Another common form of contraception is the birth-control pill. There are several types of birth-control pills, available by a physician's prescription only. Most common is the combination pill (which employs a combination of different
hormones). This type of birth-control pill works by inhibiting the development of the egg in a woman's ovary. In other words, the ovaries remain somewhat inactive, which is similar to how a woman's body behaves when she is pregnant.
Birth-control pills are the most effective form of birth control (aside from abstinence) and are used by millions and millions of women throughout the world. However, the pill does not offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which leaves many women at risk for HIV and other diseases like herpes. Furthermore, the dangers of taking the pill (such as heart attack, stroke, or embolism—a sudden obstruction in a blood vessel) can be intensified by family and personal health histories and lifestyle. (It is advised that smokers over the age of thirty-five should not take the pill.) Always discuss possible side effects with a doctor. Most experts agree, however, that the possible dangers involved with an actual pregnancy and delivery outweigh the possible dangers presented by the pill. For most people, in consultation with a doctor, the pill is considered safe.
Some women have other issues with the pill, including nausea from the increased hormones, weight gain, irritability, migraines, depression, and a reduced sexual desire. These side effects usually decrease after a few monthly cycles of taking the pill. As with any prescription product, some have a great deal of difficulty with the pill while others experience no difficulty at all.
There are many pros and cons to taking birth-control pills, and these should be weighed carefully against a woman's lifestyle and health before deciding to use them.