The introduction of the oral contraceptive more popularly known as the Pill in the 1960’s proved useful in curtailing population growth. The birth control pill has enjoyed immense popularity because it was easy to use, effective and fairly inexpensive.
What is a Contraceptive Pill?
Oral Contraceptive pill is a tablet or capsule containing harmones and is used to prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. High estrogen hormone (found in the oral contraceptive pill) prevents the release of Follicle Stimulating Harmone ( commonly called FSH) from the pituitary, this prevents ovulation. Ovulation is the relaese of egg from the ovary. However, the extra combination of estrogen and progestin in your system also thicken the cervical mucus making it difficult for sperms to reach the egg.
Oral contraceptive Pill comes in 2 types:
* Combination pill
* Progestin-only pill.
Combination pills contain both estrogen and progestin that are further classified as:
* Monophasic pills- that delivers the same amount of estrogen and progestin daily;
* Biphasic pills– delivers the same amount of estrogen and progestin during the first 21 days; and
* Triphasic – delivers a varying amount of estrogen and progestin daily.
The Progestin Only Pill (also called the Mini Pill) only serves to thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg in the uterus.
What are the benefits of a Contraceptive Pill?
A contraceptive pill is 99% effective in preventing pregnancies if used properly. The pill has also been used to regulate irregular menstruation cycles and has been known to ease out of Pre Menopausal symptoms.
Generally OC (oral contraceptive) users have lighter and shorter periods. The pill has also been reported to help in treating acne as well as a protection against certain types of cancers like ovarian and endometrial.
What is Folic Acid?
Folic acid is a B vitamin which is needed by the body to make new cells. Everybody needs folic acid but during pregnancy when new cells are formed in the baby – more folic acid is needed. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before she is pregnant, it can help prevent major birth defects of her baby’s brain and spine. These birth defects are neural tube defects. Women need to take folic acid every day, starting before they are pregnant to help prevent NTDs ( Neural Tube Defects).
How much of extra Folic Aid should be taken?
Folic acid occurs naturally in food like green leafy vegetables. But doctors recommend that women should take folic acid tablets once every day to prevent defects of her baby’s brain and spine. Recommended dose in US is 400 mcg of Folic Acid every day.
CDC (Centre for Disease Control, US) recomends every woman of child bearing age to take Folic Acid 400 microgramme (400 mcg) every day to prevent birth defects.
Why should women take Folic Acid before being pregnant?
Women should take folic acid before pregnancy to prevent birth defects of the brain and spine, as these happen in the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman finds out that she is pregnant. All women should get in the habit of taking folic acid daily even when they are not planning to get pregnant. For folic acid to help, a woman needs to take it every day, starting before she becomes pregnant.
Why should you take Folic acid when you take pains to eat a healthy & nutirtious diet?
You might think that you can get all the folic acid and other vitamins you need from the food you eat each day. But it is hard to eat a diet that has all the nutrients you need every day. Even with careful planning, you might not get all the vitamins you need from your diet alone. That’s why it’s important to take a vitamin with folic acid every day.
Today’s woman is busy! You know that you should exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep. You might wonder how you can fit another thing into your day. But it only takes a few seconds to take a vitamin to get all the folic acid you need!