Friday, 7 October 2016

Beyond The Pill: Different Forms Of Contraception & Finding The Right One For You

If you are sexually active but don’t want to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet on a daily basis, then contraception is your best friend. Many people are only aware of condoms and the pill, but there are so many more options. Nowadays women have the largest number of options than any women before them. With so much choice, it can be difficult to find the contraceptive method that suits you best. But once you’ve found it, the struggle is over, and you can relax and enjoy yourself.

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Condoms

Effectivity when used correctly: Male Condoms - 98%
                                                 Female Condoms - 95%

Condoms are the only form of contraception that also protect you from STIs and STDs. They are relatively inexpensive and widely available. They also won’t change your hormone balance, so your mood will be unaffected. If you don’t have much money, family planning clinics can provide you with free condoms. Most colleges and universities will also offer students free condoms with no questions asked. Today, you can opt for the more commonly seen male condoms, but there are female condoms too. Female condoms give women more control over the situation, as they place it themselves. However, they are slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy than male condoms. If you opt to use condoms as your main form of contraception, it is important to use them every time you have sex.


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The Pill

Effectivity when used correctly: 99%

Birth control pills revolutionised sex. They meant that women could prevent pregnancy discreetly without having to inform their partner. There are various types of pill under all sorts of different brand names. Some are progestin only or oestrogen combined with progestin. All women work differently, so it may take some time to find a pill that best suits you. But once you’ve found it, it will serve you for life. Beyond pregnancy prevention, the pill has other benefits. It can lessen the pain of menstrual cramps, keep tabs on your menstrual cycle and make you have lighter periods. The pill can also lessen the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. If you suffer from acne, certain pills will also help to clear your skin. To get the pill, book an appointment with your GP or local family planning clinic. These professionals will check that you can take the pill without potential harm and will prescribe it to you. You can also order the contraceptive pill online. If this sounds like the best option for you, you have to remember to take your pill as told by the doctor. Missed pills followed by sex can result in pregnancy.

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The Implant

Effectivity when used correctly: 99%

The contraceptive implant is a small, thin plastic tube. It measures about 4cm (44mm) long and is flexible. A professional will place it under the skin your upper arm, through a small incision in the skin. The procedure involves local anaesthetic so that you won’t feel any pain. You will, however, feel a little pressure. This form of birth control is long term. It will last for around three years. However, it is also easily reversible.Your fertility will return to its usual state as soon as the implant is taken out. If you do decide that you want to become pregnant, you can have it removed at any time. A huge advantage of the implant is that you don’t need to remember to take a pill every day. Once it is in your arm, you won’t have to do anything else for three years.

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The Injection

Effectivity when used correctly: higher than 99%

The contraceptive injection contains progesterone which thickens the mucus of the cervix and prevents sperm from reaching an egg. There are three commonly used forms of injection: one lasting twelve weeks, one lasting thirteen weeks and the other lasting for eight weeks. Like the implant, it is great for women who don’t want to take a pill every day. The effects of the injection, however, aren’t as easily reversed as those of the implant. It can take up to one year for your fertility to return to its usual state once the injection wears off. It also can’t be removed at any point. Once it is in your system, it’s there for the full length of time described.

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The Coil / IUD (Intrauterine Device)

Effectivity when used correctly: higher than 99%

An IUD is a long-acting, reversible form of contraception. Its effects will last for up to ten years. The IUD itself is a small, T-shaped, plastic and copper device that is inserted into your womb (uterus) by a professional. It stops sperm and egg from surviving in the womb or fallopian tubes. It will also prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in your womb. It starts working as soon as it is fitted and can be removed at any point. Your fertility levels will return to their usual state very quickly. However, there is a small chance that your body may reject the IUD and expel it from your body.

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Female Sterilisation

Effectivity when used correctly: 99%

Female sterilisation is permanent and should only be an option if you are certain that you do not intend or want to have children in the future. The procedure is usually conducted under general anaesthetic and involves the surgeon sealing or blocking the patient’s fallopian tubes. This prevents the woman’s released eggs from reaching sperm and becoming fertilised. This method means you don’t have to remember to take pills, renew implants or interrupt sex to put a condom on. It also won’t affect your hormone levels.


Male Sterilisation (A Vasectomy)

Effectivity when used correctly: higher than 99%

Male sterilisation works on very similar grounds to female sterilisation. The tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles are cut, blocked or sealed. Patients will undergo this procedure under local anaesthetic. The result of the surgery is that the sperm cannot reach seminal fluid (semen). As there is no sperm in the semen, women cannot become pregnant when the man ejaculates. This is an effective and permanent form of contraception, so (like female sterilisation) isn’t to be taken lightly. A man should only undergo this operation if he intends or wants to have children in the future.

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