Here is my own personal compillation of research that I did on all forms of b.c about 4 yr's ago. Since it's for my own personal use I didn't citie my sources or anything but I did a TON of research and tried to use mainly only reputible sources and I'm sure if anyone wants to look into it they can back up what I have. It's pretty much an explination of how and what of pretty much every type of b.c.
I should also mention that depending on your beliefs alot of ppl (myself included) do not agree w/ hormonal b.c when they know how it works b/c they are abortifacient (aka: they often work by stopping an already fertilized egg from implanting...which if you believe life at conception it is something you may have issues w/).
Anyways, here is a copy of my info and it should give you a pretty good idea of how things work and the benifits and risks of different types of b.c...there really is no way to insure no nasty side effects. You are messing w/ your hormones w/ b.c (except the Copper implant) which depending on you may or may not bother you.
Hope this helps you figure out what would be best for you.
Note: Since this was for my own personal use and I view it as a child after conception, I do use child/infant/etc interchangably w/ blastocyst, which is the more "correct" term, so don't take offense....
Here it is:
It should be noted that all of the failure rates listed below are the rates of pregnancies that occur while on each form of birth control. They do not include the times when ovulation occurs and pregnancy does not occur. This would include the times when conception does not occur (the egg is not fertilized), as well as the times when conception does occur, however, the pregnancy is terminated because of the blastocyst’s inability to implant into the uterus wall. Some failure rates are also based off of “perfect use,” of the contraceptive not the actual use of the contraceptive.
The Birth Control Pill (3-8 % Failure)
~Also called the Combination pill.
~Contains Progesterone and Estrogen
~The “morning after pill” is a high does of the Birth Control Pill
~Forms of the birth control pill include Ortho Try-Cyclen (which contains
Norgestimate, a progestational compound, and Ethinyl Estradial, an estrogenic
A hormone containing pill you take everyday for three weeks. During the forth week you take a placebo.
How it works: Works by attempting to stop ovulation. When that fails it changes the lining of the uterus so that the blastocyst (name of the developing fertilized egg during stage four of a pregnancy) is unable to implant into the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). Thus the developing child starves to death. It may also change the thickness of a woman’s cervical mucus making it more difficult (although not at all imposable) for the sperm to reach the womb.
Health Risks: The Physicians Desk Reference has a list of side effects relating to the BCP a mile long. They include but are not limited to high blood pressure, infertility, b___st cancer, liver tumors, and cardiovascular disease (heart disease).
In a Nurses Health Study done by Harvard over a period of 8 yrs, it was concluded that a woman on the pill is 250 times more likely to have a heart attack or a stoke when on the pill.
A study published in a British Medical Journal, done by the Hvidovre University Clinic of Copenhagen in the early 90’s, found that out of the 2,400 women studied, who were presently taking the pill and ranging in age between 15 and 44, 800 of them suffered from some form of cerebral thrombosis (a blood clot in an artery that supplies blood to the brain), although it did not in most cases lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Smoking is thought to increase the potential dangers of the BCP.
Side Effects: Side effects may include but are not limited to headaches, depression, v____al infections, acne, and weight gain.
Benefits: The pill is thought to aid in the prevention of cancer of the ovaries and of the uterus.
It should also be noted that one new study (new this month –October 2004-) done by Women's Health Initiative contradicts almost all previous studies done on the BCP, in that they claim to have found a reduced risk of almost all cancers and cardiovascular diseases (hear diseases). However the study also states that at this point in time further research is needed. “Doctors say the type of hormones and the stage of life when they are used may be what makes them helpful at one point and harmful at another.” We're still learning more and more about the biology," said one of the researchers, Dr. Michael Diamond of Wayne State University in Detroit.””
Mini-Pills (1 - 13% failure rate)
~Contains Progestin –a progestataional compound/ a type of progesterone
~Forms of the mini-pill include Nor QD, Micronor, and Ovrette
A pill you take everyday. Different from the combination forms in that it does not contain estrogen. You also take the pill consistently, in that you never take a placebo.
How it Works: Works primarily by changing the lining of the uterus, thereby preventing the implantation of the developing child. It may also inhibit ovulation in some women, although many of the women taking the mini-pill continue to ovulate every month. It may also thicken a women’s cervical mucus. However, if taken late by even a couple of hours the thickness of the cervical mucus will be greatly decreased.
Health Risks: Ectopic Pregnancies (when the embryo implants out side of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes), can be life-threatening to the mother. If not identified right away the mother could die from sever hemorrhaging caused by the rupturing of the fallopian tube. The child always dies.
Side effects: Depression and disturbance in menstrual cycle
Benefits: The Mini-Pill is considered safer then combined oral contraceptives, such as the pill.
It is a possible option for women who can not take other forms of BC because of the health risks involved with estrogen containing combination forms of BC.
Note: The mini- pill is much less effective than combination oral contraceptives, and you are much more likely to get pregnant if late in taking a pill than you are with combination oral contraceptives.
