Period is a commonly used term to denote a woman’s menstruation. It is a healthy and normal activity that occurs every month. It is your body’s natural and periodic approach to prepare women for pregnancy. A few tissues are needed to ensure the growth of a fertile egg. So, if you are not getting pregnant, needless tissues are discharged out of the body during your menstrual cycle. But, can you get pregnant on your period? The odds are not very high but the chances are not zero either.

Adolescence is the time wherein a girl gets ready to become a woman. During this phase, the girl’s body undergoes several changes. The most noteworthy among the changes is menstruation. Menstruation is commonly referred as period. It is a monthly occurrence which causes bleeding from your vagina. The process is an outcome of ovulation, triggered by to a set of changes in hormones.

In general, women release eggs between day # 11 and # 21 of each menstrual cycle. Such monthly release in this time-window also sets a few other bodily changes in women. The first change is the spike in your luteinising-hormone levels, coupled with mucus of cervix turning more slippery. Its slippery nature helps sperm to travel with greater ease. Eggs immediately upon release start their journey to reach the uterus, through your fallopian tube. The odds are your getting pregnant are high when you have a sexual intercourse at an appropriate time. The right time stands linked to the time of release of eggs. Released eggs can survive upto a maximum of 24 hours.

When are your most ready to get pregnant?

If you are trying to get pregnant, you will need to understand that it is a matter of timing your sexual intercourse. So, what is the best timing? The time before your ovulation is considered best for getting pregnant. If you are not sure of it, there is another way to get this timing right. If you have a menstrual cycle of say 28 days, you may need to count 2 weeks (a fortnight) backwards. The backward count starts from the day your next period is likely to commence. Sexual intercourse done every alternate day in this period – i.e., 12th, 14th and 16th days – is more likely to make you pregnant.

However, if your menstrual cycle is short or long, it is a good practice to use a calculator to understand the day an egg is likely to get released. It may not be a good idea to engage in sexual intercourse on a daily basis. This runs the risk of decreasing your partner’s sperm-count to a sizeable extent. In a nutshell, knowing the days in which your fertility is at its best can help you get pregnant.

The first logical thing to do is to understand your menstrual cycle. This cycle is easy to compute. The time interval between the day your period starts and the day it occurs again is your cycle. It is also possible for you to calculate the days on which your body releases eggs during a typical cycle. The chances for pregnancy in the timeline immediately after vaginal bleeding begins are nil. However, the chances tend to improve soon after the initial days of your period. You may need to note that the chances remain high even if vaginal bleeding is persistent.

Knowing the various phases of women’s menstrual cycle

Your menstrual cycle has a telling effect on almost all parts of the body. Hence, it becomes essential to know what happens inside the system – i.e., your ovaries, uterus, hormone levels, brain function, etc.

Part 1 of your menstrual cycle

Menstruation – This phase starts when vaginal bleeding starts and ends by the time bleeding stops. It is the phase wherein tissues and older blood cells are discharged. The tissues discharged are the linings or walls of your uterus. The discharge occurs through your cervix and vagina. Typically, this phase may last for five to eight days.

Follicular phase

The period from the start till the release of eggs (i.e., ovulation) is termed as follicular phase. At the base of your brain, there is a gland called pituitary gland. In the follicular phase, this gland makes a hormone known as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). It is this hormone which instructs your ovaries to make eggs that are ready to get released sometime in the mid of the menstrual cycle. You need to remember that your ovaries house many follicles at difference phases of their development. But, what are follicles? These are bags containing a fluid in which eggs are nested. At the time the period is coming to its close – which is sometime in the mid of the follicular phase – one of the follicles attains greater development than the rest. This matured follicle is released during the end of follicular phase. This follicle makes estrogen. This phase can vary from one woman to another. On an average, it can last anywhere between 11 to 22 days.

