Medical Sciences Female Hormones and the Birth Control Pill
Hormones are specialized chemicals that the endocrine system produce to assist in controlling body functioning, including reproduction processes. Among women, ovaries manufacture estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, which have essential roles in women’s sexuality, reproduction, and sex drive. As the primary female hormone, estrogen is essential in regulating the menstrual cycle, controlling the maturity of sex organs, and thickening the uterus lining to support pregnancy. It encourages the production of Luteinizing Hormone (which triggers egg release and progesterone production in ovaries) and the manufacture of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (hormone that manages menstrual cycle and encourages ovaries’ production of eggs) in pituitary gland. Although associated with males, production of testosterone also occurs among females to assist in making estrogen and regulate sexual desire and behavior. Progesterone has the roles of maintaining the womb lining, facilitating fertilized egg implantation in the uterus, and maintaining pregnancy (Reese and Casey 19-22).
The birth control pill will keep Janet from becoming pregnant by inhibiting her body’s natural cyclical hormones that are responsible for the development of pregnancy – estrogen and progesterone. The principal aim of the pill is to stop ovulation because without the discharge of ova from ovaries, fertilization, and hence pregnancy, cannot happen. Birth control pills typically comprise synthetic forms of estrogen and progestin (a form of progesterone) to stabilize hormone levels in women’s bodies, and hence prevent the peaking of estrogen mid-cycle (Brooks et al para. 6-7). Such stabilization constrains the pituitary gland from manufacturing FSH and LH, thus preventing ovulation.
According to the assessments on page 290 of the book, the most efficient birth control technique is abstinence, while the least effective is film and foam (with spermicide). While abstinence bears a 0% risk of unintended pregnancy and 100% protection against STDs and HIV infections, the film and foam (with spermicide) method bears the highest risks (29% and 18% risks of unintended pregnancy for typical and perfect use respectively and no protection against HIV and STD infections).
Brooks, Krista, Zuckerman, Diana, Wharton, Morgan, and Kennedy, Caitlin. “Birth Control Pills: what you need to know”. National Center for Health Research Article, 2014. Web.
Reese, Maria, and Casey, Ellen. “Hormonal Influence on the Neuromusculoskeletal System in Pregnancy”. Springer International Publishing Article, 2015. Print.