The oral contraceptives contain different levels of estrogens and progesterone or progesterone alone. It is prescribed by the family doctor after considering the family history and medical records of the woman. These pills stop the ovaries from releasing eggs every month. They also make the lining of the uterus thinner so that the fertilized egg could not attach there.

The disadvantages are that the pill must be taken everyday without any break. Even if you have vomiting or diarrhoea the effect of the pill is gone and you can become pregnant. If you forget to take the pill for a day then also the risk of pregnancy is there. Every year you need three months interval for the regeneration of the hormone household of your body, otherwise infertility may be the result. There are many side effects from these hormone pills.

Side effects:

If you have the following symptoms, go to your doctor and talk to him. These include severe headache, severe vomiting, speech problems, dizziness, faintness, weakness or numbness of arms or legs, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, crushing chest pain or chest heaviness, double vision, partial or complete loss of vision, bulging eyes, pain, warmth or heaviness in the back of the lower leg, severe stomach pain, jaundice, loss of appetite, extreme tiredness, weakness or lack of energy, fever, dark urine, pale stool, swelling of the hands, feet, joints and lower legs, mood changes and depression, unusual bleeding, skin rash and menstrual bleeding which is unusually heavy or that lasts more than 7 days in a row.

The other side effects are nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps or bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, swelling of the gum, increased or decreased appetite, brown or black skin patches, acne, hair growth in unusual places, white vaginal discharge, swelling, redness, irritation, burning or itching of the vagina, breast tenderness, enlargement or discharge, painful or missed menstruation, changes in menstrual flow, bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods, weight gain or weight loss and difficulty in wearing contact lenses.

Oral contraceptives may increase the risk of developing liver tumours and breast or liver cancer. The risk of getting a heart attack, a stroke or a serious blood clot may also be increased. Consult with your doctor about these serious effects.

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious side effects from oral contraceptives, including heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. If you are older than 35 years or smoke 15 or more cigarettes per day, then the risk is higher. If you take birth control pills, you should not smoke.


Oral contraceptives will work only as long as they are taken regularly. You may need to use a backup method of birth control if you vomit or have diarrhoea when you are taking this drug. You can consult your doctor to choose the correct backup method and for other advices.

The women who have family histories of diabetes, high blood pressure, migraines, blood clots and breast cancer should not take this. It is same with the progesterone-only pill also. Although both pills are 99% effective if taken properly these are not suitable for women who change their partners often because they give no protection from HIV virus and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The patch - it is a big plaster with hormones of the combined pill oestrogen and progesterone and is applied on the skin. The hormones reach the blood through the skin. Apart from the side effects of the birth control pill here is the possibility of red skin and rash are there.

The advantages and disadvantages are the same as the birth control pill. The same precaution should also be taken as the oral pills.

This a prescription drug, but in India…..