Saheli pills are nonhormonal birth control pills that are produced and available only in India. These pills have numerous advantages over hormonal birth control pills. Chhaya pills are another name for the Saheli pills.
As in the case of all birth control pills which come under the Schedule H drugs ( a categorization of drugs in India according to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act), for Saheli pills too you need a prescription from the doctor. However, the best part is that Saheli pills are provided for free, that is: unlike the other birth control pills you do not have to pay to buy the pills. All government hospitals provide Saheli pills for free.
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How do Saheli pills work?
Saheli pills do not contain any hormones. The widely used birth control pills are usually a combination of hormones such as Estrogen and Progestin. There are birth control pills with Progestin hormone alone as well.
The Saheli pills contain the chemical compound Ormeloxifene, also known as Centchroman. This compound does not interfere with any hormone production in the body. How this compound works is that it will exert its influence on the estrogen receptors in your body.
You can think of estrogen receptors as a relay running team member who passes on the baton. Thus to win the relay, the team member must get the baton. What the Saheli pill does is that it will not let the estrogen receptor (the relay team member) get the baton (estrogen already present in your body).
Thus with no estrogen attached to the estrogen receptors, estrogen does not get the chance to shine and do an important role it is supposed to do: promote the implantation of the fertilized egg onto the wall of the uterus. Long story made short: Saheli pills prevent the implantation of the fertilized egg onto the uterine wall.
If you want to know how hormonal birth control pills work read: How do birth control pills work?
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How to use Saheli pills?
Unlike hormonal birth control pills that need to be taken daily, Saheli pills need to be taken only weekly. However, only for the first three months, you need to take the pills twice per week.
To start with Saheli pills, you will need to take the first pill on the first day of your periods. The second pill should be taken three days after this. For the first three months, you need to repeat this pattern. As in, if you have your periods on a Sunday, then you must take the pill on that Sunday and the next pill on Wednesday. For the next three months, you must take the pills every Sunday and Wednesday. If you have your periods on a Monday, then you must take the pill on that Monday and the next pill on Thursday and for the next three months, you must take the pills every Monday and Thursday.
Once the three months are over, you can start taking the pills only once a week. You need to take the pill on the same day of the week on which the first pill was taken. As in, if you started taking your pill on a Sunday three months ago, then you need to take the pill every Sunday from the fourth month onwards; if you started taking your pill on a Monday three months ago, then you need to take your pill on every Monday from the fourth month onwards. The pills are to be continued irrespective of your menstrual cycles that happen every month.
Saheli pills are very safe and effective and found to suit well for many women.
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