Oral contraceptives (OCPs) also known as birth control pills, are medications taken by mouth to prevent pregnancy. There are certain brands of birth control pills that are taken for a different purpose, like treating acne or as a “morning after” pill for emergency contraception. It is important to consult a doctor or a pharmacist. Using OCPs does not protect one against sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., HIV, gonorrhea).
OCPs are usually taken with food or immediately after a meal to prevent stomach upset. Take the medication at the same time each day. It is important to follow the dosing schedule carefully. Be sure to ask a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Since it takes a while to be effective, you may use a supplemental form of birth control during the first week of taking this medication. Follow your doctor’s directions exactly if this drug is being used as a “morning after” pill.
This medication have side effects such as dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, stomach upset, bloating, or nausea. Contact your doctor If these effects persist or worsen. Notify your doctor if you experience: severe depression, groin or calf pain, sudden severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, lumps in the breast, weakness or tingling in the arms or legs, yellowing of the eyes or skin. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you notice other effects that are not listed above,
How could oral contraceptives influence cancer risk?
Research have been found that naturally occurring female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) may influence the development and growth of some cancers. And since birth control pills contain such hormones, researchers have been trying to determine if there is any connection between these OCPs and cancer risk.
The results of the conducted population studies to examine associations between oral contraceptive use and cancer risk have not always been consistent. Overall, however, the risks of endometrial and ovarian cancer appear to be reduced with the use of oral contraceptives, whereas the risks of breast, cervical, and liver cancer appear to be increased.