Hormonal birth control methods -- Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP), Ring (NuvaRing) and Patch (Ortho Evra) are very effective, reversible methods of birth control and safe for most young, healthy women. Before you start any of these methods, please read the material accompanying your pack.
These methods do not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV infection. Latex condoms used consistently and correctly reduce your risk of becoming infected with a STI. Latex condoms are free to any UK student and are available in the health educator's office, University Health Service room 246. For information on lambskin condoms, polyurethane condoms, or female condoms, call the health and wellness nurse at 323-5823, ext. 83264.
Please contact University Health Service if you have any questions:
Appointments 323-2778 (APPT)Health & wellness nurse 323-5823, ext. 83264Phone information nurse 323-4636 (INFO)Health education specialist 323-5823, ext. 83258
Combination hormonal methods contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, much like those produced by a woman's body. They work primarily by suppressing ovulation. Other actions include altering cervical mucus making it hostile to sperm penetration and altering the uterine lining preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.
Using hormones is an effective method of birth control. If used consistently and correctly it not only prevents pregnancy but provides added benefits.
Minor side effects may occur during the first two or three cycles but usually resolve spontaneously. See your health care provider if any of the symptoms persist after three months of use.
Although the risk of serious, life-threatening complications is small, users of hormonal birth control have a slightly greater risk of certain cardiovascular problems than nonusers. The most serious is the possibility of blood clots in the legs, lungs, heart, or brain.
Smoking places a woman using hormonal methods of birth control at greater risk for cardiovascular problems. You are strongly encouraged to stop smoking if you are using these methods. For information on smoking cessation or for assistance in becoming smoke free, please call 323-APPT(2778) to make an appointment with our health educator.
The majority of studies have found no overall increase in the risk of breast cancer in hormonal birth control users.
If you develop any of these symptoms, seek prompt medical attention.