How do birth control pills work?
The female hormones progesterone and estrogen are secreted in excess amounts when the woman is pregnant. Hormonal levels are thus a pregnancy indication to the body. Birth control pills also function on a hormonal basis to trick the body into being pregnant.
They contain progestational and estrogenic compounds (Some may even contain the former alone). On ingestion, these compounds mimic the levels of the actual hormones during pregnancy and signal the body to not ovulate. No ovulation means that there is no fertilizable egg for the sperm and thus no chances of conception.
A pregnancy signal further evokes the body to thicken the cervical mucus which hampers the motility of the sperm as it moves towards the uterus from the vagina. Moreover, since there is no fluctuation in the level of the actual hormone, the uterine lining is not thickened. But, what most women wonder is that, if there is no tissue build up or ovulation, then why do they bleed?
Withdrawal bleeding from birth control pills
Contraceptives follow a 21-day regimen. But, if you bought birth ones like Ovral G online, their descriptions clearly mention the presence of 28 pills. The 7 extra pills are the placebo or inert sugar pills to be taken after 21 days of the active one. It is in this final week that withdrawal bleeding is observed. How is this caused?
It is important to know that the bleeding caused by birth control is NOT the same as your regular menstrual periods. During the first three weeks of the active-drug consumption, a certain level of the acting-hormones is maintained steadily. A sudden drop in this level during week 4 thins the uterine lining just enough to cause slight bleeding. It takes about 3-4 days of the inert pills for our body to recognize a drop in the level of the hormones, so that is when bleeding is usually observed
How is it different from menstrual blood?
- The blood discharged during the withdrawal bleeding does not contain uterine tissues or an unfertilized egg
- Withdrawal bleeding lasts for a much shorter time than the regular periods
- It is also characterized by a much lighter and thinner flow
Does this mean I can get pregnant in the last week?
The first three weeks of the pills are enough protection and appreciably lower the chances of pregnancy. So, a woman can skip taking the inert pills that are indicated for the final week. However, the important thing is to remember to start a new pack on the 28th day. This should be of specific importance to a woman who has undergone an abortion recently. When you make an abortion decision and buy abortion pills or undergo a surgical procedure, you surely do not look to get pregnant in the near future.
Furthermore, some pharmaceuticals specify the presence of important supplements as active ingredients in those placebo pills that aid a woman’s health. So, the final week pills might actually be beneficial for the woman.
Why is withdrawal bleeding important?
Women consider menstrual bleeding as an indication of not being pregnant. Studies showed that, although birth control pills can be designed to avoid the monthly bleeding completely, it would have a severe psychological impact on women. So, despite being fake, the withdrawal bleeding is an important characteristic of contraceptives.
Although these oral contraceptives are highly effective, they must be taken without any forgetfulness strictly following their regimen. In the case of any mishap during sexual intercourse supported by a suspicion of having forgotten the pills, an emergency contraceptive should be considered. One must also be informed that these tablets are not effective in the first week of their first cycle and other alternatives for contraception should be used. If you recently underwent an abortion surgery, your doctor may advise you about contraception. If you chose to undergo a pregnancy termination with abortion pills, be sure to begin the use of contraceptives soon.