Birth control has become a controversial issue today in our society. The types of birth control that can be used vary, while the side effects may not be explained to women who use them. The types that can be used include emergency contraceptives, pills, rings, patches, and shots.
Emergency contraceptives (ECPs), or plan B, are “hormones in the pill that act as an anabortifacient by thinning the lining of the uterus and preventing the newly-conceived child from implanting” (Warber 15). ECPs delay ovulation, therefore preventing any chance of pregnancy. In one study, two out of 100 women had an unplanned pregnancy although they took the pill at the correct time. ECPs are not effective if taken before intercourse (Hirsh “Emergency Contraception” 2). For ECPs to work their best, they must be taken no later than seventy-two hours after unprotected sex. Another dose can be taken twelve hours after the first dose (1).
ECPs have few side effects, but can cause nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, headaches, or the menstrual period may be irregular. Most side effects improve within one to two days (Hirsh “Emergency Contraception” 2). ECPs are either prescribed by a doctor or retrieved at a health clinic (3). The cost of ECPs usually runs from eight to thirty-five dollars per pill, and insurance covers this in most situations. Also, by calling (888) NOT-2LATE, one may find someone in the area who sells ECPs (3).
Another type of birth control is “the pill.” This form of birth control “constitutes a class of synthetic steroid hormones that suppress the release of follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones from the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland in the female body” (“Drug”1). In other words, the pill contains estrogen and progesterone which in turn prevent ovulation. It also thickens mucus around the cervix and prevents the sperm form touching any loose eggs (Hirsh “Pill”1). Three out of fifty couples will have an accidental pregnancy while on the pill for a year; however, the effectiveness is determined by a woman’s health conditions and whether the pill is taken correctly (2).
Although the pill may prove to be one of the most used and effective types of birth control, it has more serious side effects. Women can develop breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, liver tumors, infertility, sterility, ovarian cysts, and sometimes abortions (Warber 4). Women between eighteen and thirty years old on the pill, who also exercise, may have a higher chance of losing bone density in the hip and spine. Studies have shown that women who switch to another pill or quit taking it, “report adverse sexual, emotional, and physical side effects as opposed to the women who continued with the same pill” (4). Minor side effects of the pill are nausea, breast tenderness, bleeding, higher blood pressure, and blood clots. Risks are usually higher in women over thirty-five (“Drug” 1). The pill works best when taken every day at the...