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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Herbs and Natural Cures >>  Oral Contraceptive

Effectiveness of Cotton Seed Contraception


Chinese scientists are very close to completing the process of formulating a male oral contraceptive from the cotton seed plant. The discovery of this contraceptive property of the cotton seed happened by accident in the 1940’s in the village of Wang in the Nanching province of China. During this period, no children were born in this village. Even when the men from the village wed women from other far away villages, conception did not take place. At that time the villagers were very poor and used cotton seed oil for cooking their food.
After a decade, babies were finally born in the village. It was noticed that during this period, the village had prospered, and the villagers were now using Soya bean oil for cooking their food. This led government officials to accurately surmise, that the cotton seed oil was responsible for the decrease in fertility of the male population of the village.

Cotton Seed Oil – Male Oral Contraceptive

Further research and trials confirmed that consumption of cotton seed oil did indeed reduce the fertility of men by reducing their sperm count. Chinese scientists worked hard to identify the substance responsible for this drop in sperm count and eventually after many years of research identified a substance known as gossypol that is present in cotton seed oil. Gossypol was then tested on over 75,000 Chinese men. However, the results were not encouraging at all. Although gossypol successfully reduced the sperm count in all the test subjects, the effect was irreversible in 25 per cent of the cases. Gossypol also reduced the potassium content in the blood.

Gossypol was abandoned as a possible male contraceptive on the account of its many undesirable side effects. However, research is still being carried out on other derivatives based on cotton seed oil that may be used as an effective male contraceptive with no permanent side effects.

What is an oral contraceptive?

An oral contraceptive, also more commonly referred to as a birth control pill, can be described as a tablet that helps prevent a woman from getting pregnant. Hence, taking a pill or the oral contraceptive on a regular basis can reduce the chances of an unplanned pregnancy. The manner is which the oral contraceptive works is by making it very difficult for the sperm to reach the egg, thereby preventing fertilization. These pills are available in packets of 28. For 21 days women take their regular birth control pill, but during their menstrual cycle, they need to take the placebo pills for a period of 7 days. Some women do not take the placebo pills during their period; instead they prefer to just take a break from the oral contraceptive pills, for a period of 7 days.

Oral contraceptive list

There are 4 different types of oral contraceptive pills, which include:

• The combined pills in which both progestin and estrogen are present. This is the most commonly use oral contraceptive pill
• The mini-pill, which does not contain any estrogen and is suitable for those women who cannot take estrogen for any reason
• The emergency oral contraceptive pill, also known as “the morning after pill”, especially meant for those women who engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse. This pill can be taken up to three days, after intercourse
• The phased regimen pill, most commonly used by those women who have crossed the age of 35.

However, unlike a few other types of contraceptives, the oral contraceptive does not protect a person from sexually transmitted diseases.

Benefits of oral contraceptive pills

Apart from the most obvious benefit of using birth control pills, there are several other others that could cause people to use them. For example, a skin specialist may prescribe an oral contraceptive for acne, as it helps balance the hormones in the body. Given below are some of the most important health benefits of oral contraceptive pills:

• Decrease in menstrual cramps
• Reducing the problem of reduced ovarian cyst
• Preventing the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy
• Alleviating the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia and endometrial cancer

Oral contraceptive side effects

There are many women around the world who refrain from using birth control pills and opt for other forms of contraceptives instead. While there could be many reasons for that, one of the main factors is the oral contraceptive side effects. It is a well known fact that women could experience certain signs and symptoms in reaction to the birth control pills that they take. Some of the most commonly experienced oral contraceptive side effects include:

• Significant increase in menstrual flow
• Heaviness in the breasts
• Pain in the abdomen
• Severe chest pain
• Headaches, which can be intense
• Blurriness in vision
• Thigh or leg pain, though this is not very common

It is best to switch over to oral contraceptives, only upon the recommendation of a doctor.

Submitted on January 16, 2014