The Onus Is On You

The Pill In Western Culture Today

In the Western culture, after the sexual revolution some 30 years ago, the birth control pill rose to the surface as an effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Today, when a young girl has her first menstrual period, called menarche, it generally follows that she will begin taking the pill within a year. Research indicates she will become sexually active by the time she is 13 years of age, sometimes younger.

Used For Medical Reasons As Well As Pregnancy Protection

Given this understanding, many young girls, with the support of their parents, go on birth control pills. Birth control pills can be an effective way to prevent pregnancy, and in some cases deal with some medical issues. Doctors often recommend the pill for girls who experience severe menstrual cramps when over-the-counter medications are inadequate. Since the combination birth control pill (made up of two synthetic hormones, progestin, and estrogen) prevents ovulation, they can eliminate the pain associated with ovulation, which occurs during the middle part of the menstrual cycle.

The pill is used to help regulate the menstrual cycle and the amount of bleeding during menses. It has also been used to address severe acne since the hormones in the pill can help to treat the condition. Hormone imbalance often causes acne, by way of surging progesterone or estrogen.

Proper Use Of The Pill

Perhaps due to their age, some teens fail to understand the responsibility that comes along with taking birth control pills. Whether used medicinally or for pregnancy protection, there are aspects of using birth control pills that are important to remember and employ. For any type of medication to work effectively, it must be taken properly. Consulting with a medical professional and following the instructions of the drug company who produced the pills is very important in order to maximize the effectiveness of the drugs.

Combination birth control pills, when taken perfectly according to directions, have a 99 percent effectiveness rating. Progestin-only birth control pills, called the mini-pill, when take correctly rate at 98 percent. However, perfect and correct application of these pills is not the norm. Typically, in each case, five percent of women taking birth control pills become pregnant and that is because they forget to take the pills on some days or take them irregularly in terms of time of day. Properly administered, they are taken at the same time every day for the prescribed number of days. There are provisions for missed pills, but there is also increased risk.

The Responsibility Lies With The Person Taking The Medication

When a teen or young woman begins to take birth control pills, it is important that she understands the implications and responsibilities. Birth control pills do not protect against STDs, nor do they prevent certain diseases as is sometimes thought. A careful study of the drug and sound counsel from a medical professional can help minimize the risks and promote effectiveness when using birth control pills.

See what other women are saying about responsible pill use and about whether or not generic birth control pills are as effective as the name-brand pills.

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