The pros and cons of birth control

contraceptive methods

There is no perfect one, for this reason you should analyze the different options with your doctor and find the best protection mechanism for you, analyzing your family planning expectations and taking the protection of your health as a priority.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2019 there were 1.9 billion women between the ages of 15 and 49 in the world, of whom 1,112 million require family planning. Of these, 842 million use contraception and 270 million have unmet needs for contraception.

The use of contraceptives promotes the right of people to decide the number of children they wish to have and the waiting time between their pregnancies. In general, thanks to scientific innovation, today there are various contraceptives that vary in effectiveness when it comes to avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Choosing the right birth control method for you depends on many factors, including: your health, your life plans, and the frequency of your sexuality.

There is a wide variety of contraceptives , among the main ones are oral contraceptive pills, implants, injectables, patches, vaginal rings, intrauterine devices, condoms, male and female sterilization, lactational amenorrhea method, coitus interruptus and knowledge-based methods. of fertility. They are all valid, but not all of them work the same with all people, that is why we should consult the doctor!

ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR BIRTH CONTROL METHOD:

To arrive at the ideal method, you must begin by answering some of these questions that will bring you closer to the ideal contraceptive for this moment in your life. Which does not mean that it will be the same forever, because your interests are surely changing and you must analyze how your body responds to its continuous use.

  • How effective has this method been? A good reference is to find out and compare the number of pregnancies in every 100 women who use this method for a year.
  • What are your feelings about getting pregnant? If you got pregnant without planning it, would you have difficulties, anguish, breakups? Or would it be a welcome but unplanned pregnancy?
  • The budget you have What is the price of each method of birth control? If your monthly income would be able to afford it without help? What if your health insurance pays for it?
  • What are the health risks? Ask your doctor, based on your history and your current state of health.
  • Have you already talked with your partner about the decision to use a contraceptive method?
  • Do you want a method to use only when you have sex? Or do you want a method that works continuously?
  • Is preventing sexually transmitted infections important to you? Do you have a steady partner? Do you change partners frequently? Do you have occasional sex repeatedly? That will be decisive to take care of your health.
  • Availability: Can you easily buy the method at the pharmacy?

BARRIER CONTRACEPTIVE METHODS

CONDOMS:

The male condom is a thin latex or polyurethane shell that is placed around the erect penis, while the female condom is placed inside the vagina before sexual intercourse.

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
  • It is 95 to 98% effective if used properly.
  • Is very cheap. In some countries they are even offered for free.
  • You do not need a prescription.
  • Available in pharmacies and shops.
  • It does not have side effects, like some hormonal methods .
  • Protects against some sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV .
  • There is a wide range of sizes, textures, shapes, thicknesses and flavors.
  • Failures generally derive from misuse.
  • It can be broken.
  • There are people allergic to latex.
  • Some men feel excessive pressure from the penis that interferes with pleasure.
  • Although each time they are still considered an inconvenience for full pleasure.
  • It does not protect against some STDs, such as HPV in those areas that it does not cover.
  • They are not very ecological. Try not to throw it into the poceta (water or toilet).

THE DIAPHRAGM AND CERVICAL CAP

A diaphragm is a flexible rubber cup filled with spermicidal cream or jelly. And the smallest similar device is called a cervical cap.

Before having intimate relations you should place it in the vagina at the end, on the cervix, to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus.

Diaphragms must be prescribed by your doctor, who will help you define the type and size that is right for you.

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
  • Regarding efficacy, about 5 to 20 pregnancies occur annually for every 100 women using this method, depending on appropriate use.
  • They last a long time. They are changed once a year.
  • They don't have hormones.
  • They do not interrupt the sexual relationship.
  • Some women have difficulty putting on the cervical cap and may need practice to become comfortable with the method.
  • It can move around during sex if you bang around it a lot.
  • They don't work as effectively if you don't use the spermicide.
  • You must leave it for the next 6 hours after the intimate relationship. But not more than 48 hours since in a few cases, toxic shock syndrome can occur if you leave it on for a long time.
  • The spermicide can have side effects.
  • There may be an increased frequency of urinary tract infections and candidiasis.
  • A cervical cap can cause an abnormal Pap smear.
  • Size matters: you should consult your gynecologist about the ideal size according to your body.

VAGINAL SPONGE

Contraceptive vaginal sponges are soft and contain a chemical that destroys or "inactivates" sperm. The sponge is moistened and inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix before intercourse and can be purchased at the pharmacy without the need for a prescription.

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
  • No prescription or adjustment required
  • Can be inserted immediately or up to 24 hours before intercourse
  • Provides protection against pregnancy for 24 hours
  • Can be used as a backup method of contraception
  • It does not require the collaboration of the couple.
    • are disposable

    It is contraindicated in these cases:

    • If you are sensitive or allergic to spermicide or polyurethane
    • If you have a vaginal abnormality that affects the way the contraceptive sponge fits
    • If you have frequent urinary infections
    • If you have a history of toxic shock syndrome
    • Recent births or abortions
    • if you are under 30 years old and have sexual intercourse frequently (3-4 times a week).

HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL METHODS

Some birth control methods use hormones. These have either an estrogen and a progestin, or a progestin only. Both hormones prevent a woman's ovary from releasing an egg during her menstrual cycle , affecting the levels of other hormones the body makes. Specifically, progestogens help prevent sperm from entering the

uterus by making the mucus around the cervix thick and sticky.

