How Hormonal birth control works
1. Preventing Ovulation
Some hormonal birth controls prevent ovulation. Without an ovum, or egg, a woman is not able to become pregnant. This happens by tricking the body that it is pregnant, and so does not need to release another ovum.
2. Thickening Cervical Mucus
Some birth control thickens a woman’s cervical mucus. The cervix is the part of a woman’s body between the vagina and the uterus. It is very narrow. If the cervical mucus is thickened, it prevents sperm from entering the uterus, and so prevents fertilization.
3. Thinning Endometrium
The endometrium is the lining of the uterus. This is where the fertilized egg implants to gain the nutrients and become an embryo. Unlike the typical methods of contraception (which the abovementioned ones are), this does not prevent conception, but instead prevents the implantation of the zygote.
Each method of hormonal contraception works differently, and some use more than one of these methods. Ask your doctor how your birth control functions.
Your birth control will either offer a combination hormone, or a single hormone. Single hormone methods use only progesterin. Combination hormone methods use progesterin and ethinyl estradiol. These mimic the body’s hormones of progesterone and estrogen.
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