Family planning methods containing synthetic hormones (It can be a combination of estrogen and progestin or progestin alone), which will primarily work through the prevention of ovulation or by making the cervical mucus too thick for sperm penetration.
They are the most commonly used and are very effective in terms of preventing unwanted pregnancies, but vary in terms of side effects associated with their use.
Combined oral contraceptives are pills that contain synthetic oestrogen and progesterone (progestins), which are similar to the natural hormones produced in a woman’s body.
Combined Oral Contraceptives are one of the most common family planning methods used in Kenya today. Let us take a brief look at them and how they function.
In the past years, there used to be a lot of side effects due to the use of Combined Oral Contraceptives. This was due to the level of estrogen hormone in the family planning method.
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These side effects have seen a major drop due to the decrease of these levels in the pills. High-dose COCs are now defined as those containing 50 micrograms or more of oestrogen, and low dose pills contain 30-35 micrograms of oestrogen. The ultra-low dose
COCs contain 20 micrograms of ethinyloestradiol. Now in Kenya, you will find that the Low-dose pills are more common and are used more widely compared to the others.
Types of COCs Family Planning Methods.
Monophasic pills are active pills that contain an equal amount of the hormones estrogen and progestin. Examples of the pills include Yasmin and Nordette.
Just like Monophasic pills, they are active contraceptive pills containing both estrogen and progestin. The only difference is that they are not of the same dose. One example is Ovanon.
This is an active pill. This family planning contains a combination of oestrogen and progestin making 3 different doses.
Out of a cycle of 21 active pills, six might contain one combination, five pills contain another combination, while 10 pills contain other combinations of the same two hormones. Examples include Logynon and Trinordial.
Progestin Only Pills (POPs).
Progestin Only Injectable Contraceptives (POICs).
Hormone-releasing intrauterine systems (LNG20-IUS).
Combined contraceptive (skin) patch (Evra),
Combined vaginal contraceptive ring (NuvaRing),
Advantages Of using them.
They have helped empower women.
Women can now better take advantage and continue growing their careers because they are able to space the number of children they want to have while controlling when they want to conceive.
Key to preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
The use of condoms has really made a huge difference in the number of cases of Sexually Transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS in Kenya, and globally.
Improving overall maternal health and child survival.
Women can now avoid having children when they are very young, or when they are very old. This was a challenge because these ages not only cause a risk to the mother but also to the unborn child.
Significant reduction in the number of abortion cases
The overall number of cases of abortion, especially unsafe abortion, has reduced. This is because women have the opportunity to time and space their pregnancies, therefore avoiding unwanted pregnancies.
Improving social and economic development and security.
The most challenging social and economic challenge in developing countries is having high population growth. This can change because parents are better able to decide on the size of the family they want to have.
Protecting the environment.
A decrease in the rate of population growth of a country will in turn lead to a decreased rate of nature destruction in the name of looking for new places to occupy due to congestion.
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