Birth Control – Frequently Asked Questions

What are Birth Control Pills? – Women’s Center Abortion Pill Clinic.

Birth Control Pills are the combination of the two hormones 1) estrogen and progesterone. They they have been approved for over 50 years to prevent pregnancy.

Birth control pills are the most commonly prescribed method in preventing pregnancy.

Long term methods of birth control (Intrauterine Device and Progesterone Pellets) are having a significant increase in usage.

These long term methods are believed to be the main reason for the decrease in the pregnancy rate in the US and around the World.

How Do Birth Control Pills Prevent Pregnancy?


  • Preventing ovulation (stop the monthly release of the egg from the ovary) that normally occurs every 28 days.
  • Delaying ovulation long enough where the egg is unable to become fertilized.
  • Thickens the mucus of the cervix thus preventing sperm from entering the uterine cavity, fallopian tubes or getting close to the ovary or egg.


  • Prevents shedding of the endometrium (lining of the uterine wall) and thus no monthly breakthrough bleeding. It way take 2 to 3 months of continuous usage before the breakthrough bleeding stops.

Other Birth Control Pill Indications:

Birth Control Pills may be effective in treating the following conditions:

  • Acne
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Irregular Menses
  • Low Estrogen Conditions (Long Distance Runners, Anorexia Nervosa)
  • Endometriosis
  • Menstrual related pain
  • Menstrual related migraines

What Types of Birth Control Pills are Available On the Market Today?

  • Combined progesterone and estrogen 28 day paks
    • They may be taken continuously to avoid having a menses during a planned vacation or various other reasons
  • Combined progesterone and estrogen 91 day paks
    • Advantage is not having a menses but 4 times a year
  • Progestin only (mini pill) paks
    • May be used where patients have contraindications to taking estrogen

How Effective Are Birth Control Pills in Preventing Pregnancy?

If birth control pills are taken everyday at approximately the same time (2 to 3 hour window), they are over 99% effective. Due to human error (not taking birth control properly or delay), there is a 9 or 10% failure rate.

The combination of condom use and birth control pills is highly effective in preventing sexually transmitted disease, but is nearly 100% effective for pregnancy prevention.

Women must be committed to taking the pill about the same time on a daily basis.

What Are Situations That Reduce the Effectiveness of Birth Control Pills?

  • Being overweight
  • Taking certain antibiotics
  • HIV medications
  • Seizure Prevention Medications
  • Taking certain TB medications such as Rifampin
  • St. John’s Wort

How Long Does It Take For Birth Control Pills To Be Effective?

The medical literature suggests between 2 to 5 days after starting starting birth control pills the woman is protected from becoming pregnant.

The use of condoms are highly suggestive the first week of starting birth control pills to prevent pregnancy.

Where to Get Birth Control Pills?

You must have a medical exam at a Doctor’s office, Health Department or Family Planning Facility that consists of a medical history, pelvic exam, and Pap test to receive birth control pills.

They may be dispensed at the medical facility or a prescription obtained and filled by a Pharmacy.

Can Birth Control Pills Be Used While Breastfeeding?

The combined use of progesterone and estrogen pills reduces the amount of breast milk available to the infant.

Progestin only birth control pills may be taken while breastfeeding.

What Are The Side Effects of Taking Birth Control Pills?:

Birth control pills can cause breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting, vaginal spotting, lower abdominal pain, nervousness, depression and emotional instability. Usually these symptoms subside after the first several months of taking them.

Strokes, blood clots, and circulation disorders occur with birth control pills. If you have a history of liver disease, blood clotting disorder, stroke or hypertension, then birth control pills are not right for you.

Birth Control Pills are contraindicated in women who smoke and over 35 years old. This is due to the higher incidence of developing blood clots in the legs that may cause a pulmonary embolism and death.

Headaches, visual changes, chest pain, abdominal pain, or leg pain (calf), are all signs that you should be evaluated and birth control stopped immediately.

What Are Some Benefits of Taking Birth Control Pills?

Benefits of birth control pills are a reduced incidence of uterine and ovarian cancer, benign breast disease, pelvic infections, iron-deficiency anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, and a variety of menstrual disorders.

Do Birth Control Pills Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Infections?

The short answer is No. There is no protection against HIV or sexually transmitted infections. This is why condom usage is encouraged each time one has a contact sexual relationship.

What Is the Cost of Birth Control Pills?

The price of birth control pills may run from $0.00 to $60.00 per pak.

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