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Antifertility Drugs and Their Benefits

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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Introduction to antifertility drugs

The rising population has been causing several issues related to environmental resources, food, employment, etc. To control all these issues, the population needs to be controlled. Thankfully, the antibiotic revolution has been playing a significant role to provide people with a long and healthy life. The expectancy of life has significantly doubled up in today’s times. Adding, with the concept of family planning and using antifertility drugs, the population can be controlled to a greater extent.

Antifertility drugs are nothing but birth control pills which are essentially a mixture of artificial derivatives of estrogen and progesterone, which are hormones. Progesterone is known to suppress the process of ovulation. Adding, the artificial derivatives of progesterone are known to be more potent than the hormone itself. An example of a synthetic progesterone derivative is norethindrone which is amongst the most commonly used antifertility drugs. 


Today, we will discuss in detail what antifertility drugs are.


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What is an Antifertility Drug?

When two people indulge in family planning, it makes for a perfect decision about having a child at the right time and maintaining a proper age difference between the first and the second child. Family planning also helps in avoiding pregnancy and helps to control the population. It also avoids the health risks that are associated with newborns like premature births. Antifertility drugs are one of the essential components of family planning.


An antifertility drug is a chemical substance that helps in suppressing the hormonal actions which promote fertility in women. These drugs reduce the chances of fertility by acting as protection. These antifertility drugs are either made from the derivatives of artificial progesterone or a combination of both the synthetic derivatives of estrogen and progesterone.


Antifertility drugs are generally known to be synthetic hormones. When these drugs are ingested, the mucus of the cervix tends to thicken up. This, in turn, makes it hard for the sperm to enter the uterus of the female and fertilize the egg. Therefore, the chances of pregnancy get reduced. Ovulation in women is suppressed by the hormone progesterone. However, the synthetic or the artificial progesterone derivative is proven to be more potent than the naturally occurring progesterone. Norethindrone is a synthetic progesterone derivative, whereas ethynylestradiol is a mixture of both the estrogen and progesterone derivatives.

Benefits of Antifertility Drugs

There are no significant side effects of these antifertility drugs. The only issue to be known is weight gain. When they are taken in the proper dosage, these drugs are useful and have many advantages. 


Given Below Are the Benefits of Antifertility Drugs.

1.   Antifertility drugs do not cause any interference with sexual activities. Also, the risk of getting pregnant is reduced.

2.    Antifertility drugs might even reduce menstrual bleeding.

3.    One can take these drugs immediately after childbirth.

4.    The chances of uterine cancer are reduced when these medicines are taken as a long-term dosage.

5.    These drugs also tend to protect against many pelvic inflammatory diseases.

6.    Progesterone is an anti-inflammatory drug and helps in regulating the immune system.

However, the thing to keep in mind is that the person shouldn’t take it without consulting a doctor. Also, the cycles of these drugs should be continued and maintained.

Relevance of studying about Antifertility drugs

Antifertility drugs suppress the action of those hormones that promote pregnancy.  They act as a contraceptive. All students of Science who want to pursue the subject in their later years will need to know about Antifertility drugs. 

Students looking to get into pharma, medicine, Research, and the like will also need to know about Antifertility drugs. These drugs and their compositions need to be understood by them so that the principles on which they work can be deciphered. It is important for all students to understand the logic behind why certain components work in the manner in which they do.

FAQs on Antifertility Drugs and Their Benefits

1. What Does a Drug Mean in Chemistry?

A drug refers to a chemical which interacts with the proteins in the person’s body for affecting a physiological function. This is, however, the general idea behind all the medicines. Hence, a drug and medicine mean the same thing. Once a person ingests a drug, it gets absorbed into the systemic circulation. It then binds with specific proteins which change the functioning of the cells to an extent. Consider, for example, the anticancer drugs tend to bind to the surface of the cancerous cells, which stimulates these harmful cells to die. So, in this case, the physiological action of this drug is cell death.

2. How Do Antifertility Drugs Work?

Antifertility drugs work in the following manner:

  1. The oral antifertility drug contains either a synthetic progesterone derivative or a mixture of both estrogen and progesterone derivatives.

  2. The nearness of both these hormones in the bloodstream tends to obstruct the release of the luteinizing hormone (LH) or the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland.

  3. Both the LH and the FSH help in developing the egg and the lining of the uterine wall. Progesterone helps develop the uterine body fluid encompassing the egg, making it difficult for the sperm to fertilise the egg.

  4. Progesterone also controls the process of ovulation. Different combinations of both estrogen and progesterone in antifertility drugs are either monophasic, biphasic, or triphasic.

3. What Are Some Examples of Antifertility Drugs?

Antifertility drugs are typically synthetic derivatives of either progesterone or a combination of estrogen and progesterone. These drugs are used to control the fertilisation of eggs in the woman’s uterus by thickening the uterine wall. This prevents the entry of the sperms inside the uterus and hence prevents pregnancy. There are several different kinds of antifertility drugs that are available in the market Given below are some of the examples of antifertility drugs.

Norethindrone and Ethynylestradiol are two examples of antifertility drugs. Norethindrone is a synthetic progesterone which is amongst the most commonly used antifertility drugs.

However, it is important to note that the antifertility drugs should not be taken without consulting the doctor. Also, the correct usage must be kept in mind and any kinds of changes in the body must be reported to the doctor immediately.

4. What is Norethindrone?

Norethindrone is a synthetic progesterone derivative that works in the case of Antifertility drugs. The exact mechanism behind which has been stressed upon in Antifertility Drugs – Definition and Benefits. This page has elaborated upon what antifertility drugs are and has everything written in a simple, lucid language so that the students make sense of the content. This page has been designed by Science teachers who know exactly how much to include in the chapter on Antifertility Drugs. All students who read from this page will be able to relate.

5. Are there any side effects of Antifertility drugs?

Common side effects of antifertility drugs include nausea, bloating, fatigue, weight gain. Antifertility drugs are used to stop conception in women and must only be used if advised by the doctor. Their properties have been explained on this page and the students need to go through it once to understand how they work. Other related information has also been provided here for the sake of their personal understanding.

6. Do Antifertility drugs reduce menstrual bleeding?

Yes, antifertility drugs have been known to reduce menstrual bleeding in women. This is because the progestin hormone that these drugs contain inhibits the growth of the lining of the womb prior to menstruation. This lessens bleeding during menstruation. However, one must never start taking them without the recommendation of a gynaecologist.