Practice safe and healthy sex with contraceptives
Why is using contraceptives so important?
So there are two things women have to be worried about as they get sexually active. The first is unplanned or unwanted pregnancies and the second is the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. If you wish to be safe, you should consider your contraception options.
Contraception can be either of the emergency type or the type being followed routinely
|1) Emergency Contraception||Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP aka “the morning after pill”)- They are most effective if taken within 72 hours, however, work even up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.Copper-T Intrauterine Device (IUD)- The IUD can be inserted, by a gynaec, till 7 days after unprotected sex.|
|2) Routine Contraception||Natural / Calendar MethodsBarrier MethodsHormonal Methods
Others – Copper-T Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Let’s discuss the routine types of contraception we can use:
1) Natural / Calendar Methods – To prevent pregnancy, women can keep track of their menstrual cycles and abstain from unprotected vaginal intercourse when they are most likely to become pregnant. That most likely period is the ovulation time that usually occurs from 12th to 19th day of the cycle. The period where it is okay to go ahead is known as the safe period. With various period calculators, such as My Period Diary & Safe period Calculator, it is easy enough to calculate. However, this is not a fool-proof method & does not prevent pregnancy like the other contraceptives do.
2) Barrier Methods
|Condom||Male latex condoms offer very effective prevention from unplanned pregnancy and HIV/AIDS infection. They are therefore considered a “dual protection” method. Condoms are latex sheaths to be unrolled over the erect penis. However, expiry dates should be checked, and condom should be examined for any tear or puncture.|
|Female Condom||The female condom is a polyurethane pouch with rings at both ends. It prevents sperm from being deposited into the vagina.|
|Diaphragm||The diaphragm is a shallow, dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim. It fits securely into the vagina to cover the cervix, blocking sperm from entering the uterus. For added protection, spermicide can be put in the diaphragm.|
|Spermicide||A spermicide is a contraceptive substance that obliterates sperm and is inserted vaginally prior to intercourse, to prevent pregnancy. Generally, spermicides are combined with other barrier methods such as diaphragms & condoms. Combined methods are believed to result in lower pregnancy rates than either method alone.|
3) Hormonal Methods – All of the hormonal methods have to be taken in consultation with a physician.
|Oral Contraceptives||Oral contraceptives are synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of hormones (estrogen and progestin). These hormones prevent the release of an egg from the ovaries (they prevent ovulation).|
|Depo-provera||Depo-Provera also known as “the shot”, is an injectable progestin-only prescription birth control that is injected into the muscles of the upper arm, once every three months. The hormone prevents the release of an egg from the ovaries. It also thickens cervical mucous, which inhibits sperm from moving up the female genital tract.|
|Norplant / Implanon||Norplant (plastic rods) & Implanon (capsules) are inserted into the skin or the upper arm that slowly release a synthetic hormone (progestin). The hormone prevents ovulation.|
4) Surgical Methods
|Female Tubal Ligation||The 2 Fallopian tubes that transport an egg to the uterus are separated surgically from the uterus. The egg cannot reach the uterus to unite with sperm.|
|Male Vasectomy||In a vasectomy, the tube that transports sperm to meet up with ejaculatory fluids (the vas deferens) is blocked. The ejaculate no longer contains sperm, so the woman cannot get pregnant.|