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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Article Home Women's Health Hormonal methods of birth control

Hormonal methods of birth control

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In this method hormones are used for contraception.

In this method of contraception, the drugs acts on hormonal system, there are two types

  • Combination hormonal methods contain both estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone). Combination methods include pills, skin patches and rings.
  • Progestin-only hormonal methods include pills called minipills, injections (Depo-Provera) and implants.


Birth control pills make the reproductive system to mimic a regular 28 days monthly menstrual cycle. For the first 21 days, the pills containing hormones are given. For the last seven days, placebo is given. During taking placebo, the bleeding occurs which mimic normal menstrual bleeding.It is highly effective method of contraception. It will allow spontaneous intercourse. It does not protect against sexually transmitted disease.


Most combined and progesterone only pills can also be taken in high doses as emergency contraception also called as morning after pills. Contraceptive patches is an adhesive patch containing hormones which is applied to the skin and is worn continuously and changed each week for 3 weeks and removed for one week. Contraceptive vaginal rings is a flexible ring containing estrogen and progesterone and is inserted in to the vagina and is worn for three continuous weeks and removed for one week, then it is replaced with a another new ring. Combined injectable contraceptive containing both estrogen and progesterone is injected every month. Progesterone injections (Depo-Provera) are given every three months.


Modes of action of hormonal contraceptives are

  • It may cause cessation of ovulation.
  • Preventing the possibility of fertilization by thickening the cervical mucus, making sperm penetration to the uterus more difficult.
  • It may alter and cause thinning of endometrium so that a fertilized egg has difficulty in implantation.

The common reasons women give for quitting hormonal contraception are

  • Irregular bleeding.
  • Nausea.
  • Mood changes.
  • Weight gain.(Fitness tool)
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Headache.

Contraindications for hormonal contraceptives

Uses of hormonal contraceptives

  • As a method of contraception.
  • Acne.
  • Heavy bleeding.
  • Pain during menstruation.
  • Premenstrual dysphonic disorder.

How soon after stooping birth control can you conceive

The main advantages of the birth control pills, that is reversible quickly. After stopping the pill, there will be only a two week delay before you ovulate again. The period will start about four to six weeks after the last pill. Sometimes you may not get your period for several months and is called post-pill amenorrhea. This is because the pill prevents the body from producing hormones involved in ovulation and menstruation. It may take some time for the body to return to normal hormone production. If you do not get periods within three months, do a pregnancy test to see whether you are pregnant. See a doctor if you do not get periods after six months.