The proliferative phase

This is observed from the end of your period till release of eggs. Follicular phase is to do with ovaries; in this phase, action is at your uterus. Lining of the uterus needs to get thicker as a prerequisite for getting pregnant. So, as the follicles start making estrogen, wall linings of your uterus start getting built up. The wall linings are called endometrium. You need to note the linings remain thin during periods, only to gain thickness in this stage. This thickening process is observed all through the proliferative phase. It is preparation done on the uterus to form a safe location for the fertile egg to start growing.

Between parts 1 and 2 of the above cycle – i.e., soon after the follicular phase gets over – the release of eggs starts. This is known as ovulation. This event serves as an interval between the follicular and upcoming luteal phases. This interim process is marked by the release of an egg into your fallopian tube.

As mentioned, a well-developed follicle starts making estrogen and it also gains in size throughout this time. By the time of release, a well-developed follicle can reach a size of upto even 3 centimeters. As this matured follicle makes higher amounts of estrogen, it serves as a signal for your brain to make luteinising hormone – known as LH, in short. This sudden increase in LH ejects the matured egg from your ovary.

Part 2 of your menstrual cycle

In the second lap of the cycle, changes occur to your ovary as well as uterus. Changes occurring to your ovary are labelled as luteal phase. This phase begins from the time of release of the well-developed follicle and ends at your upcoming period. It is a timespan wherein the egg-bearing follicle changes itself into a source that makes estrogen as well as progesterone. This follicle is called as corpus luteum.

It is in the luteal stage your body experiences a lot of hormonal changes; these changes are the main reason behind pre-menstruation signs such as acne, headache, formation of gas, breasts turning tender, mood shifts, etc. Almost in the midpoint of this phase, your testosterone level reaches a new high. If the egg gets to become fertile, the high level of progesterone assists during the early stages of pregnancy. However, if the released egg remains infertile, your body witnesses a rupture of corpus luteum. This activity commences sometime between the 8th day and the 12th day after release of eggs. It further triggers a sudden decrease in your progesterone as well as estrogen levels. The declined levels of hormones stimulate vaginal discharges to occur. The timeline for luteal-phase occurrences is usually between 11 and 15 days.

The secretory stage of part 2-

This also occurs during the same time as the luteal phase; the only difference is the action here is in your uterus. In the uterine region, finer focus is laid on its linings. This phase determines whether your uterus’ lining (called as endometrium) gets ready to aid pregnancy or if linings are to be broken down. A spike in testosterone levels ends the thickening of uterine wall-linings and prepares to affix a fertile egg on the linings. Most noteworthy development in the secretive phase is the making of prostaglandins. These are transmitters capable of triggering changes in other cells.

Your muscles in the uterine area are set to shrink or cramp. The cramping of uterine muscles is a basic prerequisite for the start of the next period. Thus, the quantum of transmitters (i.e., prostaglandins) increases soon after release of eggs and are likely to see a high at the start of next period. As mentioned, prostaglandins signal the cramping of uterine muscles to start your period. But, if the egg turns fertile, your body stops making the transmitters. This prevents cramping and the likelihood of your next period.

However, if you have not gotten pregnant, hormonal secretions (progesterone and estrogen) stop; this stoppage work as a trigger for transmitters to start tightening of vessels as well as the walls of uterus to rupture. This rupture signals the start of your next period. Over the next few days, your body gets ready to witness all the above phases to playout again.

So, can you get pregnant on your period?

Let us get the basics right before getting deep into this. A woman’s typical cycle of menstruation is 28 days. Release of eggs is widely considered to occur on the 14th day (from the beginning of period). But in reality, it is quite likely for release to occur anytime between day-12 to day-14. But, there are many exceptions to these datelines. For example some women’s menstrual cycles are as short as 21 days. In such instances, day # 7 is when eggs are released. There are also instances of women having a stretched menstrual cycle of 34 days, and in such elongated cycles- ovulation occurs in the 20th or 21st day – i.e., from the start of period.

Foremost of all, discharge of blood from your vagina cannot be termed as the beginning of your period. There is a slim possibility of a vaginal bleed even when your eggs are released. If you engage in sex (i.e., in an unprotected manner) during such times, the odds are high to get pregnant. Also, consider the fact that your partner’s sperm can survive for a period of 4 to 5 days after a sexual intercourse.

