Contraceptives are methods that aid in birth control. This is a major discussion for every couples that desires to do family planning, however statistics indicate that 50% of births in US are not planned for.
Even so, it is medically proven that some methods fail and you are advised to see a doctor for guidance.
How to Choosing the right birth control
Each type of birth control has pros and cons and so not every method might work for everyone.
Below are some of the things you have to put into consideration when choosing a birth control method:
- When do you want to have kids?
- Do you have a terminal illness?
- How frequent do you have sex and how many sex partners do you have?
- Do you also need protection against HIV and other STDs?
- How well does the birth control method work?
- Are there any side effects?
- Will you be able to use it correctly every time?
Will It Work?
Now this entirely depends on the type of birth control you choose, because they all work in different ways.
IUDs (intrauterine devices)
This is a small T-shaped piece of plastic with copper or hormones that your doctor can places inside your uterus.
There are 2 kinds:
- Copper IUDs, which release small amounts of copper to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. It can last for up to 10 years.
- Hormonal IUDs release small amounts of hormone to prevent pregnancy. There are 4 different types of hormonal IUDs. Some kinds can last for up to 5 years and some can last for up to 3 years.
This method has been proved to be very effective at preventing pregnancy.
You don’t feel it inside you and you will quickly forget about it and have nothing to worry about it.
However, IUDs don’t protect you or your sex partner from STDs. But you can use a condom with your IUD to help protect against STDs.
If you want to get pregnant, a doctor or nurse can easily remove it. Read more about IUDs.
These methods prevent a woman’s ovaries from releasing an egg each month. They also cause other changes that make it less likely that you’ll get pregnant.
Hormonal methods include:
- Hormonal IUD – can last for 3 to 5 years, depending on the type
- Implant (a small rod put under the skin) – can last for 3 years
- Shot – given by a doctor or nurse every 3 months
- Patch – worn on the skin and replaced once a week, with one week off every month
- Ring – put in the vagina and replaced once a month
- Birth control pills – taken every day
However these methods don’t protect you or your sex partner from STDs. Bu t you can use condoms to help protect against STDs while using hormonal birth control.
You can talk to your doctor on which method fits you. Read more about hormonal birth control options.
These methods work by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. Common barrier methods include:
- Male condoms (worn on the penis)
- Female condoms (placed inside the vagina)
- Birth control diaphragm or cervical cap (placed inside the vagina)
- Birth control sponge (placed inside the vagina)
Male condoms are also very effective at preventing HIV and reducing the risk of other STDs when used correctly every time you have sex.
Female condoms may also help prevent HIV and other STDs. Even so Diaphragms, cervical caps, and sponges don’t protect against STDs.
Fertility Awareness Methods
These methods are sometimes called natural family planning. You learn which days you’re more likely to get pregnant. If you want to prevent pregnancy, you don’t have sex on those days – or you use another method of birth control.
FAMs are only an option for women who have regular periods. It’s important to know that FAMs are not typically as effective at preventing pregnancies as some other forms of birth control, like IUDs or hormonal methods.
Couples can also use FAMs when they’re trying to get pregnant. Read more about fertility awareness methods.
Sometimes you may forget to use birth control – for example, you could miss a pill or shot. And sometimes birth control methods can fail, like if a condom breaks.
There are 2 options for emergency contraception:
- Copper IUD – A doctor or nurse will need to place this inside your uterus within 5 days of unprotected sex.
- Emergency contraception pills (ECPs) – You’ll need to take ECPs as soon as possible within 5 days of unprotected sex. The sooner you take them, the more effective they are. You can buy some ECPs at a drugstore without a prescription. To get other ECPs, you need a prescription from a doctor.
Furthermore ECPs won’t harm a pregnancy if you’re already pregnant. ECPs won’t protect you from STDs, so consider getting tested for STDs if you didn’t use a condom – or if the condom broke.
Sterilization is a permanent method of birth control. This is an option for people who are 100% sure they don’t want children – or don’t want any more children than they already have.
- In men, this means cutting or blocking the tubes that carry sperm to the outside of the penis. This is called a vasectomy. Read more about sterilization for men.
- In women, this means cutting or blocking the tubes that carry eggs into the uterus. Cutting the tubes is called tubal ligation and blocking the tubes is called a tubal implant. Read more about sterilization for women.
Do you need to see a doctor to get birth control?
This depends on which birth control method you choose. However, you can buy some birth control methods at a store without a prescription. For other methods, you’ll need to see a doctor or nurse.
Birth control methods you can get without a prescription include:
- Male condoms
- Female condoms
- Birth control sponge
Control methods you can get only from a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist include:
- Diaphragm and cervical cap
You need a medical procedure for:
- Sterilization (for both women and men)
Talk to a nurse, doctor, or family planning educator.
Ask about the types of birth control that are available to you. There are many things to consider, including:
- Your overall health
- Whether you want to have children in the future
- How well the birth control works
- What side effects the birth control may cause
Talk to your sex partner
It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your partner to make sure that both of you are comfortable with whichever method you choose. Be sure to talk about getting tested for STDs and how you can stay safe.
This makes it easier to use the method correctly.
Make sure you understand the instructions.
Be sure you understand what you need to do to protect yourself from an unplanned pregnancy or an STD. If you have questions, talk to a doctor or pharmacist.
Have a back-up plan.
Sometimes you can forget to use birth control or if your birth control method fails, therefore example, you may want to buy ECPs in advance. That way, you’ll have them if you need them.
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