How does Loestrin work?

Combined Contraceptive Pill »

The hormones contained in the contraceptive pill are similar to those produced by your body to control your menstrual cycle. Oestrogen and progestogen levels rise and fall throughout the course of your cycle, preparing the body for the prospect of ovulation. The contraceptive pill is very effective at preventing pregnancy because it uses three very effective ways to reduce the chances of you becoming pregnant.

Every month, your ovaries mature and release one egg that travels down the fallopian tube in the hope of being fertilised. The hormones control when the egg is released and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. However, the pill can actually stop an egg from being released. The high levels of hormone within the pill make the body believe that it has already released an egg during the cycle. In actual fact it hasn’t but because your body thinks that you have already ovulated, another egg will not mature so no eggs will be released during your cycle. This is a sure fire way of making sure that you don’t get pregnant because there is no egg for the sperm to fertilise. It is this mechanism, which makes the combined contraceptive pill so effective.

The pill also tries to prevent the sperm from reaching the fallopian tubes so in the rare event that an egg would be released, the sperm would not complete their journey. The pill thickens the natural mucous fluid of the vagina, making it a thicker viscous substance, which the sperm have trouble swimming through. The fluid essentially forms a mucous plug, which blocks the neck of the womb, making it very difficult for the sperm to move. Therefore, the chance of the sperm reaching the fallopian tubes is greatly reduced.

The third mechanism that the pill uses is a like a back up system, in case the other two methods fail. If an egg is released and the sperm do manage to swim through the mucous to fertilise the egg, the egg still does not class as a successful pregnancy. It has to embed into the uterus wall to gain the nutrients it needs in order to grow. Only when the egg has done this do you classify as pregnant. Usually, the uterus lining thickens prior to ovulation to allow the egg the best possible chance to implant. However, the pill makes this uterus lining thinner so it is very difficult for the egg to take hold. If you use the contraceptive pill correctly, it is extremely effective at protecting you from pregnancy.

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