Moreover, women who have relatively short menstrual cycles, the time available between their period and release of eggs is short. So, if you have had an unprotected sexual intercourse at the end of your 5 or 6-days’ period, sperm can live through and can eventually get you pregnant.

Effective ways of birth control

In sum, women who have irregular or unpredictable period, it often becomes difficult to tell when ovulation occurs. In some cases, women – who otherwise have regular periods – can also experience erratic periods. Common causes for this include losing of weight or putting on extra weight, imbalances in your hormone levels as well as factors such as mood shifts or mental stress. As mentioned, women with shorter menstrual cycles are at a greater risk of getting pregnant during their period. The sperm may outlive the end of period and survive long enough to may make your egg fertile.

The best possible ways to prevent getting pregnant is by using proper birth control techniques. The most widely used birth control techniques are condoms, birth control pills or oral contraceptives. Pills to control birth are made in multiple types and forms. Of the various types, the salient ones are combination birth control and progestin-based birth control medications.

Pills falling under the combination category are made of synthetic variants of sex hormones such as progestin and estrogen. There are active and inactive pills under the combination category. Active pills are those containing hormones while inactive pills do not possess hormones in them. Within the combination category of birth control pills, sub-types are monophasic, multiphasic and extended cycle.

Monophasic medications are taken for one-month cycles. Active monophasic pills provide the needful dosage of hormones – i.e., progestin and estrogen. In the last week of your cycle, you can have the inactive pills to start the period. Multiphasic birth control pills yield hormones in differing levels during a cycle. During the last week of your cycle, inactive pills are consumed to start the next period. Pills with extended cycles are different from the above two sub-types. Extended cycles are administered over a 13-week long cycle. Active pills are taken for 3 months (i.e., 12 weeks) to supply needful hormones. Inactive pills are consumed in the 13th week. These inactive pills help start your period. By this approach, you may not have more than 4 periods in a year.

How to know which birth control pill suits you the most?

You may be aware that all the aforesaid types of pills may not suit your body. In fact, it is a good practice to talk to a qualified medical practitioner to help choose a pill that suits you best. Your doctor may recommend a pill based on several factors. Common factors considered include menstrual signs, presence of cardiac ailments – if any, drugs that you may be currently taking and your medical history of chronic health conditions – if any. Doctors also consider if you are nursing or breastfeeding a baby while determining the suitability of a birth control pill.

How do combination birth control medications work?

As mentioned, those pills containing hormones – i.e., progestin and estrogen – are termed as combination pills. The chief function of these pills is to ensure your ovaries do not ovulate. In other words, the pills prevent the release of egg from your ovaries. Not stopping with this action, these pills can also alter the walls of your uterus (endometrium) as well as change the mucus of your cervix. The net result of these changes is to keep sperm away from an egg.

Merits of combinatorial approach of birth control

A combined approach to birth control is a widely used and a credible mode to prevent pregnancy. The ease with which your fertility levels can be reversed makes it a most sought-after approach. How? Mere stoppage of pills can restore your normal menstrual cycle. This approach also scores high as compared to others because it offers an effective control of menstrual cycles. It is also helpful in reducing hot flashes – especially among women who are approaching their menopause. These pills can help decrease excessive bleeding during periods and also avoid anemia or other conditions arising out of deficiencies of iron. Women experience fewer and less-severe episodes of abdominal cramping. Above all, these pills present lesser risks associated with uterine or ovarian cancers. Risk levels of other conditions such as breast diseases (benign), cysts in your ovaries, etc. also stand diminished.

Risks associated with intake of combination pills

You need to be aware that these pills are not apt for all women. If you experience frequent episodes of high blood pressure (hypertension), excessive bleeding from your uterus (for inexplicable reasons) or have a medical history of cardiac disorders – you are advised not to use these pills. Most commonly observed side effects of taking these pills are nausea, softening of breasts, high blood pressure, etc. However, you may see these effects wearing off over a period of time – especially with continued use. But, if you are having acute side effects such as mood swings, convulsions or signs of pregnancy (i.e., missing of two periods) you are advised to consult a qualified medical practitioner without delay.

