Birth Control is someone that every women should be educated and concerned about for a couple of reasons. There are so many unwanted children in this world, why on earth would we want to add to this already growing population of youths? If you are Pro-Life than birth control is extremely important especially if you know that you would not be able to keep the child if you happened to get pregnant. Also, just because you are Pro-choice does not mean that an abortion is a solve all. Abortions typically emotionally traumatizing to those who undergo them, they should be really a last resort solution. I know some girls from high school who ended up having numerous abortions. This is something that could have so easily been prevented if they had been properly educated in how to avoid pregnancy in the first place. The last reason that birth control is important is to protect yourself. Some contraceptive methods protect you not only front unwanted pregnancies but also from STDs which can be dangerous.
Some Important Facts and Numbers:
– about 50% of qll pregnancies within the U.S. are unintended
– Approximately 42% of those unintended pregnancies end in abortions
– A women who is sexually active for one year without using birth control has an 85% chance of becoming pregnant.
Women who go by the counting their days method tend to forget that ovulation can occur as early as a day after their period has ended. In truth we could say that there is one week within a month that it is safe to have sex without the risk of becoming pregnant but this isn’t always accurate. Sometimes your body can surprise you!
When Choosing to Use Birth Control:
Choosing a method of birth control is something that you should do with advice from your doctor. But you should do your own research into the subject before going to see your doctor in the first place. There are so many options out there so ask your friends, see what they use, ask their opinions on certain methods and ask your doctor what would suit you best!
Things to Think About:
–what methods seems most comfortable to you?
-are you ok with planning when to have sex?
– are you confortable with inserting a device inside of you? i.e a sponge, I.U.D?
– Is your partner comfortable using a condom?
-Have you been with your partner long enough to trust havign sex with him using one sole method of birth control/ protection?
– Are you forgetful, do you think you would be able to remember to take a pill everyday at the same time?
-Are you concerned about STDs?
– do you want to have children?
Natural Birth Control:
The most basic, natural type of birth control that you can practice is abstinence and natural family planning. Abstinence only works if you are completely abstinent from sex, no ifs ands or buts. Natural family planning, also know as the calendar method, is as said before pretty unreliable. Although these two methods are appealing because they are natural and do not include foreign objects or hormones, the fact remains that these are the least favorable methods of birth control.
I would recommend this type of birth control only when you are in a solid relationship and have already discussed having kids. Ideally you have both agreed that if it happens then so be it.
Ahhh condoms. Men always seem to shun them, but they are truly one of our best friends. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors and flavors and ultimately are about 85% effective in protecting us against unwanted pregnancies and STDs. There are new condoms out there which are not made of latex and have a very natural feel to them. I recommend trying them out if condoms are your preferred method of birth control. The issue that many people have is that their partners don’t want to wear one. If this is the case you should try out different kinds of condoms and see if there is one in particular that works for both of you. If not, and you are both committed to each other, then think about using a different method.
Another issue that can occur is the condom breaking. If this happens your best option is to go to a pharmacy and get the morning after pill without delay. There is no point in taking a chance. If the condom breaks when you are with a new partner or someone you don’t know that well you should get checked out by your doctor and have STD tests done.
The perks of using condoms is that they are relatively inexpensive and even free at some clinics. They are also available everywhere! So there is no reason to say ” oh I don’t have one”. Make him to buy some, not havign one on hand is no reason to risk yourself!
Female condoms are also available as well as spermicides. These two methods are however not nearly as effective as a male condom. A good idea though is to combine the use of a male condom and a spermicide.
Birth Control Hormones:
The birth control pill is about 95% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies but it does not offer any protection against sexual transmitted diseases. If you are being sexually active with a new partner you should consider using both the pill as well as condoms.
Birth control pills allow women complete control over the possibility of pregnancy. Usually the pills are comprise of 21 active pills and 7 inactive (placebo) pills. The active pills have a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones. There are many different combinations for the pills, you can get high estrogen ones or very low dose estrogen ones so it is good to talk about these with your doctor and figure out together which ones would be best suited for you.
Some perks about these pills is that they can help regulate your period as well as alleviate menstrual cramps, PMS, migrains, heavy bleeding and even sometimes acne. There are side effects to consider as well though like weight gain, moodiness, high blood pressure, blood clots (especially in smokers), nausea, breast tenderness and irregular bleeding. Of course this isn’t to say that you will necessarily experience any of these side effects and even if you do, sometimes switching to lower dose pills will help.
Birth control shots are also now available. The problem with these is that they tend to last three months which can be great if you happen to be forgetful about taking your pills, but, on the other hand this means that if you have negative side effects you are stuck with them for three months. The shots should not be taken especially if you have a history of depression because they can worsen it.
There are other methods out there that I will not get into such as birth control patches. But there is plenty more information out there if you are interested in alternative methods of birth control!
Remember, there’s always a method that will be best suited to your body and lifestyle, it just takes a little time sometimes to find the one right for you! So don’t give up after trying one type of pill, instead talk to your doctor and find something else. In the end of it all it is well worth it to be protected against becoming pregnant when you really aren’t ready for children.
“Birth Control Basics,” MayoClinic.com, February 2010.
“Birth Control,” Planned Parenthood, 2010.
“Types of Birth Control,” American Pregnancy Association, July 2003.
“Frequently Asked Questions,” Birthcontrol.com, 2010