First obtainable to girls in 1960, “the capsule” has a protracted historical past. It was once one of many solely choices obtainable for stopping undesirable being pregnant. However the capsule is now not the go-to contraception technique for teen women who’re sexually energetic.
We requested girls’s well being specialist Heather Payne to share contraception tablets execs and cons. A nurse practitioner, Payne additionally tells us about different simpler methods to forestall being pregnant. This may enable you and your daughter determine which contraception is the suitable alternative for her.
Start Management Drugs: Execs
The capsule has modified over time. “New formulations are all the time popping out,” says Payne. Most comprise a mix of two feminine hormones:
- Progestin (a lab-made model of the pure hormone progesterone)
Collectively, these hormones stop being pregnant by stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucus to gradual sperm motion. Extra advantages of the capsule embrace:
Lighter, extra common intervals
The hormone progestin thins the uterine lining. This reduces bleeding. Sometimes, girls take the capsule for 3 weeks and have one week off. That is once they have a light-weight interval. Nonetheless, as a result of the capsule prevents the buildup of the uterine lining, girls may also take the capsule repeatedly or for longer intervals for fewer or no intervals. “It’s a false impression that it’s important to have a interval. Taking the capsule repeatedly — with out the 7-day dose of placebo tablets — doesn’t trigger any long-term well being points,” says Payne.
Helps stop most cancers
Utilizing contraception tablets can lower your danger for some cancers. This contains endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal most cancers.
Aid for PCOS signs
Girls with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) produce increased ranges of the male hormone testosterone. Nonetheless, the capsule’s estrogen can assist even out hormone ranges. This reduces associated signs like irregular hair progress and zits. “Girls with PCOS are additionally in danger for irregular buildup of the uterine lining. This will enhance the chance of uterine most cancers. However the hormones in oral contraceptives can assist decrease this danger,” says Payne.
Clearer pores and skin
The capsule helps decrease androgens or male hormones within the physique to forestall zits and pimples.
Helps regulate temper swings
Temper swings that include premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the extra extreme premenstrual dysphoric dysfunction (PMDD) happen in some girls due to the hormone fluctuations brought on by ovulation. Nonetheless, the capsule stops ovulation and helps preserve these temper swings in verify.
Prevents being pregnant
When used completely, the capsule is a dependable solution to stop being pregnant. The success fee is round 99%. The important thing, after all, is utilizing it precisely as prescribed (see cons under).
Start Management Drugs: Cons
You’ll have considerations in regards to the capsule’s many myths and misconceptions. Analysis research have confirmed most to be false, such because the elevated danger for infertility. However the capsule can have some unfavorable uncomfortable side effects and danger for being pregnant that you simply and your daughter have to learn about.
Excessive failure fee
The capsule is simply efficient when taken day by day, ideally on the identical time. “This strict routine is the most important drawback of the capsule for teenagers,” says Payne. “They could overlook to take the capsule or begin a pack late.” This impacts the capsule’s effectiveness. Round 10% of ladies get pregnant whereas on the capsule. That’s a reasonably excessive failure fee. “For this reason the capsule is taken into account a ‘second-tier’ possibility by way of being pregnant prevention,” Payne provides.
Uncommon danger of blood clots & stroke
Girls on contraception have an elevated danger for blood clots and stroke in comparison with girls who usually are not taking the capsule. Nonetheless, this facet impact continues to be very uncommon, says Payne. The chance is highest in girls who’ve migraine with aura, people who smoke, and people with a private or household historical past of blood clotting issues.
Some girls expertise nausea when starting the capsule. “Taking a capsule with a decrease dose of estrogen or with out estrogen can assist,” says Payne.
Surprising bleeding between intervals or recognizing is a standard facet impact of the capsule, particularly within the first few months of use. “Taking the capsule on the identical time daily can assist,” says Payne.
Not appropriate for all girls
Some girls ought to keep away from taking contraception tablets with estrogen. This contains girls with:
- Migraine with aura
- Uncontrolled hypertension
- Private or household historical past of blood clots
“There’s a progestin-only contraception capsule for girls preferring to not take or can not take estrogen,” says Payne. These ‘mini tablets’ don’t stop ovulation. Furthermore, they could lose effectiveness if not taken on the identical time each single day.
Higher Choice than the Capsule?
Extra teenagers in the present day are selecting to not use the capsule, says Payne. As a substitute, they’re utilizing long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). “For many teenagers, LARC is the most suitable choice,” says Payne. The largest professional? They’re simpler for teenagers to handle. However they’re additionally:
- Higher at stopping being pregnant
- Superior to tubal ligation or “getting your tubes tied” (a surgical procedure to chop, tie or block the fallopian tubes to forestall being pregnant)
- Not as dangerous as a result of they don’t comprise estrogen, which may trigger blood clots
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What Are LARC Choices?
The commonest of those, Nexplanon®, releases progestin to skinny the uterus and stop being pregnant. Medical doctors insert this tiny, rod-shaped implant below the pores and skin within the arm. It’s permitted by the FDA for 3 years of use. However research present it might final so long as 5 years. As well as, intervals might cease fully for some girls. Others might have recognizing that may be managed with a brief course of estrogen or ibuprofen.
Intrauterine machine (IUD)
A health care provider inserts this T-shaped machine contained in the uterus. It helps stop a fertilized egg from implanting. There are a number of several types of IUD. Some have the hormone progestin and a few don’t. The IUD with progestin thickens cervical mucus to assist stop the sperm from reaching the egg. It additionally can assist scale back blood circulation, typically stopping intervals altogether. Girls on the non-hormonal IUD, alternatively, might have heavier intervals.
Most significantly, IUDs are 99% efficient and may keep in place for between 3 to 10 years, relying on the hormone dosage.
In case your teen daughter is sexually energetic, speak to her about contraception capsule execs and cons and different contraceptive strategies. Or schedule an appointment along with her pediatrician or gynecologist who can assist her determine which possibility is finest for her.