Annie: What are you doing? Did you eat one of those? Did you…eat one of those?
Tyler: I ate Saturday.
Annie: Okay. Oh, boy. You know what? Something’s going to happen to you. I don’t know what it is…but something’s gonna happen…to your body.
Okay, so it makes sense that Annie has no clue what the pill would do to Tyler’s body…but does Annie know what the pill is doing to her body?
According to the National Health Statistics Report, 4 out of every 5 sexually experienced women have been on the birth control pill at some point in their lives. During a recent conversation with a slightly misinformed friend who has been on the pill for months, I realized that it is possible for women to have little idea about what the pill is actually doing to their bodies, and how it works to prevent pregnancy!
The most commonly used type of birth control pill is the combination pill, which contain the hormones estrogen and progestin.
The hormones in the combination pill work by:
- Keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm.
- Making cervical mucus thicker. This keeps sperm from getting to the eggs.
A common misconception is that women on the combination pill must refrain from sexual intercourse during the placebo week, because they are not actively taking hormones – but this is false! As long as you have been taking the combination pill every day, your birth control is still effective during the placebo week because ovulation will not have occurred. No need to limit yourselves to only three weeks of the month, ladies!
Of course, remember that the pill does not prevent STDs, so wear a condom if you are unsure of your partner’s sexual history. And if you have missed any pills or have any concerns about the effectiveness of your birth control, the best route is to consult your healthcare professional.
Remember, safe sex is great sex! If there is a topic you would like us to cover, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org OR fill out the anonymous contact form under our “Contact Us” tab. Go Blue!