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Oral hormonal contraceptives

Oral hormonal contraceptives including are a large group of contraceptive pills that are about 98% effective, thanks to their active ingredients, synthetic female sex hormones.

Oral contraceptives have a multi-stage mechanism of preventing unwanted pregnancy: first, they inhibit the process of ovulation (maturation of the egg), and second, they change the structure of the uterine mucosa so that even if conception occurs, the embryo cannot attach to the uterine wall, which makes further development of pregnancy impossible.

The undoubted advantages of oral contraceptives include the convenience of pregnancy planning: after stopping the pills fertility (ability to conceive) is restored in the next menstrual cycle. In addition, most women note a significant improvement in skin, hair and nails as a result of taking oral hormonal contraceptives due to the action of artificially synthesized hormones.

Oral hormonal contraceptives are prescribed not only to protect against unwanted pregnancy, but also for the treatment of some pathologies of the endocrine system, in particular hormonal diseases. Of course, in any case, hormonal contraceptives are prescribed only by a gynecologist-endocrinologist after a thorough examination.

Types of oral hormonal contraceptives

Combined oral contraceptives (COC), estrogen-gestogen drugs – pills that have synthetic analogs of estradiol and progesterone in their composition. These contraceptives inhibit ovulation (egg maturation) and promote cervical mucus thickening, making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Such remedies differ in the content of the active substances in the drug. A distinction is made between monophasic, biphasic and triphasic OCs:

Monophasic – pills with a constant level of hormonal substances (Regulon, Rigevidon, Diane-35, Femoden, Logest, Novinet, Sylest);
Biphasic – pills with two different combinations of estrogen and progestin (Anteovin);
Triphasic – pills with three different combinations of hormones that change during the menstrual cycle (Tri-Regol, Trisiston, Triquilar, Trinovum, Claira).
Microdose hormones with different ethinylestradiol and gestagen content (Logest, Mersilon, Novinet, Lindinet-20, Claira, Minisiston 20 Fem, Jes, Diane-35, Tri-Regol, Triziston, Triquilar, Chloe, Demulene). Ideal for girls who have not given birth, have regular intercourse, and are taking oral hormonal contraceptives for the first time. They have minimal side effects. Can also be used as contraception for mature women over the age of 35 (before menopause).

Low-dose hormonal drugs (Yarina, Mediana, Lindinet-30, Silest, Marvelon, Femoden, Regulon, Rigevidone, Belara, Jeannine, Diane 35). Suitable for women in the reproductive period, as well as those who have any gynecological disorders.

High-dose hormonal drugs, single-phase hormonal contraceptives – pills with a constant content of hormones (Non-Ovlon, Ovidon). Currently, they are practically not used as contraceptives; they are used to treat some hormonal disorders.

Oral contraceptives containing only gestagen

Mini-pills (Exluto, Microlute, Charosette) are the gentlest oral contraceptives and are the most gentle alternatives to the combined contraceptives (OCs). The mini-pills contain progestagen, which is identical to the natural hormone progesterone produced by the ovaries. Mini-pills have the ability to change the quality of cervical mucus, making it thicker and thus preventing sperm from entering the uterus. Mini-pills also slow the contractile activity of the fallopian tubes, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to enter the uterine cavity, and alter the uterine mucosa, making it difficult for the embryo to implant.

The efficacy of mini-pills is slightly lower than conventional OCs – 95% versus 98%. Mini-pills are recommended for women during lactation, if there are contraindications to taking OCs, for women who smoke, and for women over 35 years old. Unlike OCs, mini-pills require daily and continuous intake, but they can be used for a longer period of time (compared to combined oral contraceptives).

The disadvantages of the mini-pills include a rigid scheme of taking (it is necessary to observe the regimen of taking the pills), lack of protection against sexual infections (for this reason it is recommended to use them only with a permanent sexual partner), and also possible occurrence of minor side effects during the first period of use (bloody oozing, engorgement of the mammary glands).

When oral hormonal contraceptives are used
In disorders of the menstrual cycle.
In some tumor diseases of female genital organs (for example, adenomyosis, uterine myoma, ovarian cysts).
When a pronounced premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful menstruation (algodysmenorrhea, menalgia).
In a pronounced iron deficiency anemia.
To reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women of advanced age.
For the prevention of ectopic pregnancy.
For the treatment of acne, acne due to hormonal disorders.