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There is no contraception method perfect for everyone. Although some may be more effective than others, no method is ever 100% effective. There are a variety of contraception methods out there. How do you know which birth control method is right for you?
1. Contraceptive pill
Contraceptive pills stop you from ovulating (release of an egg from the ovaries). When the pills are used perfectly, they are up to 99.7% effective in preventing pregnancy. The pill should be taken around the same time every day.
Once you start on the pill, your period will become more regular, lighter, and less painful. Symptoms of premenstrual syndromes (PMS) such as mood swings will improve. And the best part? You’ll have less acne.
However, you may experience other side effects of the contraceptive pills, such as irregular spotting, headache, tender breasts, or bloating. Speak to the doctor or pharmacist about you and your family’s medical history to find out if the pill is right for you.
Condoms can help to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmissible infections (STIs). They are easy to get, easy to use, and prevent cervix cancer. It comes in different sizes, so make sure your partner chooses the right size when using a condom.
If you ever think of using an expired condom, don’t. The condom is more likely to break if it is past its expiration date. Make sure you check the written date on the packaging before use. Keep in mind that condoms are for one-time use only.
Although condom is one of the common contraception methods, it might not be the best contraception method on a regular basis. Did you know that 15 out of 100 women will get pregnant when using condoms as contraception? It may be possible that the condom slipped off during sex. If this happens, use emergency contraception available over-the-counter from most pharmacies.
3. Contraceptive patches
Works just like birth control pills and vaginal rings, the patch delivers hormones through your skin and into your bloodstream. It contains progestin and estrogen to suppress ovulation, thickens cervical mucus, and thins the uterine lining.
This patch is fairly simple to use. Just place it on your upper outer arms, back, stomach, or butt. The patch is usually waterproof and adhesive so it would not fall off easily when you’re showering. Change the patch every week for three weeks, then go without a patch for the fourth week.
If you’re doing anything sans cramps and tampons, it’s safe to skip your period with a patch. Take off the patch on the fourth week and put a new one on.
People with higher levels of body fat may be more difficult for the body to absorb the hormones effectively. In that case, consult a pharmacist or doctor for alternative birth control methods.
Diaphragm is a reusable dome-shaped cup that is inserted into your vagina to cover your cervix. It works by preventing the sperm from fertilising an egg.
When having sexual intercourse, the diaphragm is 94% effective if used perfectly. However, in real life, its effectiveness is about 88%, which means about 12 out of 100 people who use a diaphragm will get pregnant each year.
Remember to check your diaphragm if it’s in good shape. Take a good look for holes, cracks, wrinkles, or weak spots. Fill it with water to test for leaks. If the diaphragm is faulty, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting a new one.
Did you know spermicide comes in many different forms? Whether you prefer creams, gels, films, or foam, all of them work in a similar way — to block the cervix and kills or stop the sperm from moving.
If you’re only using spermicide alone, keep in mind that the failure rate is 28% for typical use. Consider pairing with other contraception methods such as condoms or diaphragms for more protection.
6. Contraceptive injection
If taking contraceptive pills on daily basis is too much of a hassle for you, then this is one of the easier options. More than 99% effectiveness, the contraceptive injections prevents your body from making the egg. It can last up to 8 to 13 weeks, depending on which injection you take. As long as you’re not pregnant, you can take the injection at any time during your menstrual cycle. Remember to take the repeat injection before it becomes ineffective.
Once you’re injected, you may experience side effects such as irregular bleeding, headaches, mood swings, or breast tenderness.
For those who want to have a baby in the near future, this method may not be suitable for you. That’s because after the injection wears off, it will take up to a year for your fertility to return to normal. So, other contraception methods would be a better choice.
7. Contraceptive implant
The contraceptive implant is made of two thin, tiny rods about the size of a matchstick. It’s inserted into your upper arms and the hormones (progestin) released will prevent you from getting pregnant. One implant can last up to 5 years. You can remove it whenever you’re ready to get pregnant.
After the implant, you might experience heavy or light bleeding. Sometimes, you could have a normal period or no period at all. If your period is inconsistent, there are pills available that will help with it.
Anyone can have an implant regardless of age. Do note that if you’ve had breast cancer or are taking any medications, it’s not advisable to get a contraceptive implant.
Consider Carefully Before Making the Right Decision
Everyone has their preferences when it comes to choosing contraceptive methods. Keep in mind that each body is different, where some women may experience different effects than the other. It’s perfectly normal to choose more than one contraception method to avoid unplanned pregnancies. Find a method that you’re most comfortable with. Speak to your partner, consult a doctor or pharmacist to make an informed decision about which contraceptive is suitable for you.
1. HOWUKNOW (Bayer Co.) - https://www.howuknow.com/en/node/1386
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