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How the Pill Works

Open 'How the Pill Works' Raging hormones! Surging hormones!

If you've gone through puberty you can attest to feeling hormones race through your body. Hormones act as messengers within the human body -- performing essential functions, not just tormenting teenagers.

The word hormone is derived from the Greek hormaô, "stir up" or "incite." Hormones are chemicals that send information between cells and organs to control metabolic processes. The sex hormones that cause such a ruckus in puberty are crucial to the reproduction process in men and women.

The physical, and sometimes emotional, changes a woman goes through on a monthly basis are caused by hormones that work together, communicating between the brain and the reproductive system. The birth control pill jumps into this relay system midstream, delivering two key sex hormones that trick the brain into thinking the body is already pregnant. Scientific advances in creating synthetic hormones were essential to the development of the birth control pill.

Scroll through a month and monitor the changing balance of hormones in a woman's reproductive cycle. Then "take the pill" to see how synthetic hormones adjust this balance and prevent ovulation.

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