It is one of the most popular and safest contraceptives (link tip: contravention burrill), while at the same time it has been repeatedly in the center of criticism for several years. For fifty years now, the pill has given women the opportunity to decide for themselves whether and when they would like to have offspring. In 1960, it was still a true hormone bomb, today's pills, however, are much lower doses. Nevertheless, there are still numerous side effects such as headache, weight gain or sexual listlessness. WOMAN spoke to three readers about their experiences with the contraceptive method. Pill: Contraceptive # 1 "I've been taking the pill for 17 years without any discomfort, although I do not currently live in any relationship, I do not want to stop taking the pill, taking it daily is not a chore, it's as natural as it is Brushing your teeth has become ", explains Daniela S., 36, from Vienna. This impression also confirms Dr. Susanne Lynch, Specialist in Gynecology and Endocrinology in the 23rd district of Vienna (www.dr-lynch.at): "Today's preparations are no longer compatible with the earlier hormone lobes and much better tolerated." The side effects of the pill Nevertheless, many women still suffer from unpleasant side effects, as the 24-year-old dentist assistant Lenka M. .. "I took the pill regularly for four years and I did not feel well. Unfortunately, I was from my then Gynecologist not well advised, "she says. "Within the four years, I had many physical problems, menstrual disorders and pain, so I tried five different preparations, and a more attentive doctor finally recommended a hormone test and prescribed a very light pill for me, which I tolerated quite well." Still, she dropped the pill two years ago. Although she lives in a relationship, she does not want to resort to this method of contraception. "I just feel better without a pill," she says. It takes some getting used to The effects of the pill are slow. "The body needs a period of habituation of at least three months, initial symptoms can subside thereafter, but a detailed and accurate interview with an experienced gynecologist is particularly important in choosing the right preparation," Dr. Lynch. "Today there are so many different pills that can be found for just about any woman who wants to prevent this way, the right one, most are very low doses.Some drugs also have a newly developed gestagen, which counteracts water retention Weight gain can be avoided. " Contraindications Some women advises dr. Lynch but in any case from taking off. If someone often suffers from migraine, it can be exacerbated by the hormonal change. This also applies to patients with hormone-dependent tumors. In heavy smokers, the risk factor for thrombosis and pulmonary embolism increases greatly. The pill has a contradictory effect on cancers. Breast and cervix cancer risk increases, while ovarian and uterine cancer cancers in women who ingest the pill. "Definitely necessary is the regular check-up with the gynecologist!", Lynch emphasizes. "Like any drug, the pill has two sides." But how long can you take them without harming the body and the hormone balance? Since it is taken orally and passes through the liver first, it can lead to liver damage in the longer term. Therefore, women over the age of 35 should consider alternative methods that are also available in the field of hormonal contraception. Alternatives to the pill "I've been taking the pill since I was 16," says 18-year-old Laura Z., a student. "It is very lightly dosed and I tolerate it well, but I have not noticed the effect of making the skin more beautiful." In the meantime, she has been informed by her gynecologist about all the benefits and risks of the pill and would like to switch to the NuvaRing (link tip: experience report with the NuvaRing). This plastic ring is inserted directly into the vagina and stays there for three weeks. During sex, if he is disturbed, he can be removed without consequences for one to two hours. After three weeks there is a week off, then the period begins. By the hormone delivery directly to the uterine mouth, the dosage is much lower, and the liver is spared. Another alternative would be the weekly changing hormone patch, which is often rejected for aesthetic reasons. It is not very nice, and on the skin forms an adhesive edge. This is different with an Implanon, a hormone implant with pure gestagen. The thin, flexible rod is inserted under the skin on the upper arm and removed after three years by the doctor. "This type of contraception is an alternative for women with menstrual problems because the cycle will fail," explains Lynch. The same applies to the hormonal spiral (it prevents five years) and the mini-pill. Positive Side Effects of the Pill But there are also positive side effects of the pill. In addition to the relief of cycle problems, it helps many women to skin more beautiful, as it reduces the proportion of male hormones. Also, pharmaceutical companies are working intensively on a better compatibility. A relatively new product, for example, has a naturally occurring estrogen as its active ingredient and therefore promises very few side effects. "In general, a decision on hormonal contraception should be taken to examine individual needs and to weigh up the pros and cons," emphasizes Dr. med. Lynch. "For most women today, it is certainly possible to find a way to make their family planning compatible in this way."