Birth Control Pills Vs. Contraceptive Implants

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills and contraceptive implants are two of the most popular types of contraceptives on the market. However, a lot of women often have a hard time choosing between the two. Read on to find out the pros and cons of each of these methods of contraception. 

Birth control pills

Birth control pills, commonly referred to as the pill, are a method that contains human-made versions of female hormones like progesterone and estrogen. Naturally, these hormones are produced by the ovaries. There are three methods through which these pills help prevent pregnancy:

• Preventing ovulation by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg monthly

• They also work by making it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. This means that the sperm cannot penetrate the womb. This happens because the mucus layer in the womb is thickened. 

• Others work by thinning the womb’s lining. By doing so, it becomes difficult for a fertilized egg to implant into the womb. 

It is worth mentioning that the way the pills work varies from one brand to the next. 

What are the benefits of the pills?

Below are some reasons why the pills are an excellent method of contraception:

• The pills are 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies when used correctly

• Does not interfere with sex

• Sometimes helps reduce painful and heavy periods

• Sometimes reduces acne

• Relieves the adverse symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

• Helps reduce the risk of conditions like ovarian cysts, non-cancerous breast diseases, and fibroids

The downsides

Like any other method of contraception, these pills have some downsides. They are:

• They do not protect against STIs and STDs

• They can increase your blood pressure

• Sometimes, they cause temporary side effects like mood swings, nausea, and headaches

• Many women complain of breakthrough bleeding and spotting during their first few months of using the pills

• A few studies show that the pills can increase the risk of conditions like blood clots and breast cancer

Contraceptive implants

Contraceptive implants are also prevalent forms of contraception used by thousands of women globally. An implant is a small (toothpick-sized) and a flexible rod inserted under the skin of the inner side of your upper arm. The implant is usually inserted using a special needle after local anesthesia is administered. 

Contraceptive implants work by releasing human-made progesterone hormones into the bloodstream. This method prevents pregnancy by making it difficult for sperm to pass through the cervix by thickening the mucus layer in the cervix. Contraceptive implants also stop the egg from being released monthly. Additionally, this method of contraception works by making it hard for an egg to implant in the womb by thinning the womb’s lining. 

Why are contraceptive implants beneficial?

Below are some upsides of using contraceptive implants;

• They are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy

• They remain effective for up to three years

• Sometimes, they help reduce painful and heavy periods

• They are safe for breastfeeding mothers

• They do not interfere with sex

• They do not rely on correct usage

The downside

Like the pills, contraceptive implants also have their downsides. They include;

• They do not protect against STDs and STIs

• They may cause side effects like nausea and headache

• They may worsen acne

• They require a minor medical procedure for fitting and removal

Which is the best?

Contraceptive implants are an excellent option for women who cannot use estrogen-based methods of contraception like pills. They also do not rely on correct usage, so you do not have to worry about missing a day and getting pregnant. However, this does not mean that the pills are not great. They also offer numerous benefits, as listed above. However, the pills are 91% effective during normal and correct usage. 

Final word

Both methods of birth control described above are effective and safe. When choosing between the two, it would be best to consider the benefits and downsides of each. You can also benefit from consulting a doctor. A doctor will help you determine the best option depending on your body and the effects of the various methods.


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