THE pill is one of the more popular contraceptive choices for women, ranking in the 99 percentile range of effectiveness. It has been a top choice for women for ages, as not only is it easy to use, and reliable as a form of birth control, it's easy to take and is very forgiving if a dose is missed.
The pill has evolved through the last decades, now pills are being touted as aids for things like acne, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
There are also pills that claim to make you have no periods or fewer periods, help against certain cancers and against things like osteoperosis.
With all this information, it is often difficult for the woman who opts to go on the pill, to find the brand that's right for her. There are dozens of brands out there, and things can get a little confusing, if you're not sure which one to choose.
This week All Woman gives you a breakdown of some of the birth control pills on the local market, and what they claim to help with.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
The benefits: With just 25 micrograms of oestrogen, this is one of the lower dose pills on the market, leading to fewer side effects. This pill is also touted as being a guard against breakthrough bleeding and it gives more predictable periods.
The benefits: Yaz in its advertisements claim to help treat mild acne, give shorter, lighter periods and reduce cramps. It also claims to treat PMDD, a severe type of PMS. Yaz may also have fewer side effects than higher dose pills, with only 15 micrograms of oestrogen, which could lead to less severe nausea.
The benefits: Yasmin is a higher does of YAZ, manufactured by the same company. Yasmin claims to help with moderate acne and PMDD. However, with 30 micrograms of oestrogen, women may have more side effects like more severe nausea. Both Yaz and Yasmin contain drospirenone, a hormone that claims to minimise water retention, which can help reduce bloating.
The benefits: This contraceptive claims to have little or no effect on weight gain and also increases natural vaginal lubrication. The contraceptive also claims to help with libido and climax potential. The use of the pill for more than five years also claims to decrease the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer in later life by 50 per cent.
The benefits: Novynette can be use to treat anaemia that is related to menstruation. The pill can also induce menstruation on a regular schedule for women bothered by irregular menstrual cycles and certain disorders where there is dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
The benefits: Gynera has great benefits for the skin, since it claims to balance hormones thus preventing acne caused by hormone fluctuations.
The benefits: This pill is rated by success not only to women requiring a reliable method of contraception, but also at patients with primary dysmenorrhea (painful periods).
The benefits: This pill claims to help women by giving lighter, less painful and more regular menstrual bleeding. This means it is sometimes prescribed for women who have problems with particularly heavy, painful or irregular periods.
Most pills are made of oestrogen and progestin and work mostly by preventing ovulation. It is advised that you don't use the pill if you have a problem sticking to a routine, since you'll be required to take it every day. Missing days can result in you becoming pregnant which would defeat the purpose of you using a method at all. Some women also prefer not to use the pill because of the side effects, which can include nausea and bloating. The pill, used as the sole contraceptive method, is recommended for couples in monogamous relationships, otherwise a barrier method like the condom is suggested for use alongside the pill. Other potential side effects include bleeding between periods, weight gain, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, mood changes and blood clots (usually occur only in women over 35 who smoke).