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Et la pilule, on en parle ?-Gapianne
Contraception

And the pill, are we talking about it?

gapianne logo and junon logo for collaboration
Jess, Clem and the girls of Collectif Junon thrill Paris with their program of feminist and eclectic events, their eponymous blog since 2015 deconstructs the preconceived patterns of sexuality of our time. If you open your eyes, you may have seen Clem on his blue Pussyclette delivering their brilliant magazine Hysterique to the four corners of Paris. Gapianne joins forces with Juno to present you with a selection of subjects that have been cut through with a scalpel by the collective, and of coursethe number 2 of Hysterique is available for sale here , good reading!

image of a quotation mark to introduce the beginning of the article written by the junon collective In the early 2000s, about 60% of French women aged 20 to 44 used the pill as contraception. We can say it, it is a bit the "star" in the field! However, as strange as it may seem, this predominant place is only occupied in France and has no equivalent abroad, the IUD being the first contraceptive choice worldwide and particularly in China.

Contraceptive pill: genesis

The pill is therefore an oral contraceptive, a female hormonal contraceptive, which comes in the form of tablets taken daily. Remember again, unlike condoms (and ONLY CONDOMS), the use of contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at all!

That being said, let's start at the beginning: the idea of ​​the pill was launched by Margaret Sanger, nurse, and Katharine McCormick, biologist (two nice people). In 1950, they offered to the endocrinologist (but yes, everyone knows this job) Gregory Pincus, to finance work for the development of a synthetic contraceptive hormone. This research is based on the belief of Pincus that the cessation of ovulation during pregnancy is linked to the action of the hormone Progesterone, and he had seen the damn Greg. By developing a synthetic hormone similar to progesterone, it becomes possible to block fertilization.

However, its distribution was not so simple, in the United States for example, for married women, the pill only became definitively legal in all fifty States after a decision by the Supreme Court in 1965. Access unmarried women to the pill will not be definitively acquired until 1972. In France, it was in 1967 that the Neuwirth law decriminalized contraception for all.

Birth control pill: how it works

Now for the maaaaaaagie, finally science, and the explanation of how the pill works.

First, note that there are two types of birth control pill, the combined pill , which contains two derivatives of estrogen and progesterone, and the progestogen pill , which contains only the progestogen.

The action of the birth control pill is to interfere with a woman's natural menstrual cycle; the synthetic hormones provided by taking the pill therefore prevent ovulation.

Normally, the ovaries produce two hormones necessary for ovulation each month: estrogen and progesterone. This method of contraception acts on three levels:

  • The decrease in the secretion of hormones produced by the pituitary gland and therefore no follicle maturation in the ovary, which has the effect of inhibiting ovulation (yes, it's all complicated, yet it happens passes through my body and into yours as well);
  • The modification of the cervical mucus which becomes less permeable to spermatozoa;
  • The modification of the endometrium which no longer allows implantation. We can summarize by saying that it causes a "standby" of the ovaries . The pill is a medicine and, as with many medicines, there are certain contraindications (cardiovascular disease, hypertension, liver disease). This is why a medical visit is essential before taking any pill.

Then, a medical visit is recommended once or twice a year. The pills sometimes improve certain disorders such as pelvic inflammatory disease, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, acne. Nausea and breast tenderness, rarer with the dosages used today, often fade after a few cycles of doses. Weight gain is often problematic in the collective imagination, yet it is not systematic and can be controlled by efforts to balance food and sports activity granted in the first three months of taking it. But good news: the use of an oral contraceptive also reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.

The pill can have either a positive, negative, or no effect on female libido , depending on how your body reacts.
A small recommendation to eye contact lens wearers, sometimes intolerances occur under the pill, such as during pregnancy, and yes, everything is connected.

Practical level: you have a pack of 21 tablets, and you must start on the first day of your period. Then you swallow a tablet every day at a fixed time, until the end of the pack. Once the wafer is finished, the rules return. It is then necessary to wait 7 days to restart another one.
In case of delay, the forgotten pill must be taken as soon as possible, even if it means taking the pill of the day before and that of the day. If the delay exceeds a certain duration, specified in the leaflet (about 12 hours depending on the pill), it is recommended to use another means of contraception in addition while waiting to regain the effectiveness of the pill.

Obviously, if you want contraception to be effective, it is better to be punctual , and to avoid oversights. Delivered only on doctor's prescription, this contraceptive, if used correctly, is 99.5% reliable... and that's still not bad...

So, all to your pads? Or not ! Each person taking a contraceptive must think about it and get advice, because there are a multitude of them and good alternatives, to hormones if you prefer natural, to the pill if you cannot swallow medication, etc. make your choice and try, because not all contraceptives will suit you.

Article written by the Junon collective and relayed by Gapianne as part of a collaboration
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