25 Oct 2016
Contraception In 2016
* Note: This is a birth control education article. Some well-defined terms are used. If you don’t feel comfortable reading this, or you are not in the right age to read this without the consent of your parents, please navigate away *
These days, there are many different types of contraception available to women. With so many choices it can seem confusing when deciding what method is best for you. Here is a list of some of the most popular and newest types of contraception. Of course, the best way to find a contraceptive that fits with your body, lifestyle, and preferences is by consulting your doctor.
This is one is a classic. Easy to use, the condom protects against pregnancy and is the only contraception to protect against sexually transmitted infections, making it your safest choice (especially when with a new partner). Nowadays you can easily purchase many different types of condoms at your local pharmacy making it easy to find a kind that fits your needs. There are even latex free condoms easily available for those with latex allergies. Having condoms on hand in your purse or at home is always a great idea for those unplanned moments. The problem with condoms however is that they can break, so many women choose to have a backup contraceptive method. Another possible issue with condoms is that it is not in the women’s control since the man wears the condom, rest assured there are plenty of options if you want to take contraception into your own hands.
Highly effective, this is an estrogen and progesterone pill that you take orally once a day for three weeks and then stop taking for one week in which you will get your period. Many women love this pill and have great success with it, but the different hormone combinations can cause changes in your body. No two pills are the same and no two women are the same. So you may have to try different types of pills before you find one that works for you. Also, you must remember to take the pill daily, or it will no longer be effective. The pill is also not recommended for smokers and those 35 years and older and those who suffer from migraines. Some of the benefits of the pill are regulating periods and helping with acne (depending on the pill and the woman).
Progesterone Only Pill or Mini Pill
Similar to the combination pill, it is taken orally but everyday with no break. It does not contain estrogen which makes it a good option for people with certain health problems, smokers and for those who have not had success with the combination pill. However just as with the other pill, the hormones can affect you. Also, you must take this pill within the same three hours every day, or it will NOT be effective. The chances of pregnancy are higher with the mini pill for this reason. If you are forgetful this is not for you. There is also a possibility that you will no longer have a period when taking this pill.
A plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina for three weeks and then taken out for one week during which you will have your period. Uses the same hormones as the combination pill and is therefore not advisable to smokers. Can work for you if you are the kind of girl who cannot remember to take her pill.
There are two types of IUD. One is a copper device that is implanted in your uterus and spots the sperm from reaching and ovary. The other works by releasing hormones and is also surgically implanted into your uterus. They both last about 10 years and are highly effective. IUDs can be a good option for those who are forgetful with the pill, who want a onetime solution that last a long time or (in the case of the copper wire), who want a solution that is hormone free. However, if you are planning on having children in a few years, the IUD is not the best choice as you will have to get it removed. Both the implantation and removal is a surgical procedure that your doctor must perform, and so you must be prepared physically and mentally to undergo such a procedure (as small as it may be). Furthermore, the IUD may give painful periods. However some women do swear by the IUD, saying that it has completely changed their life.
A patch that you place on your body for one week and releases hormones to your body. This can also be practical if you don’t like taking daily pills. However some may not like to have the patch on them (it is slightly visible) and, the patch delivers a very strong dose of hormones which may not be optimal for everyone. The patch can also be beneficial if you are taking oral medications that would interfere with the oral pill, since the hormones are released transdermally.
A little stick of plastic is placed under the skin if your arm, it is extremely effective and can last up to three years. The implant works by releasing progesterone. Useful for those who cannot remember to take their pill and who cannot take estrogen. Can also cause you to stop having your period.
Clearly, there are many options available to women today. This just gives you a small idea of what exists, but as I mentioned, no one can decide what plan works best for you other than you and your doctor. I just want to remind you that even though contraceptives can prevent pregnancy, only condoms protect against STIs. So remember to stay safe. Finally, some women do not want to use contraception, and that’s ok! I would like to point out though, that if you are using your natural cycle to avoid pregnancy, you have a much lower effectiveness rate in preventing pregnancy. Even on your period, you can get pregnant. So if ever you are unsure, use a condom. (By the way, “pulling out” is also NOT a sure-fire method)! No matter what option you choose to fit your lifestyle, remember that it is your body and your choice. Be safe and have fun!
What do you think? What are your experiences? Please comment below!
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