· Very effective when used correctly (efficacy is as high as 99.9%);
COCs are desired among women who:
· Desire a highly effective method of contraception (99.9% effective when used correctly);
Combined Oral Contraceptives are absolutely contra-indicated in the following situations.
Sides effects & management Sides effects Management Amenorrhea
Assess how you have been taking your pills; Have you missed any pill; Check for pregnancy; If not pregnant then continue taking COCs Bleeding / Spotting
If the you have recently begun using COCs, then do not worry; otherwise check for gynecological conditions; The spotting / bleeding settles by fourth month of start of COCs
If BP is more than 160/100 then, discontinue, otherwise slight raise in BP settles in 1-3 months
Nausea / Dizziness / Nervousness Find out if pills are taken in morning or on an empty stomach. Take pill with evening meal or just before bed time; Check for pregnancy; If no cause found, this situation will decrease over the first 3 months of COC use.
Breast fullness or tenderness
Check for pregnancy; Check breasts for Lumps / Cysts; Discharge; Discuss with your service provider if you feel uncomfortable with breast fullness or tenderness.
Chest Pain (especially if it occurs with exercise) Check for possible cardiovascular disease and check for blood pressure and heart for irregular beats (arrhythmias) with your service provider Depression May be related to progestin in COCs. If your depression has worsened while using COCs, choose another method. Headache If headaches are mild, take analgesics (paracetamol / aspirin). Consult your service provider to re-evaluate after 1 month if mild headache persists; If headaches have changed since starting COCs (i.e., associated with numbness, tingling, or loss of speech, blurred vision), stop COCs and choose another method.
Acute jaundice occurring after starting COC use begins is not method related. Check for Hepatitis, Gall Bladder Disease & benign or malignant tumors. If jaundice is due to hepatitis, gall bladder disease or liver tumors, stop COC and choose another method. Danger sign
If the following signs appear, this should be taken as an emergency situation and the woman taking oral contraceptives should be taken to a hospital immediately.
· Severe lower abdominal pain
Where to get services
Oral pills is available in all program and non program outlets, the oral pills is also available in all medical stores.