Most of women have many doubts about the correct use of hormonal contraceptives and their effects, because they don’t know exactly how they work and whether there are differences between them. In this post, we’ll try to remove some of the most common doubts, but remember that your gynaecology is the right person who can help you with that.
1. How do they work? Hormonal contraceptive methods contain synthetic molecules similar to those regulating the feminine menstrual cycle and they combine two types of hormones: oestrogens and progestins. They inhibit ovulation, thicken cervical mucus and reduce endometrial thickness.
2. Are all methods efficient in the same way? Yes, when properly used. Their efficacy is about 99%. Five types are sold in Spain: the combined oral pill, the mini-pill (progestogen-only pill), the vaginal ring, the patches, the subcutaneous hormone implants and the hormonal IUDs (intrauterine device).
3. Why are there women who use them without any problem and others that can’t tolerate them? Because of the hormones contained in each method (which can vary), the age, the family and clinic history and the personal circumstances of each woman.
4. At which age can a woman start using them? They are recommended when a woman begins to have sexual intercourses, but they could be used also before, in order to treat disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome.
5. Is there any method with a lower hormonal dose? Currently all methods contain a similar dose, but it could vary from one to another.
6. Is it better to take a break or consider a continuous method? To some women bleeding like a “period” help them to confirm them that they are not pregnant. Anyway, the break is not mandatory.
7. Without ovulation, why is there bleeding? The bleeding appearing during the break is produced by the reduction of hormones presence.
8. I want to get pregnant, do I need to wait to have my period or can I start trying the month after I stop using contraception? Waiting is not necessary. Nevertheless, some women prefer to wait between one and three months in order to regulate their cycles.