Some of the widely administered birth control drugs under the combination genre –
Drospirenone – Ethinyl estradiol (Sold under brand names Yasmin, Yaz, etc.)
This combination pill is made of progestin (drospirenone) and estrogen (ethinyl estradiol). It is an effective pill that helps you avoid getting pregnant. Its functions include erecting a barrier for sperm by making your vaginal discharge more viscous, changing your womb’s walls to stop attaching a fertile egg and above all, bring about hormonal changes to stop the release of egg from your ovary. It can also treat skin conditions such as acne and a few premenstrual problems.

It is administered orally; recommended dosage is one pill per day. It is typically sold in packs having 24 active pills and 4 pills without any hormones. These 24 pills are taken, one each per day without any breaks. Soon after these 24 pills, you need to start taking the 4 inactive pills. You are likely to start your monthly period in a day or two after stopping the 24-pill intake cycle.

If you are missing a period or having an irregular period, you need to talk to your treating doctor. It is also advised to check for likely pregnancy (with kits) upon experiencing irregular periods.

Side effects

Common side effects are flatulence, headaches, vomiting and nausea. You are advised to check your blood pressure as this pill can increase your pressure levels. If you are experiencing muscular weariness or arrhythmia (erratic heartbeats) it can be due to an oversupply of potassium. Check with your doctor if you experience such symptoms.
If you experience blood clotting problems or respiratory troubles, you need to take medical help on an emergency basis. You are advised to call 911 or a local poison control center without delay.

Precautions

If your medical history includes cardiac attacks, strokes or blood clot troubles, you may need to share such details with your medical team. Also, never forget to tell if you are diabetic or have a history of liver-related problems. This pill can enhance the level of potassium in your system; hence, tell your doctor if you are taking supplements or drugs rich in potassium.

This drug can interact with a few medicines such as valsartan (and other such angiotensin receptor blocking drugs), naproxen or ibuprofen (such other non-steroidal non-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs), diuretics (also called as water pills), etc.

Levonorgestrel – Ethinyl estradiol (Sold under brand names – Enpresse, Seasonale, etc.)
This pill is made of two hormonal substances namely estrogen and progestin. The main action of this is to prevent ovulation – i.e., release of eggs sometime in the middle of your menstrual cycle. Apart from preventing release of eggs, the pill alters the walls of your womb to avoid a fertile egg to stay attached to them. As another related measure, fluid secreted from your vagina thickens and hinders sperm from reaching the released egg.

Apart from avoiding pregnancy, this pill can also yield relief from painful episodes of period, decrease excessive bleeding from vagina as well as enable your period to occur regularly. The pill is also known for its capabilities to reduce acne or other skin conditions, and reduce risks associated with formation of cysts in your ovaries.

Needful caution is required as the quantum of progestin and estrogen may show up in varying proportions during your cycle. It is hence essential to adhere to the dosage specifications listed on the package or as advised by your treating doctor. You also run the risk of getting pregnant if you take the pills in different timelines – i.e., without a time-driven schedule. The active pill is typically taken in a cycle comprising 21 days continuously, without any breaks. This dosage is then followed by taking inactive pills for a period of 7 days. This is the case for packs containing 28 pills.

In case you are taking a pack containing only 21 pills, your doctor may advise you to stop taking any pills for 7 continuous days. A spell of indigestion or vomiting may diminish the hormonal properties of the pill. In such instances, it is highly recommended to use an alternative birth control method. Also, if you wish to change the birth control method – say, use a condom or a diaphragm – seek needful inputs from your treating doctor or pharmacist.

