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Level 12

Controlling fertility


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Artificially changing the fertility of a women
The hormones FSH, LH, oestrogen and progesterone can be used to do this
Hormones
These can be used to reduce the fertility of a women
Oestrogen
This can be used to prevent the release of an egg - so it can be used as a method of contraception, if it is taken every day it inhibits the production of FSH and egg development
Progesterone
This can reduce fertility by stimulating the production of thick cervical mucus which prevents the sperm getting through and reaching an egg
The pill
This is an oral contraceptive. The first version was made in the 1950s and contained high levels of oestrogen and progesterone, there were concerns between oestrogen and the side effects of blood clot
Pros of the pill
It is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and it reduces the risk of some kinds of cancer
Cons of the pill
It isn't 100% effective, it can cause side effects like headaches, nausea, irregular menstrual bleeding and fluid retention and it doesn't protect against STD's
The progesterone-only pill
This has fewer side effects but is less effective than the combined pill
Infertile
Some women don't have high enough levels of FSH for their eggs to mature and then be released therefore they cannot get pregnant
Injections
This is a method that women can take FSH and LH to allow them to get pregnant
Pros of the injection
Infertile women have the chance to have a child
Cons of the injection
It doesn't always work and doing it multiple times can be expensive or too many eggs can be stimulated resulting in multiple pregnancies
IVF
This is another method for getting an infertile couple a child. It consists of the eggs being fertilised in a lab and grown into embryos before being transferred into the women's unterus
Pros of IVF
it can give an infertile couple a child
Cons of IVF
Some women have a reaction to the hormones, there is a higher risk of cancer due to the hormonal treatment and multiple births are more likely to happen and can be dangerous for the mother and child (