In this category of hormonal contraceptives, the following stand out:

  • Birth control pills that may contain estrogen and progestin or only progestin.
  • implants _ They are small rods implanted under the skin that release a continuous dose of a hormone to prevent ovulation.
  • Progestin injections , such as Depo-Provera, are given into the muscle tissue of the upper arm or buttocks once every three months.
  • The skin patch , such as Ortho Evra, is placed on the shoulders, buttocks, or another place on the body. This patch releases a continuous dose of hormones. Like any other hormonal method, it requires a prescription.
  • A vaginal ring , such as the NuvaRing, is a flexible ring about 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter that is placed inside the vagina. This ring releases the hormones progestogen and estrogen.
  • Emergency contraception (or "the morning after pill") . This medication can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription.
ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
  • There is no interruption of foreplay or intercourse.
  • Reduced bleeding and cramping with periods
  • Reduced pain during ovulation
  • Reduced risk of pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Reduction of fibrocystic changes in the breasts
  • Reduced risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • They can reduce acne.
  • They can shrink ovarian cysts.
  • They can reduce the symptoms of endometriosis.
  • They can be used after an abortion.
  • They do not protect against sexually transmitted infections or HIV.
  • They may be less effective when taken with certain medications.
  • They can delay the return of normal cycles.
  • The pills must be taken every day.
  • The patches may not fully protect you from pregnancy if they are exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures. This can release a high dose of hormone from the patch, leaving less to be released later in the week.
  • The patches deliver more estrogen than low-dose birth control pills, which can increase the chances of developing blood clots in the legs and lungs, increasing your risk if you smoke or have certain health problems.


Progestin-only pills, implant, or injection:

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
  • There is no interruption of foreplay or intercourse.
  • Fewer or no periods
  • Reduction of cramps and pain during ovulation
  • The injection reduces bleeding with periods.
  • Reduced risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • They do not contain estrogen, so they can be used by women who have this handicap.
  • They can be used by women over 35 who smoke.
  • Reduced risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • The implant allows a rapid return of fertility after extraction.
  • They provide extremely effective contraceptive protection.
  • The injection protects for approximately 3 months; the implant lasts 3 years.
  • The injection reduces the symptoms of endometriosis.
  • They do not protect against sexually transmitted infections or HIV.
  • They cause more irregular or spotting periods between periods.
  • They may be less effective when taken with certain medications.
  • They increase the chance of having diabetes if you have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Progestin-only pills are less effective than combination pills, but the injection and implant are extremely effective.
  • The pills should be taken at the same time every day.
  • The implant must be placed and removed by your doctor.
  • The implant can cause headaches.
  • The injection can delay the return of normal cycles for 6 to 8 months after the medication is stopped, but there is no such delay with the pills or implant.
  • The injection causes a slight weight gain.
  • The injection can lower levels of HDL (the "good") cholesterol.
  • The injection can cause bone mineral loss that can be reversed.

Intrauterine device (IUD) - (hormonal and non-hormonal):

The IUD is a small plastic or copper device that the doctor inserts into the uterus. Some of them secrete small amounts of progestin that can treat heavy menstrual bleeding and reduce cramps. They can also cause periods to stop completely. They typically last 5-10 years, depending on the type of device used, and can be placed at almost any time.

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
  • Does not require interruption of foreplay or intercourse.
  • It does not require cooperation from the sexual partner.
  • More than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy
  • Easy to use.
  • More profitable cost-investment ratio.
  • Your doctor can remove it whenever you want.
  • Fertility returns with the first ovulation cycle after extraction.
  • It can be inserted after a normal vaginal delivery or cesarean section.
  • The hormonal IUD can relieve heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping in most women.
  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections or HIV .
  • It has a higher cost, but since it lasts longer, it is a good investment.
  • It can only be removed by a doctor.


PERMANENT BIRTH CONTROL METHODS

These methods are best for women, men, and couples who are convinced they do not want children in the future:

  • Vasectomy: it is a permanent contraceptive method in men and with a high effectiveness. It consists of sectioning or cutting the ducts to prevent sperm from reaching the semen, and therefore cannot be ejaculated or reach the female egg. Without affecting male sexuality. Although it is a simple intervention to be carried out by the indicated doctors, it is a final decision of the man since it is irreversible.
  • Tubal ligation . It is a surgical procedure that permanently closes or blocks the fallopian tubes, preventing sperm from reaching the egg and causing pregnancy. It is a final decision, although sometimes they can be canceled later, but the success rate is not high. It is not a good option if there is a possibility that you may want to become pregnant in the future.

CONTRACEPTIVE METHODS THAT FREQUENTLY FAIL:

  • Coitus interruptus: Give up this option if you don't want to get pregnant. Withdrawal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation can cause pregnancy. Some semen often leaks before complete withdrawal from the penis, enough to cause a pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding – Leave this option behind, as women who are breastfeeding still have a chance of becoming pregnant. Do not rely on this particular situation. In this case, we recommend you read the article we wrote about sexuality at this point in your life.

As you will see, there are many options to avoid getting pregnant, the important thing is that you have the proper advice from your doctor to analyze the best option at this stage of your life. If you want a #SexCoaching session to talk about it, visit our website: tusaludintima.com where you will find specialists who can advise you. With our online courses and guides, we will provide you with the personalized advice you need to recognize, resolve and overcome any concern regarding your privacy.

Through our social networks @tusaludintima @doctoraklarasenior @tu_ginecologa, on our YouTube channel "TuSaludIntima" and in our live shows, you can count on us to answer questions that arise around your feminine health and sexuality, and take advantage of the benefits of the Zenzsual products to accompany you on this path.

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