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Questions About Hormonal Birth Control

Estrogen and/or Progestin Contraceptive Methods


Updated October 19, 2009

Should I Use Other Birth Control While on the Pill?

Photo © 2008 Dawn Stacey
Generally speaking, when started correctly, most hormonal birth control methods tend to be effective right away. This is not always the case though. Sometimes, it may be necessary for women to use back-up contraception, like a condom, while taking hormonal birth control.

Do Hormonal Birth Control Methods Protect Against STDs?

© Damon Hart-Davis
Many women can be confused about STD risk when using hormonal contraception. Some believe that you are more likely to catch HIV when using these birth control methods. It is important that you understand the realities between hormonal contraceptives and sexually transmitted infections.

Can Women Use Hormonal Contraception After Age 40?

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If you are a woman age 40 or older, then listen up! It seems that your available birth control options just expanded - no longer will your choices be limited to having your tubes tied or diaphragms. Research shows that hormonal contraception after age 40 may now be an option. For older women, contraception options have been broadened, so sex after age 40 can sizzle!

Understanding the Types of Progestin in Hormonal Birth Control

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Progestin is a common hormone found in hormonal birth control methods. What is it? Learn the differences between progestins as well as the various progestin types. Information about the estrogenic effects, androgenic effects, and progestational selectivity for each type of progestin is discussed. In contrast to estrogen, there are many types of progestin found in various oral contraceptive brands. The older progestin types are usually referred to as first- and second-generation while the newer ones are called third-generation (and fourth).

Different Progestin Types

Photo © 2009 Dawn Stacey
All combination birth control pills contain estrogen (typically ethinyl estradiol) and one of eight kinds of progestin. The term progestin is used for any natural or man-made substance that has properties similar to natural progesterone. Progestins are categorized by generation. To best understand how a progestin may be classified, it is helpful to clarify the types of effects a progestin may have on the female body.

Top Myths About the Pill

Photo © 2009 Dawn Stacey
There are many common myths regarding birth control pills. Knowing the truth can help you make better contraception decisions. Here is some information that should help to dispel some common contraception myths regarding the pill and discusses the realities about using the pill.

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