It seems strange that on a page about fertility we talk about oral contraceptives but it is important to know that in addition to the contraceptive effect, they have many other applications.
Oral contraceptive pill, also known as “the pill”, is a drug that prevents ovulation and modifies the uterine mucosa and cervical mucus, in order to prevent pregnancy. However, thanks to their blocking effect on ovary activity, they have many other uses.
Some of the indications for the pill may be for the treatment of acne or excess body hair, premenstrual syndrome, very painful periods or endometriosis.
The pill can contain estrogens + progesterone, the two ovarian hormones par excellence, or only progesterone. In both cases, the function of the ovary is blocked and pregnancy is avoided, but we can use one or the other according to each patient. As a general rule, we use the combination of estrogens + progesterone in younger women who want to have regular cycles, and the only-progesterone pill in women over 35 years old, smokers or during lactation.
The pill can be taken continuously, and then the period will be very mild or absent, or with a break of between 4 and 7 days a month, to allow menstruation. Each different preparation has its own way of administration that should be known to avoid errors and thus the appearance of an unwanted pregnancy but also the reappearance of symptoms such as pelvic pain or acne.
In women seeking pregnancy, the pill is also commonly used. We can use it to control the menstrual cycle for assisted reproduction treatments, to synchronize donors and recipients in egg donation cycles, to prepare the ovary for stimulation for in vitro fertilization, to help the disappearance of persistent follicles or functional cysts …