Teen age also referred to as puberty is the age between twelve years and nineteen and it is one of the most crucial stages in life. For many young people, this is one period that presents difficulties for many as it is the time they get to discover exactly who they are. They begin to experience certain changes in their body and it is usually at this stage that they realize that there is a difference between a boy and a girl. Of the many issues that the young people discover during puberty is their sexuality.
They get to learn how the reproductive system works and are sensitized that at this age they are capable of being reproductive as their reproductive systems at this point are fully mature. Although sexual intercourse is a reserve of the adults, it is a fact that cannot be refuted that young people, even as young as teenagers are now engaging in the act (Seaman. 54-57). Teenagers are getting sexually active as early as at the age of ten years. It is for this reason that it has become necessary for the teenagers to be sensitized among crucial issues like methods of protection from pregnancy and other sexually transmitted diseases.
This paper focuses on birth control pills as one of the methods of contraceptives which is now very common among teenagers (Seaman. 75-77). Birth control pills are tablets whose chemical composition is made up of hormones which are meant to later the normal functioning of the body and specifically the reproductive system. The birth control pills just as the name suggests are taken as a precautionary measure to prevent a woman from getting pregnant after getting sexually involved with any form of protection (Zonderman.
83-86). How it Works As already mentioned birth control pills are made up of hormones that are meant to alter the normal functioning of the reproduction system and specifically the ovaries and the uterus. Most birth control pills contain a combination of hormones, mainly progesterone and estrogen whose function is to prevent ovulation and consequently prevent fertilization of the egg by the sperm during sexual intercourse. As a result, a woman cannot conceive since no egg was available for fertilization.
The chemicals in these pills also thicken the mucus that normally surrounds the cervix making it extremely difficult for the sperm to swim through to the uterus to reach any eggs that may have been released during ovulation. Sometimes these pills have the effect of making it hard for the egg to attach itself on the wall of the uterus and thus fertilization becomes impossible (Zonderman. 99-103). Dosage While the dosage of these pills differs depending on the type, most of them are taken for 21 days or 28 days.
This means that a woman is required to take these pills on a daily basis and once one pack of 28 pills is complete, a woman gets her periods. Some pills are such that they reduce the frequency at which a woman gets her monthly periods. This means that instead on the normal monthly period being received every month, a woman get period once in three months. Some pills have one hormone (progesterone) instead of the combination of progesterone and estrogen. The effect of such a pill is such that changes the mucus that surrounds the cervix and the lining around the uterus.
However this pill has been found to be less effective in prevention of pregnancy in comparison with other birth control pills. For this pill to work it must be taken at the same time everyday without skipping (Watkins. 153-156). Any woman taking the minipill as it is commonly referred to is likely to miss her periods or get them but at irregular frequencies. During the first seven days when a woman begins to use birth control pills it is always advisable to use an additional form of contraception like a condom to prevent pregnancy.
However after the seven day period the birth control pill should be strong enough to prevent pregnancy even without the use of an additional form of contraceptive. However it is important to note that birth control pills only protect a woman from getting pregnant and not from contracting sexually transmitted diseases. This therefore means that even when a woman is using the birth control pills it is important to use condoms to protect them from getting sexually transmitted infections. It is also important to note that birth control pills are not to be shared.
A person should stick to their pack and never take pills belonging to a friend even though they are of the same type (Zonderman. 112-116). Effectiveness Research conducted by medical practitioners indicates that, even though the birth control pills are effective to a large extent, if used for a prolonged period they become ineffective and possibilities of becoming pregnant are high. This is because, just like any medicine, when the pills are used for lengthy periods, the body tends to develop resistance against the pill and thus the ineffectiveness.
However this largely depends on how disciplined one is in taking the pills on a daily basis. Skipping taking the pills increases the chances of getting pregnant. In general the effectiveness of birth control pills is dependent on a number of factors including any inhibiting factor, for example intake of some medication may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills. How properly the pills are taken (without skipping) also determines the effectiveness of the pills (Watkins.
175-178). Side Effects Just like all others types of medication, birth control pills have various side effects. Some of the most common side effects of these pills include nausea, irregular menstrual cycle and change in moods. However these side effects are rarely felt and those who experience the side effects, they are only mild cases. Most of these side effects fade away with time and especially after the first three months most women no longer experience the side effects of these pills.
Some of the most likeable side effects among teenagers of birth control pills include reducing the flow of the monthly periods so that they become lighter and reducing cramps that come with the monthly periods. In addition these pills have been said to offer protection from anemia, cancer of the ovaries and some diseases that affect the breast (Zonderman. 135-137). Conclusion Although birth control pills play an important role in keeping away unwanted pregnancies, it is important to remember that they do not protect one from sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS which has no cure.
Abstinence especially among teenagers is the only sure to keep STDs and unwanted pregnancies at bay. If one has to engage in sexual intercourse then perhaps use of a condom may be advisable. Work cited Seaman. B. The doctors’ case against the pill. New York: Doubleday, 1980. Watkins, E. Siegel. On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950- 1970. Baltimore, Md: New York: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Zonderman. J. Birth control pills, New York: Chelsea House, 2006.