Hormonal Contraception: Types, Mechanism Of Action, Recommendations

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Hormonal Contraception: Types, Mechanism Of Action, Recommendations
Hormonal Contraception: Types, Mechanism Of Action, Recommendations

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hormonal contraception
hormonal contraception

Hormonal contraception is no longer surprising, since this is a fairly common measure of protection against unwanted pregnancy. So much is written and said about her that it is sometimes too easy to get lost in all this information. Against this background, myths have developed that are completely contrary to real facts.

The content of the article

  • 1 General concepts of hormonal contraception
  • 2 The work of hormones
  • 3 Start taking hormonal contraceptives
  • 4 Types of hormonal contraception
  • 5 Mechanical contraceptives
  • 6 Contraindications for use

Hormonal contraception is widely developed in all countries of the world. For example, in the United States of America, this method of protection is used by about 50% of women aged 15 to 45 years. In Russia, the picture is very different, as the survey revealed that only 10% of the country's population use contraceptive pills.

General concepts of hormonal contraceptioni

The large-scale movement to free oneself from various stereotypes has had a significant impact on the female half of the population, since now they can not only freely talk about their sexual and reproductive needs, but also satisfy them. Finally, women managed to regain the rights to their own bodies. Have sex as much as she wants and with whoever suits her. Independently make a decision about conceiving a child, or about terminating a pregnancy. In many ways, this revolution was facilitated by the development of hormonal contraception, since thanks to it, women gained power over the processes in their bodies.

Hormonal contraception is one of the ways to prevent unwanted fertilization, which a woman is able to independently regulate. It is believed that this method is the best among the possible, if you choose the right one and follow the admission rules. Thus, fears of an unplanned pregnancy fade into the background and allow you to fully enjoy intimacy with your partner. Now couples can choose when to have offspring. Their only drawback is that birth control pills are not able to save the female body from genital infections. In this case, only a condom can be the only remedy.

Contraceptives have approximately a similar algorithm for influencing the female body:

  • Suppression of ovulation,
  • Suppression of the attachment of the egg to the surface of the uterus.

This is possible due to the fact that the woman's body periodically takes in synthetic sex hormones. And the absence of ovulation is obtained because from the effects of contraceptives, the ovaries decrease in size, and the follicles stop working.

The work of hormones2

These are substances that affect the functioning of the human body. With the normalization of the hormonal environment, the quality of the skin and hair improves, the weight does not exceed the norm, and they have some contraceptive properties. Whatever beneficial effect they have, it is strictly forbidden to take them without consulting a specialist!

work of hormones
work of hormones

Sex hormones are biologically active substances responsible for the difference between female and male sex types. There are two types of sex hormones in the human body:

  • Estrogens are hormones responsible for female reproductive ability. They initially determine feminine characteristics from the moment of puberty, and are responsible for sex drive and the monthly cycle.
  • Gastrogens (pregnancy hormones) come from the corpus luteum of the ovaries and the adrenal cortex. Thanks to them, pregnancy and its support are possible.

Thanks to these two types of hormones, the monthly cycle occurs: the birth of the egg, ovulation, and the preparation of the uterus for the adoption of the fetus. When the latter does not happen, then after the second stage, the egg dies, and the mucous component of the genital organ undergoes a process of rejection. This is followed by menstruation. It is this that causes the release of blood, and not the rupture of the egg, as many believe. With bloody discharge, an unfertilized cell is gradually excreted, but its size is so small that it is simply not possible to see it with the naked eye.

One of the main estrogenic hormones in the female body is estradiol, which is produced by the ovaries. Its greatest presence in the body falls out around the middle of the cycle, which activates the pituitary gland in the brain. It is he who is responsible for starting ovulation and activating progesterone (the main gastagen).

female contraceptives
female contraceptives

Guided by the specifics of the female body, hormonal contraception is aimed at:

  • Suppression of the pituitary gland
  • Maintaining normal progesterone levels

In other words, when using hormonal contraception, the pituitary gland is freed from one of the functions, and the female body is in a state of false pregnancy during the course (hormones are in the same stage, without any hesitation; the eggs do not function; fertilization cannot take place).

