It’s election season soon and the major debate will be birth control and abortion for all the religious nuts that will be coming out of the woodwork. Let us focus on the birth control side since we don’t want to mix religion with common sense science. As we age from our teens into our young adolescent years, hormones go wild. The forces of attraction outweigh common sense. Mistakes will happen and rather than face the thought of choice between abortion or full carriage, we have the options of birth control. Keep in mind that birth control pills not only prevent pregnancy but may make your periods more regular, decrease blood loss and painful periods, and decrease your risk of ovarian cysts.
Our first focus is the pill format. Yaz (Gianvi is the generic form) is a new generation medications by combining 2 synthetic hormones. Other names include Ocella and Yasmin. It has an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (drospirenone). This product prevents pregnancy by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during the menstrual cycle. In addition, it makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg. If a fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus, it passes out of the body.
The birth control pills side effects for Yaz include an increase the risk of serious conditions including blood clots, stroke, and heart attack especially if you are a smoker. These can be life-threatening or lead to permanent disability. Also add serious headaches even migraines, nausea, pain, swelling, dark urine, breast lump and symptoms of depression to name a few. Currently there are lawsuits due to the side effects from the use of Yaz.
Next up is the Depo-Provera shot. Depo-Provera is a birth control shot which is made up of a hormone similar to progesterone called progestin. This hormone prevents the eggs from leaving the ovaries and makes the cervical mucus thicker to keep sperm from getting to the eggs. The birth control injection is given by a doctor into the woman’s arm or buttocks. Each shot provides protection against pregnancy for up to 12 to 14 weeks and must be received once every 12 weeks to provide full protection.
The birth control shot side effects include severe vaginal bleeding, depression, headaches, weight gain, excessive growth of facial and body hair as well as dizziness. When using this birth control for extensive periods of time, women tend to lose their periods but the cycles return once the shot is stopped. Although the risks aren’t that terrible, the FDA has placed a black box warning when using this medication, due to an increased loss in bone mineral density increases the risk of osteoporosis.
When pills and shots are not enough, there is the transdermal patch. Ortho Evra is a contraceptive skin patch containing a combination of female hormones (ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin) that prevent the release of an egg from an ovary. So you can see that each form of birth control works the same way using different hormones. The patch is applied every week for 7 days for three weeks in a row.
The birth control patch side effects are similar to all the other birth control forms. They include an increase the risk of serious conditions including blood clots, stroke, and heart attack especially if you are a smoker. Also on the list are headaches, nausea, pain, swelling, dark urine and diarrhea.
Mirena is an intrauterine device (IUD) used to prevent pregnancy. It’s made of soft, flexible plastic and placed into your uterus by your healthcare provider during a routine office visit. It almost looks like an anchor. Mirena releases small amounts of hormone directly into the uterus called levonorgesterel and can last up to 5 years. It performs the same way as other birth control medications by preventing the release of the egg.
The side effects of birth control by IUD are similar to the other forms of birth control listed above except for one difference: some women may experience dangerous, life-threatening side effects. Since it is a medical device, it can perforate the uterus, cause pelvic inflammatory disease and create pregnancies that occur outside the uterus. The device may also move from the uterus and embed in other parts of the body such as the uterine wall or abdomen, requiring difficult surgery to remove.
Have you used any of the above forms of birth control?