Side effects of the pill

Very common side effects include vomiting, headache and nausea. You are likely to experience missed periods or erratic periods; especially in the first few weeks. Some women have reported having experienced a mild swelling of feet, change of body weight as well as gas formation. If you see these signs to persist for long, it is recommended to consult your treating doctor immediately. In a few cases, this pill is seen to raise blood pressure. If you are allergic to the ingredients, it is likely to show up as rashes on your skin, itchiness, respiratory problems, etc. If you observe these allergic reactions, get needful medical help at the earliest possible time.

Needful precautions

If your body has an inadequate supply of proteins S and C it can show-up as blood clotting or other medical conditions. Make it known to your prescribing doctor if you have a prior medical record of blood clotting troubles, hypertension or high levels of blood cholesterol. It is also required of you to inform if your medical history has ailments such as liver diseases, cardiac disorders, recent strokes, renal dysfunction, etc. This pill is likely to interact with medicines inhibiting aromatase as well as drugs that can treat epileptic seizures (such as carbamazepine, etc.). It is highly recommended to tell your doctor and pharmacist about the other drugs that you are currently taking.

Dienogest – Estradiol valerate (Sold under brand name called Natazia)

This pill is made of two ingredients – of which, estradiol valerate is a form of the hormone called estrogen and dienogest is a variant of the hormone known as progestin. This combinatorial pill works in almost in the same way as other birth control drugs of this genre. The action focuses on inhibiting ovulation (release of egg to get fertilized), changing the lining of womb to prevent possible attachment of a fertilized egg and also increasing the viscosity of your vaginal discharge during sexual intercourse to prevent sperm from freely accessing the released egg.

Like the other pills in its genre, this pill also cannot guard you from possible risks of sexually transmitted conditions like chlamydia, gonorrhoea or HIV-AIDS. The hormonal ingredients may turn active in varying levels all through your intake cycle. Hence, it is very important to take the doses as per the advice of your doctor. This pill is not to be taken twice within a day. It is taken only once per day, at the same time each day. This practice can help you to remember the dosage time and help adhere to it all through your intake cycle.

Its typical pack may have 2 inactive pills and 26 active pills; the latter set contains hormonal substances. In this consumption cycle, 26 active pills are taken in a dose of one pill each day for 26 continuous days. Then, a dose of 2 inactive pills is followed. As per this intake pattern, you are likely to start your period at the 28th day or sometime close to it.

Side effects

Abdominal cramping, flatulence and nausea are most common side effects. You may also experience headaches coupled with a few episodes of vomiting. Vaginal discharge may also increase. If your Needful caution is required as the quantum of progestin and estrogen may show up in varying proportions during your cycle. It is hence essential to adhere to the dosage specifications listed on the package or as advised by your treating doctor. You also run the risk of getting pregnant if you take the pills in different timelines – i.e., without a time-driven schedule. The active pill is typically taken in a cycle comprising 21 days continuously, without any breaks. This dosage is then followed by taking inactive pills for a period of 7 days. This is the case for packs containing 28 pills.

In case you are taking a pack containing only 21 pills, your doctor may advise you to stop taking any pills for 7 continuous days. A spell of indigestion or vomiting may diminish the hormonal properties of the pill. In such instances, it is highly recommended to use an alternative birth control method. Also, if you wish to change the birth control method – say, use a condom or a diaphragm – seek needful inputs from your treating doctor or pharmacist.

Side effects of the pill

Very common side effects include vomiting, headache and nausea. You are likely to experience missed periods or erratic periods; especially in the first few weeks. Some women have reported having experienced a mild swelling of feet, change of body weight as well as gas formation. If you see these signs to persist for long, it is recommended to consult your treating doctor immediately. In a few cases, this pill is seen to raise blood pressure. If you are allergic to the ingredients, it is likely to show up as rashes on your skin, itchiness, respiratory problems, etc. If you observe these allergic reactions, get needful medical help at the earliest possible time.

