The condom and the pill aren't your only options

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Your Body

Hormones affect every woman in different ways, and we all have them. Often we don't directly feel the influence they have on our bodies, but sometimes we do – most notably during puberty when the sex hormones are produced in larger amounts. These hormones, including estrogen and progestins, enable and influence the menstrual cycle.

The menstrual cycle is a roughly 28-day process regulated by hormones that occur naturally in the body. Here’s a brief overview of how it happens.

At the beginning of your cycle a gland in your brain produces the FSH hormone, which stimulates a cluster of follicles (containing undeveloped eggs) to develop in your ovaries. These follicles release estrogen, a hormone that cause the lining of your womb to thicken.

As one of the eggs develops in the ovaries, estrogen levels rise further. When they are high enough, the pituitary gland releases LH, which triggers ovulation. The follicle bursts, and the egg leaves the ovary to travel down the fallopian tubes.

The burst follicle in the ovary then produces progesterone, which transforms the womb lining in order to receive a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, progesterone levels drop, and the lining of the womb is discharged in menstruation.

Hormones occur naturally in the body, and they affect us all in different ways. Some methods of contraception contain hormones, which affect the menstrual cycle and/or the body to stop you from becoming pregnant when you do not want to be. Whether they act in the short term or the long term, their desired effect is similar.

There are several methods of contraception that uses hormones to prevent unintended pregnancy. here’s a short overview of how they work.

Placed on your womb by a doctor or nurse, the IUS then releases a progestin hormone locally. This hormone thickens the cervical mucus, making i tharder for sperm to reach an egg, and it reduces the growth of the womb lining, which makes it harder for a fertilized egg to implant and develop.


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This small stick is placed beneath the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse, where it releases a progestin hormone into the blood stream. The hormone prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs, and it thickens the cervical mucus making it harder for sperm to move around.

Depending on the type of injection it either contains a progestin hormone, or a progestin with estrogen. One injection given bí a doctor or nurse every one to three months releases the hormone(s) into the blood stream where they stop the ovaries from releasing eggs and thicken the cervical mucus.

There are two different types of self-administered contraceptive pill. The combined pill contains a prigestin and estrogen, whereas the progestin-only pill contains only progestin. The different types of pill ahve different ways of working. The progestin-only pill acts mainly to thin the womb lining and thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from getting through. The combined pill additionally stops eggs from being released.