the pill


The pill is one of the most effective ways of preventing pregnancy. It contains hormones similar to the natural hormones in your body, which regulate your ovulation and menstruation.

How the pill works

how the pill works

The hormones in the pill have the following effects:

  • they prevent ovulation
  • they thicken the mucus of the cervix (the mouth of the uterus)
  • they make it more difficult for an egg to settle in the uterus
  • there are many different types and brands of pills

Advantages of the pill

  • the pill does not interfere with sex
  • the pill puts the girl in contro
  • the pill makes menstruation lighter and more regula
  • the pill protects against some types of cancer and other diseases

Disadvantages of the pill

  • you must remember to take the pill
  • the pill may have side-effects such as headaches, weight gain, mood changes; these may occur only in the first months
  • the pill may increase blood pressure, especially in older women

The two main types of pill

types of pill

  • most pills are called ‘combination’ pill, because they contain two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. They are taken on 21 days. Then the strip is finished and you must wait a week before starting on the next strip. During this week you have your period, and you are also protected against pregnancy
  • some new pills contain only one progesterone-like hormone. They are lighter and give fewer side effects. They are taken every day without a break. Instead of a monthly menstruation you have occasional light bleedings. There is also a disadvantage of this new pill: it must be taken at the same time every day, and not be forgotten

When is the pill not safe?

  • if you vomit immediately after taking a pill
  • if you have severe diarrhoea while taking a pil
  • sometimes if you take other medication

What to do if one or two pills are forgotten?

Just continue taking the pill in the usual way, but practice safe sex for the next seven days. After that, you are protected again.

Can you become pregnant even though you take the pill?

Theoretically, yes. It happens to one woman in a hundred taking the pill during a full year. So the chance is very small. Do not believe all the gossip you hear or read on the Internet or in some magazines.

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