How Does Birth Control Work?

By Scott Nicholas Amendolare

Ingestion

Of the many forms of birth control, the most common is the pill. The pill is a doctor-prescribed plan that is administered in either a 21- or 28-day cycle. A pill is taken at the same time each day to control the woman's ovulation system.

Hormonal Changes

The pill consists of two types of hormones: estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones work together in the bloodstream to prevent ovulation. Ovulation is the process where the woman releases an ovum or egg and it settles into the uterus for fertilization by a sperm. Therefore, if there is no ovulation, there are no eggs and there is little to no chances of pregnancy. In addition to the elimination of eggs, the pill creates a sperm-blocking system that would make an NFL linebacker gush with pride. This wall is created by the thickening of the mucus that surrounds the cervix. Should any egg enter the uterus, it would be protected from fertilization.

Drawbacks

Most of the drawbacks of the pill are the result of user errors. If the program is not followed correctly, or the schedule is thrown off, the effects of the pill are not realized and an unwanted pregnancy can occur. Oftentimes, when a patient transitions from another form of birth control the user may drop the current method before the week to 10-day transition period is completed, also resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. In addition, the side effects of extended use are possible weight gain, mood swings and irregularity of menstrual bleeding. The pill does not protect users from sexually transmitted diseases and regardless of what type of birth control method used, the only true form of birth control that results in a zero pregnancy rate is abstinence.

About the Author

Scott Nicholas Amendolare ("Nick ") is a writer, producer and director for film and television. His 20-year career includes Madam Hollywood, Hard Justice, The Fifth Element, Criss Angel:MINDFREAK and Bridezillas. Amendolare received his Bachelor of Arts in theater from Florida State University and his master's degree from the London International Film School.