The most common hormonal method used by college women is the Pill. The pill is taken every twenty-four hours, specifically around the same time every day. It is most important that it is taken EVERY DAY and within the same hour. Otherwise, it is not effective. According to Planned Parenthood, for every 100 women who take the pill every day for a year, one will get pregnant. For every 100 women who do not always take the pill every day for a year, about 8 will get pregnant. (I actually had a friend that was one of these eight and so was her aunt. I’m not sure what happened to her aunt but I know my friend was not taking the pills at the same time everyday and she became pregnant.)
Pills usually come packaged with 28 tablets (7 days, 4 weeks). Three-quarters of the capsules have hormones and are called “active” pills. The remaining ones in the pack do not have hormones and are called “reminder” pills because they are placebos. These do not have to be taken, as they are usually just filled with sugar or iron. It is encouraged that they are taken to “remind” them of their daily habit and so they will not lose track because they will have to resume taking active pills at the end of this week, where menstruating is most likely to happen. This is done to assure the user that she is not pregnant and to regulate her menstrual cycle. However, some girls opt to constantly take active pills, resulting in no blood loss but this may lead to random blood loss.
The pill prevents acne, bone thinning, cancer of the ovaries and uterus, cysts in the breast and ovaries, bad cramps, heavy periods, serious infections in the tubes, ovaries, and uterus, pregnancy in the tubes, and anemia. Unfortunately, the pill does not protect girls from STD’s. Some common side effects are nausea, sore breasts, spotting (all three usually clear up within the second or third month), and headache. Some girls (I happen to be on of the lucky few and one of my friends) don’t have any of these side effects and are perfectly fine while others (I had a friend that had this problem), where the girl may bleed for a whole month.
Those on the pill have a slightly greater risk of rare serious problems like blood clots, heart attacks, liver tumors, and strokes. It is imperative that when on the pill, you have a good diet and some form of exercise. It is recommended that you do not go on the pill if your family has a history of diabetes, blood clots, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
If you decide to go on the pill, you will need a prescription after visiting a health clinic or your doctor. They will review your medical history and insurance then test your blood pressure and more. The medical exam may cost anywhere from $35-$250 and birth control pills can be purchased at a drug store for about $15-$50 a month. Lastly, be sure to read the insert that comes in the package for it differ slightly and/or be more detailed than the information given here.
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