Needful precautions

If your body has an inadequate supply of proteins S and C it can show-up as blood clotting or other medical conditions. Make it known to your prescribing doctor if you have a prior medical record of blood clotting troubles, hypertension or high levels of blood cholesterol. It is also required of you to inform if your medical history has ailments such as liver diseases, cardiac disorders, recent strokes, renal dysfunction, etc. This pill is likely to interact with medicines inhibiting aromatase as well as drugs that can treat epileptic seizures (such as carbamazepine, etc.). It is highly recommended to tell your doctor and pharmacist about the other drugs that you are currently taking.

Dienogest – Estradiol valerate (Sold under brand name called Natazia)
This pill is made of two ingredients – of which, estradiol valerate is a form of the hormone called estrogen and dienogest is a variant of the hormone known as progestin. This combinatorial pill works in almost in the same way as other birth control drugs of this genre. The action focuses on inhibiting ovulation (release of egg to get fertilized), changing the lining of womb to prevent possible attachment of a fertilized egg and also increasing the viscosity of your vaginal discharge during sexual intercourse to prevent sperm from freely accessing the released egg.

Like the other pills in its genre, this pill also cannot guard you from possible risks of sexually transmitted conditions like chlamydia, gonorrhoea or HIV-AIDS. The hormonal ingredients may turn active in varying levels all through your intake cycle. Hence, it is very important to take the doses as per the advice of your doctor. This pill is not to be taken twice within a day. It is taken only once per day, at the same time each day. This practice can help you to remember the dosage time and help adhere to it all through your intake cycle.

Its typical pack may have 2 inactive pills and 26 active pills; the latter set contains hormonal substances. In this consumption cycle, 26 active pills are taken in a dose of one pill each day for 26 continuous days. Then, a dose of 2 inactive pills is followed. As per this intake pattern, you are likely to start your period at the 28th day or sometime close to it.

Side effects

Abdominal cramping, flatulence and nausea are most common side effects. You may also experience headaches coupled with a few episodes of vomiting. Vaginal discharge may also increase. If your periods are turning erratic or if you notice missed periods, it is advised to check for likely pregnancy.

Consult your treating doctor if you have pains in the pelvic area, if you get tired very often or if you experience mood shifts including depression.
You need to contact a local poison control center or take needful medical help in healthcare setting if you are having breathing problems or if you are about to pass out.

Needful precautions

If you are allergic to progestin or estrogen, you need to keep your doctor informed about such allergies. Also, if your family history includes hypertension, blood clotting disorders, cancers in uterus or breasts, cardiac attacks as well as mental illness – you need to share all such information with your treating doctor. It is highly recommended to keep monitoring your blood sugar levels, especially if you are diabetic or if your family’s medical history includes diabetes.

Inform about the drugs you already take or if you are currently pursuing a treatment plan. This pill can interact with drugs such as rifampin, tamoxifen, phenytoin (a muscle relaxant), ritonavir (an antiviral used in the treatment of HIV-AIDS), etc.

Desogestrel – Ethinyl estradiol

This is also a widely administered birth control medication. Like the other pills of the combination genre, this pill contains hormonal equivalents of estrogen as well as progestin. The functions of this pill include prevention of egg from being released, altering your womb’s walls to ensure egg does not get attached as well as rendering additional viscosity to vaginal fluid to ensure sperms does not reach the released egg.
You are advised to strictly follow your doctor’s advice. As the pill’s hormonal output can vary all through your menstrual cycle, following instructions of your doctor becomes critical. You may run the risk of getting pregnant if you are not regularly taking the pill or taking breaks in between the pills. A typical pack may have 21 active and 7 inactive pills. These inactive pills do not contain hormonal substances in them. The 21 active pills are taken continuously and a dose of 7 inactive pills is followed thereafter, also without a break. Thus, a pack lasts for 28 days and you may have your period by the 28th or 29th day of each cycle. However, if you have missed a period or witnessing an erratic period you are advised to perform a pregnancy test or consult your doctor.

Common side effects of using these pills include retention of fluids and as a result swelling of your feet (at times, your ankles may also get swollen). Other signs are nausea and vomiting. If you have a spell of indigestion or if you vomited soon after taking the pill, you are advised to use a non-hormonal birth control method. The common non-hormonal methods used are condoms, diaphragms or spermicides.

