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Oral Contraceptive Pills

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At a Glance:

  • Convenient
  • Must remember to take daily
  • Discreet
  • 99% effective if taken perfectly; 91% effective with typical use
  • Many hormonal combinations for women with different needs
  • Easy to stop at any time
  • Most oral contraceptive pills are available over the counter at drugstores
  • Either 21 or 28 pills per cycle available

What is it?

Birth control pills are a kind of medicine with hormones that you take every day to prevent pregnancy. There are many different brands of pills. The pill is safe, affordable, and effective if you always take it on time. Besides preventing pregnancy, the pill has lots of other health benefits, too.


It’s important to keep in mind that oral contraceptive pills and emergency contraceptive pills are not the same thing. Birth control pills come in packs of 21 or 28 pills and is meant to be taken daily. Emergency contraception comes with only 1 or two pills, is meant to be taken infrequently and only after unprotected sex.

Types of Pills:
These pills are an estrogen and progestin combination that works with your body to prevent ovulation. A monthly combination pill pack contains 3 consecutive weeks of hormone-based pills and sometimes a week of placebos (pills with no hormones) or iron tablets that’ll bring on your period. Combined pills is what most women use if they are using oral contraceptive pills.
Better known as the mini-pill (because of their small size), these have no estrogen in them and are often prescribed if you’re sensitive to combination pills or experiencing side effects because of them. These pills release a small amount of progestin every day of the month (28 pills) and don’t give you a period during a set week. Progestin-only pills are also safe for breastfeeding mothers.

When used correctly less than 1 woman out of 100 will become pregnant in a year. However, with typical use, the pill is 91% effective.


Keep in mind, the main reason birth control pills fail is because we mess up. Forgetting pills, losing the pack, not purchasing a new pack — these are common mistakes that can result in pregnancy. It’s good to think about these things ahead of time. Here are some ways to help you remember to take your pills every day


  • Keep a calendar so you know when you need to start a new pack.
  • Set an alarm on your phone
  • Pair taking your pill with something else you do every day at around the same time– like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast, so you are less likely to forget your pill.

Oral contraceptive pills work because of the hormones they release; estrogen and progestin. The estrogen in the combination pills mostly work by preventing an egg from being released during ovulation, thus preventing an egg meeting with sperm at any point. The progestin in the combination and progestin-only pill works by increasing mucus lining in the cervix and the uterus, stopping sperm from meeting with an egg.

Taking the pill is easy–but you’ve got to remember to take your pill at around the same time every day. Even on weekends. Even on vacation. So, ask yourself: how good are you with things like that?
If you are using a 28-day pill pack, take the pill every day and start a new pack immediately after you finish your previous one.  If you are on a 21-day pill cycle, take one pill every day for 21 days, and then the following 7 days are pill free. Start a new pack on Day 28.
You will return to fertility (which just means that you go back to being able to get pregnant) just a few days after stopping the pill. So if you don’t want to get pregnant right away, make sure you start using an alternate method as soon as you stop taken the pill.

  • Easy to use—just swallow with water
  • Doesn’t interrupt the heat of the moment
  • Might give you lighter periods
  • Gives you control over when you have your period
  • Some pills clear up acne
  • Can reduce menstrual cramps and PMS
  • Some pills offer protection against some nasty health problems, like endometrial and ovarian cancer, iron deficiency (anemia), ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease

Worrying about negative side effects is normal, but for most women, they are not a problem. If you do experience side effects, they should go away over time. As you are introducing hormones into your body, it might take a little time to adjust.

Things that will probably go away after two or three months:

  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Sore breasts
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mood swings

Things that may last longer:

  • A change in your sex drive

If you still feel uncomfortable after three months, switch methods and stay protected.


Common misunderstandings

  • Must be taken every day, whether or not a woman has sex that day for birth control pills to be effective.
  • Do not disrupt an existing pregnancy.
  • If you miss or forget a pill, this method can be less effective. To learn about what to do in the event of a missed pill, click here.

Lydia Rosa

LYDIA ROSA is a low dose oral contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy and can also be used for menstrual disorders such as dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). Each pack of LYDIA ROSA contains 28 tablets comprising of 21 active (hormonal) pills and 7 nonactive (nonhormonal) pills.  

Lydia Clair

LYDIA CLAIR is an oral contraceptive but can also be used as medication for acne and hirsutism (unwanted hair growth). It is also indicated for the regulation of the menstrual cycle, reduction of premenstrual tension, and relief from pain and excessive bleeding during menstruation. Each LYDIA CLAIR blister comes with 21 active tablets, each containing: 2.0 mg of Cyproterone Acetate and 0.03 mg of Ethinyl Estradiol.

Lydia Lacta

A low-dose hormonal oral contraceptive options for lactating mothers. These pills are the best available option for post-partum mothers in Myanmar.

Lydia Fine

Low-dose hormonal oral contraceptive could make periods regular, lighter and less painful. This is a very reliable & affordable contraceptive choice for young women in Myanmar.

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