Planned Parenthood: Contraception and Your Options
Getting caught up in the heat of the moment can result in passionate sex and intense memories. But losing your mind can also lead you to forget to be safe and use contraceptives to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. Karaz’s Shahrazad goes through the different types of contraceptive options to be used by both men and women.
Having sex does not come without risk, and getting pregnant accidentally, while a blessing, can also be inconvenient if you are not ready or already have too many kids. It can strain not only your finances, but also your emotional state and marriage. For those who prefer to plan ahead and lessen the risk, contraception is the way to go.
Contraception is the process of preventing conception or impregnation through drugs, devices, sexual practices, surgical procedures and more. Here is a list of some of the most common types of contraceptives used:
Withdrawal (coitus interruptus)
When the man pulls out right before he orgasms so that the ejaculation happens outside the vagina. While this makes sense, if sperm is near the vagina or pubic area, pregnancy can still happen.
The male condom is placed on the male penis before sex begins, stopping sperm from entering the vagina upon ejaculation. There are many types of condoms, which typically looks like a long thin deflated balloon, and comes in different materials, shapes, sizes, colors, etc.
Spermicides are placed in the vagina before sex and are used to create a chemical “wall” so that sperm cannot get through into the cervix and get to fertilize an egg.
Effectiveness: 70-80% if used alone, 97% if used with condom
A diaphragm is a device, that looks like a flexible and round rubber dome that is placed inside the vagina, to stop sperm in it’s place. You should consult your gynochologist to place the diaphragm, and use it with spermicide for best results.
The Pill, or the Birth Control Pill is a pill that has estrogen and progestin hormones that stop the egg from releasing. It also creates a thinning of the uterus lining, and is one of the best and most popular contraceptives amongst women. Also, consult your gynochologist for more information.
Also known as The Shot, is a progestin-only hormone contraceptive drugh that is injected every 3 months. The shot is long acting and reversible, and it stops the egg from being released.
In the case that you didn’t use a contraceptive before or during sex for whatever reason, and are scared that you could get pregnant…you still have a few options. Emergency contraceptives are taken after sex to prevent pregnancy—but must be taken within a certain timeframe to work.
Emergency Contraceptive Pill
Also known as the Morning After Pill, is a drug that prevents ovulation or fertilization. Emergency Contraceptive Pills are not medical abortions. They must however be taken right after sex within a certain timeframe (usually maximum 3-5 days after), and the effectiveness percentage changes depending on your weight. It goes down greatly, and may not even work, for women with a BMI over 30.
Effectiveness: 95% if taken within 24 hours of sex, 85% if taken between 25-48 hours, and 58% if taken between 49-72 hours
Intrauterine Devices, also called IUDs, are typically used as a long-term contraceptive method but can be used as emergency contraception. An IUD is a small, T-Shaped device that is flexible and is placed in the uterus by a doctor. There are a couple of types, and stays in the uterus until you decide to have a baby. It can last from 5-12 years, with the copper “coil”, being the longest-lasting option.
Effectiveness: Over 99% effective
For those who decide that they want to become sterile, and not able to get pregnant and give birth, there are a few options for both men and women. A Tubal Ligation is a form of female sterilization that cuts and seals the fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization.
A vasectomy, for men, basically cuts or blocks the tubes which sperm passes during the ejaculation process. Some vasectomies are reversible, but this is meant as a permanent solution as well.
Regardless of what solution you may choose, please consult your doctor beforehand. Contraceptives are useless if used wrong. So put aside any reservation and ask about your options.
What are your thoughts on planned parenthood? What contraceptive do you think is the best?