Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills (COCs)

Hormonal Method
  • Combined oral contraceptive pills (COCs) are often referred to as “the pill” or “pills”.
  • These pills contain synthetic hormones estrogen and progestin which are similar to natural homes produced in a woman’s body.

How it works

The pill works primarily by preventing the release of eggs from ovaries (ovulation).

Common Types of COCs

The pill is usually provided in packs of 21 or 28 tablets. In the 28-pill pack, only the first 21 pills are active, with the remaining seven being inactive.

Effectiveness

  • When used consistently and correctly, the pill is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
  • Effectiveness depends on the user: Risk of pregnancy greatest when a woman starts a new pill pack 3 or more days late, or misses 3 or more pills near the beginning or the end of a pill pack.
  • For greatest effectiveness, a woman must take one pill every day.

Advantages

    • COCs are highly effective if used correctly and consistently.
    • No delay in return to fertility after the pill is stopped.
    • Help to reduce heavy and painful periods.

Limitations

  • It is important to note that the pill must be taken daily at the same time each day, whether or not a woman has sex that day.
  • Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • May reduce milk production in breastfeeding women.

Side Effects experienced by some users

  • Changes in bleeding patterns such as spotting, bleeding in between menstrual periods, or lack of monthly periods
  • Some women may experience nausea, mild headaches, dizziness, breast tenderness, weight change, mood changes, or weight changes

Juu life ni kujipanga!

Popular questions

Within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex. It’s the most effective when taken within 12 hours.

Even when this method works correctly, its efficacy is 78%. 22 out of 100 women would get pregnant in one year with this method. We recommend this as a back up.

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You will get a small injection on your arm to numb you. This means you won’t feel pain at all during insertion. There will be a little pain or soreness as the wound heals for about a week.
Yes. A woman who has not had children generally can use an IUD, but she should understand that the IUD is more likely to come out because her uterus may be smaller than the uterus of a woman who has given birth.
Yes. If needed, ECPs can be taken again, even in the same cycle. A woman who needs ECPs often may want to consider a longer-acting and more effective family planning method
Yes. A woman who has not had children generally can use an IUD, but she should understand that the IUD is more likely to come out because her uterus may be smaller than the uterus of a woman who has given birth.
No. Most research finds no major changes in bleeding patterns after female sterilization. If a woman was using a hormonal method or IUD before sterilization, her bleeding pattern will return to the way it was before she used these methods

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Last modified: April, 2022

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