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  • Each year millions of women choose the birth control pill as their preferred from of contraception. When you know more about how the pill works, you can decide if this is the right type of birth control for your lifestyle.

    Identification

    A birth control pill is a dose of hormones that are taken on a regular basis to prevent pregnancy. They are also referred to as oral contraceptives or "the pill."

    Hormones

    "Mini" pills are birth control pills that only contain one hormone: progestin. Combination pills are comprised of two hormones: estrogen and progestin.

    Function

    Birth control pills work by preventing a woman from ovulating, and thereby releasing an egg. When there is no egg for a sperm to connect with, pregnancy is avoided.

    Considerations

    According to Planned Parenthood, if a woman takes her pill routinely, the chance of becoming pregnant is less than one in 100. However, if a woman doesn't take the pill as directed, her chances of becoming pregnant increase to eight in 100.

    Warning

    Do not take the pill if you have a history of liver cancer, uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, or complications with blood clotting. If you discover you are pregnant, discontinue taking your pills immediately.

    Source:

    Planned Parenthood: The Birth Control Pill

    Mayo Clinic: Birth Control Pill FAQ

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