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For long, the choice of contraception lay entirely in the hands of men. However, the introduction of Enovid in 1960 changed the scenario in favor of women. The introduction of birth control pills was a development that truly empowered the women.

Birth Control Pills- a Development that Truly Empowered Women

It gave women the freedom to engage in a sexual relationship without worrying about their careers. The pill enabled them to have a control over their own reproductive cycle. At present, more than 100 million women all over the world enjoy the benefits of taking a pill, out of which around 12 million women are from the US alone. Though many other forms of female contraception like intrauterine devices, hormonal patches and injections, and female condoms have been introduced, birth control pills remain the most favored alternative for the majority of women.

Emergency contraceptive pills are effective only if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. They are not effective if the woman is already pregnant. Another emergency contraceptive pill, available only on prescription, is Ella and it contains a non hormonal drug called ulipristal. These pills are not available for women under the age of 17 and can cause nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness and headache.

Extended cycle pills

Extended cycle pills are meant for women who have a very painful period or who want to delay their periods for some reason. Like combination pills, they too contain both estrogen and progesterone. They are taken continually till the time period is desired. They may postpone the period for three months or a year or as long as the woman wishes. These pills are affective in treating conditions like endometriosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, severe menstrual cramps, etc. However, they may result in breakthrough bleeding at times. They may cause an increase in blood pressure and cause all the side effects of a combination pill. As they contain estrogen, they are to be avoided by women suffering from conditions where estrogen is contraindicated.

Thus, we see that there are many different type of pills available in the market. It is essential to know their contents and to match them with your needs. In case of any doubt, it is always better to consult your physician and then buy a product based on his advice.

  • Birth Control Pill Comparison and How They Work. Pregnancy calendars. Retrieved May 21st 2011.
  • Watson, S., Hoffman, M.Comparing Birth Control Pill Types: Combination, Minipills, and More. women's Health. WebMd.