Precautions

If you already have blood clotting problems in your lungs or eyes, you need to tell about them to your doctor. Also, if you are experiencing very high blood pressure or a high level of blood cholesterol, such conditions need to be disclosed before starting a dosage plan. If you are taking medications to treat hepatitis C, anticonvulsants or anti-seizure drugs, etc. you need to tell about them to your pharmacist.

How do progestin-only birth control pills work?

Pills falling under the progestin-only category do not have estrogen in them. Instead, they only contain progestin. There are no inactive pills under this category. It serves well for women who cannot consume estrogen for medical reasons.

A commonly prescribed birth control drug under the progestin-only genre is norethindrone.

Norethindrone – POP (Sold as a brand name called Errin)
This pill is also called as a minipill. This is because the pill is made without estrogen. It is a proven drug to prevent getting pregnant. The pill contains a hormone, which is a variant of progestin. The main function of this hormone is to thicken the fluid secreted from your vagina. This thickened fluid acts as a barrier for sperm to reach the released egg. As an added precaution to keep off pregnancy, the hormone also alters the walls of your uterus. The walls now become incapable of attaching a fertile egg. Dual action of #(1) thickened vaginal discharge and #(2) alteration of uterine walls doubly ensure prevention of pregnancy.

So what happens if an egg gets fertilized? The egg gets flushed out along with vaginal discharges. To eliminate risks at an early stage, this pill halts the release of eggs. This process is called ovulation –as mentioned above – and it occurs during the midpoint of your menstrual cycle.

This pill is considered as more effective than other techniques such as a cap on cervix, condoms or diaphragm. However, it is not as effective as birth control medications / pills falling under the combination genre. This is because of the increased efficiency with which combination pills control the release of eggs (i.e., ovulation).

The biggest merit of this pill is women who are allergic to estrogen or those who cannot consume estrogen due to other medical conditions can consume this pill. However, in order to get the fullest benefit of this pill, you are advised to take it as prescribed by your treating doctor.

You need to always remember that consumption of this pill can never safeguard your partner or you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or diseases such as chlamydia, HIV-AIDS, gonorrhoea, etc.

When to take it?

It is advised to take it at the same time every day as you can remember the intake-time easily. As the drug may induce nausea, it is a good practice to take the pill during your bedtime or soon after your meal in the evening time. Your doctor may advise intake of this pill on the starting day of your period. But, if you are starting the dosage plan on another day, it is recommended to use some form of birth control techniques which are non-hormonal in nature. The usually recommended techniques are use of a spermicide or condom. Such precautions are needed only in the first 2 days; thereafter, the pill takes over and will start needful activities for the prevention of a likely pregnancy.

It is important not to take any breaks once a pack of pills gets over. Also, if you have a spell of indigestion or vomiting soon after taking the pill, a back-up plan becomes important. As mentioned, use a spermicide or condom to avoid risks of getting pregnant.

Side effects of norethindrone and needful precautions

Common side effects of consuming norethindrone include headache, vomiting, nausea, etc. In some instances, softening of breasts has also been observed. You may experience erratic periods or excessive bleeding in the interim. Serious side effects include breathing difficulties, blurring of vision, clotting of blood, etc. If you are experiencing such severe side effects, you need to take medical help without much delay. You are advised to get in touch with a local poison control center or other medical emergency helplines without much delay.

As a precautionary measure, tell your doctor if you have a medical record of hypertension, clotting of blood, mood swings, cardiac ailments, etc. Also, if you are already taking other medications – especially, anticonvulsants, drugs for viral infections such as HIV-AIDS, etc. – you need to inform your doctor.

In sum, your partner’s sperm can live upto 5 days after ejaculation. If you have a shorter menstrual cycle, the timespan between your period and release of eggs will also be short. Hence, if you engage in unprotected sex by the end of your period, sperms can live through and can get you pregnant. It hence becomes essential to use appropriate birth control pills – after needful consultation with a qualified medical practitioner – to help avoid getting pregnant.

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