What Does Mean?

The Birth Control Pill

Contraceptive Birth Control Pill

What is it?

The birth control pill is what most people call the pill or BC pills. It is the most common type of birth control method and highly effective (up to 99%) when used correctly.

There are two different kinds of pills, the combination pill and the mini-pill. Combination pills contain two types of hormones, estrogen and progestin. Mini-pills contain only progestin.

There are many strengths and brands of birth control pills and your healthcare provider will talk to you about which kind might be right for you. The pill must be taken every day in order to be effective.

What are some advantages?

  • Very effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. Unfortunately, many people don’t use the pill correctly.
  • Can make periods more regular and cramps less painful.
  • Can improve acne and PMS.
  • May help protect against uterine and ovarian cancer.

What are some disadvantages?

  • The pill doesn’t protect against STDs; use a condom correctly every time you have sex.
  • Many people do not use them correctly.
  • You have to remember to take them every single day as directed or you will be at a higher risk for pregnancy.
  • May cause irregular bleeding.
  • May have other side effects and risks. Your healthcare provider will talk these about with you.

Where and how do you get it?

Only a healthcare provider can give you a prescription for birth control pills. You may have it filled at a pharmacy or get your pills at the clinic. Remember, the pill may not provide immediate protections against pregnancy. A backup method, such as a latex condom or Emergency Contraception, should always be used if you forget a pill. Your healthcare provider can help you decide what type of pill may be right for you and talk to you about how to take them correctly.