFERENT CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS! Hazzah! Each pill has a different combination of ingredients so that women can try a few to find the one that suits them best.
In celebration of Sexual Health Week, I thought I’d write a list of things to be celebrated about the contraceptive pill! Here goes;
- The contraceptive pill does NOT make you put on weight. Yay! This is a common misconception and actually incredibly rare.
- You can go off and on the pill throughout your life, there is no long term commitment as long as you take it every day.
- It won’t affect your fertility later in life. I was cautious about going on the pill when I was younger because I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant later in life if I did. Soooo not the case!
- Now, this is my favourite contraceptive pill fact that I learnt last year in my reproductive class… you can skip you period for as many times in a row as you’d like! It is an outdated piece of medical advice that you can only skip one or two. There is no damage caused from skipping and you menstrual blood does NOT accumulate. The only issue with this is that the body will have its cycle whenever it feels it needs to. This means it may come after 4, 2 or 7 months, making it unpredictable, but still, cool fact right?
- Following on from above, skipping your period for travel is a definite plus of the pill! No one wants to be in a rural village without bins, flushing toilets or showers AND a period. Trust me.
- You can get a pill that whilst giving you the same contraceptive control, also helps clear up your skin! It does cost a little more than the ’regular’ one but for some it’s worth it.
- It can also help you with period problems and increase your iron by skipping your period.
- It’s a great extra form of protection if a condom breaks/slips/is pierced or expired. However, remember that whilst it is amazing, it does NOT protect you from getting sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) or blood borne viruses (BBVs), so always still use a condom.
- The pill is 99% effective if taken correctly, aka every day as directed by your doctor and the prescription on the box.
- You can control when you do or don’t have your period, allowing you to be adequately prepared – quite the miracle.
- The pill is very affordable here in Australia, and can be as little as $5 for 3 months of pills! A Medicare or health care card subsidises the price, how good is that!
- The emergency contraceptive pill is a relative of the contraceptive pill and is otherwise known as the ‘morning after pill’. Ironically, the emergency contraceptive pill does not have to be taken the morning after unprotected sex and is effective up to 72 hours afterwards. It is more effective the earlier you take it though. Also fun fact about the emergency pill, you can take it on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night if need be and have no long term damage! It is a myth, and one I was told, that you can only have the emergency pill a certain amount of times in your life. You can have it as often as you like however it is not a form or contraception but a back-up option, preventative contraception is far more effective and cheaper!
- The pill is often prescribed to lessen the effects period cramps, endometriosis pain and can lighten your flow.
- It is a less invasive form of contraception compared to others.
Essentially the pill is fabulous and has many benefits, however remember that every body is different and these facts are generations with outcomes varying from person to person. If you have further questions regarding the contraceptive pill or anything else relating to sexual health, feel free to private message the YEP crew on Facebook or call Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ) on 9227 6177.