There is also a different type of hormonal drugs from the first. They tend to alter vaginal secretions so that they become more viscous. For this reason, it is more difficult for male reproductive cells to get to a woman's egg, and its changed thickness of the membrane excludes the release of the egg outside the uterus and thus reduces the mobility of the fallopian tubes.

An alternative method of protection against pregnancy is male contraceptives and their effect on the body. About this and not only in the article at the link.

Start taking hormonal contraceptives3

Experts advise to start taking hormonal contraceptives only after the monthly cycle is finally established. This occurs approximately at the age of 16-19. They can be used until menopause, or until the pregnancy is desired. By the way, after giving birth, you can start the course again. If there is no discomfort caused by taking the pills, then breaks are possible only if pregnancy is necessary and before lactation. If you take a break just like that, then there is a high probability of getting pregnant, since only the cyclic use of hormonal contraceptives will provide an opportunity to avoid this process.

taking pills
taking pills

In order for the gynecologist-endocrinologist to be able to choose the right drugs correctly, he needs reliable information about the client's health. Do not hide any illness or allergy. All this can have a deplorable effect on the prescribed drug. And it's good if it just doesn't work. But it can also happen that the processes caused by contraceptives can cause an allergic reaction or exacerbate an existing disease.

Before an appointment with a gynecologist, it is better to make sure that the anamnesis (medical history) contains:

  • thromboembolic diseases
  • diabetes (if any)
  • hyperandogeny
  • other diseases that happened in the family
  • information from the examination (general examination, examination of the mammary glands, blood pressure, smear from the uterus, blood clotting and sugar tests, risk factors as a result)

Types of hormonal contraception4

Hormonal contraceptives differ from each other in the way they are used, the composition and content of hormones in them. The most common type is oral contraceptives. For women who use this type of drug in their daily life, about 25 percent of women prefer oral (summary based on research in the United States). Such tablets must be taken every day at a certain interval, which depends on the composition of the drug.

all about hormonal contraception
all about hormonal contraception

Tablets are divided into several types according to their composition:

  • Mini drank. They contain exclusively synthetic gastagens.
  • Combined oral (COC). They include synthetic estrogen and some kind of gastagen (it depends on the state of the body and on what substances it needs)

This type of contraceptive has the lowest dosage rates in relation to others. But they also have effective protection against unwanted pregnancy. The only thing that is not convenient in oral contraceptives is the need to take it daily and at the same time. For those who find it difficult to keep track of taking medications, it is better to immediately refuse and find others, since violation of the rules for use increases the risk of conception.

The nuances in using all possible types of contraception in our article.

Mechanical contraceptives5

This type of drug is placed under or on the skin, as well as inside the uterus. Its work is designed to periodically release a small proportion of hormones into the body. Only it needs to be periodically replaced with a new one. The patch can be fixed on any part of the body and changed once a week. As for the ring, it is made of elastic material and placed in the vagina for about a month, like a tampon. There are still spirals, it can be in a woman's body for up to five years. Only a specialized doctor can put it. The last of the existing ones is an implant. They fit under the skin and are comparable to a spiral in life.

about hormonal contraception
about hormonal contraception

Hormonal injections may be considered. They are introduced for a long time, but in the Russian Federation this method is little practiced. They are used mainly in countries where access to other options is limited, but this does not require, and is considered quite effective and low cost. The significant disadvantage is that it cannot be prevented. In other words, the injection makes it impossible to ever conceive a child.

Contraindications to use6

The list of contraindications for use is quite voluminous and it is better to discuss it with a specialized doctor. Here are just a few of them:

  • Combined contraceptives are contraindicated for pregnant women, and are also not recommended for non-breastfeeding mothers for the next 3 months after the birth of a child. Breastfeeding up to 6 weeks after pregnancy.
  • Smoking women over 35.
  • Women susceptible to hypertensive diseases.
  • Women with thromboembolic problems.
  • Patients with diabetes.
  • With existing vascular disorders.
  • With gallbladder disease
  • Heart disease
  • With hepatitis.
about hormonal contraception
about hormonal contraception

Despite all the difficulties of use and contraindications, hormonal contraception greatly simplifies the life of women and opens up new horizons of joy for them without the risk of becoming pregnant.

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