Non-Oral Forms of Hormonal Birth Control
The Patch (Failure rate estimated to be 1% with perfect use, 5% with actual typical use)
~Also called Ortho Evera
~Contains Norelgestromin, a from of progesterone, and Ethinyl Estradial, a form of
A sticky “patch” that you ware on you stomach, b___tocks, or shoulder, it provides a continual release of the hormones into you system. The patch is changed every week for three weeks. During the forth week of your menstrual cycle you do not ware a patch.
How it Works: Works the same way as combination oral contraceptives, such as the pill. It attempts to stop ovulation. However, when it does occur the lining of the uterus has been altered to inhibit the implantation of the child into the uterus.
Risks: Same as the birth control pill/combination oral contraceptives.
Side Effects: Same as the birth control pill/combination oral contraceptives
Benefits: You do not have to worry about remembering to take a pill everyday
Depo-Provera (.5% failure rate)
An injection of the hormon.
How it Works: Works the same way as the mini-pill and Noraplant. Primary means of preventing pregnancy is alteration of the endometrium (lining of the uterus), therefore prohibiting the implantation of the infant. Also thickens cervical mucus.
While it may stop ovulation in some women, 30% of women on Depo-Provera continue to ovulate regularly.
Risks: Hemorrhaging and ovarian cysts
Is also some indication that it may increase the likelihood of b___st cancer and cervical cancer?
There have been studies pointing to a higher rate of neonatal and infant deaths for those children whose mothers were on Depo-Provera when becoming pregnant with them.
Side Effects: Weight gain, hair loss, and allergies
Benefits: Do not have to remember to take a pill everyday
Nuva Ring (2% failure)
~Contains Progesterone and Estrogen
~Also called Vaginal Ring
A soft flexible ring containing hormones that are released into the system continually, the Nuva ring fits into the upper portion of the v____a near the cervix. It is worn for three weeks at a time. The fourth week it is not used. A new ring is needed every fifth week.
How it Works: It works like the combination oral contraceptives by attempting to stop ovulation, by thickening the cervical mucus, and by thinning the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) so that if conception occurs the developing baby is unable to implant into the wall of the uterus, therefore starving to death.
Risks: Thought to increase the chance of a heart attack and/or stroke, especially amongst smokers.
Side Effects: Yeast infections, respiratory infections, nausea, irregular bleeding, and mood changes
Norplant (1-5% failure)
Six Silastic (a soft rubbery compound) capsules, approximately the size of a match stick, are inserted under the skin in the upper arm, were they may be left in for up to five years. The hormone is released continually into the women’s body. Not considered an option for people looking for a short term form of birth control, norplant cost approx five to seven hundred dollars to have inserted.
How it Works: It works the same as progesterone pills. Approximately ½ of neither women on nor plant continue to ovulate regularly. If conception occurs, the changes in the endometrium will keep the child from implantation. Therefore causing its death.
Risks: tubal pregnancy, ovarian cysts, may cause a decrease in bone density, Hepat_tis, blood clotting, vision and/or speech difficulties, high blood pressure, enlargement of the ovaries, v____al infections, cervical infections, painful menstruation, and numbness
Side Effects: Headache, rash, weight gain, hair loss/growth, mood changes, b___st pain, and facial hair growth
Benefits: It is long term, you do not have to worry about remembering your birth control, highly effective in pregnancy from continuing in that it stops the implantation of the child into the womb, and does not contain estrogen therefore removing the risks a__sociated with estrogen containing forms of birth control
IUD’s (Intrauterine Devices)
Presently there are only two types of IUD’s administered in the US although there are many other types of IUD’s world wide. It should also be noted, that many women in middle eastern communities view IUD’s as a highly dangerous form of birth control because of the many side effects and refuses to use them.
As with the Norplant, IUD’s are not a short term form of birth control.
There have been studies showing that IUD users are twice as likely to have a miscarriage as a non IUD user is (when an IUD has slipped from its original position and the string can be seen the likelihood of a miscarriage increases to 30%).
Copper IUD (1% failure)
~Also called ParaGard
~Contains no hormones, just copper
Made of plastic and copper it is a T shaped object that is inserted into a woman’s uterus.
How it Works: The copper within the IUD causes and inflammatory response within the uterus. The increase of white blood cells present caused by this response work to prevent pregnancy by attacking “forine bodies,” in the system, including sperm. White blood cells also release chemicals that interfere with the mobility and activation of the sperm.
Risks: Uterine puncturing, pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancies, infection, and infertility caused by an untreated infection
Side Effects: Increase (up to 75%) in menstrual flow, expulsion of the devise, and increased cramping during menstruation,
Benefits: Long term, may be used up to 10 years, do not have to remember you birth control, and does not contain hormones
\Mirena (1% failure)
~Contains levonorgestrel (a form of progesterone)
Made of plastic and shaped as a T, mirena contains a form of progesterone. It is inserted into the uterus were it may remain for up to five years.
How it Works: Slowly released into the lining of the uterus it causes a change in the endometrium, making it difficult for the newly developing child to implant into the wall of the uterus. It may also thicken cervical mucus. In most women it does not stop ovulation.
Risks and Side Effects: Same as those listed for the Copper IUD, and other forms of birth control containing progesterone.
Benefits: Long term, no worrying about remembering your birth control, and easy to have removed