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Oral Contaceptive pills


What is an Oral Contraceptive Pill?

Oral Contraceptive Pills are taken by mouth to prevent pregnancy. Most of these pills impact the hormonal balance and control either the ovulation of egg by the ovaries or they thicken the mucus in the cervix which makes it difficult for the sperm to travel up to the uterus or they change the lining of the uterus, making it hard for the fertilised egg to implant. 
There are 3 types of pills:

  • Combined pills (made of norgestrel/levonorgestrel)

  • Progesterone only pills 

  • Non-hormonal pills

Discuss with your doctor to know which pill suits you best.​

It is an every time use solution and if you want a child, simply stop taking the pill.


Effectiveness: Effectiveness of an OCP depends on it's type:

  • Combined pills are 99% effective

  • Progesterone only pills are 96% effective

  • Non-hormonal pills are 98% effective

How long does it Last: OCPs are everyday use pills. They generally come in a pack of 21 or 28 tablets. In the 28 pill pack, 21 pills are effective and 7 pills are non effective. They are just there so that you don't get out of habit. 
Process is simple: Take the first pill on the 1st day of the menstrual cycle and continue it for the next 21 days, take a 7-day break from the pill and continue on the next day after the break. 
It is suggested to take the pill at the same time everyday. Incase you have forgotten to take a pill someday, take two pills the following day. 
When you first start the pill, it's suggested to use other contraception for a month along with pills.


Cost: INR 50 per pack, some family planning government hospitals give for free as well

Where to Buy: Available in Pharmacy and Health centres

STD Protection: No

Safe During Pregnancy: No

Side Effects: 

  • Irregular menstruation with decreased bleeding

  • Headaches

  • Acne

  • Nausea

  • Cervical/breast cancer

  • Mood swings

When to Avoid: 

  • If you are a smoker aged above 35 years

  • In cases of migraine

  • High blood pressure

  • Liver or kidney diseases

  • Thyroid hormone fluctuations

  • Obesity

  • If you are pregnant

You can start the pills 21 days after childbirth or 5 days after abortion/miscarriage.


How to use oral contraceptive pills (OCP)
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