The combined oral contraceptive pill (or the pill) contains Oestrogen and Progestogen. These are artificial versions of the actual hormones oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are usually produced naturally in a females ovaries, however the contraceptive pill is taken in order to help prevent pregnancy (being over 99% effective). The combined pill can also be taken to reduce period pain, lighten periods which may be unusually heavy, and reduce the symptoms of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
The pill helps to prevent pregnancy in a number of ways:
- It prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg (during ovulation).
- The lining of the womb thins, making it harder for a fertilised egg to implant into the wall and develop.
- The mucus in the neck of the womb thickens, making penetration by sperm cells harder.
The pill however can have some side effects when you are taking it. These may include things such as mood swings, headaches and nausea. Also it can sometimes cause weight gain.