Choosing the Right Birth Control Method

Family planning is something all couples should seriously discuss about. Birth control methods are widely available to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and in some types, sexually transmitted diseases.
[Page-Contents]
Choosing the Right Birth Control Method

Vasectomy: A Definitive Guide
The Sensitive Issue About Teens and Birth Control Pills
Common Questions about Birth Control Pill
Birth Control Pills: How Safe are These?
The Most Effective Birth Control for You

With so many types of birth control methods available in the market today, how would you know which one to choose? Below are some guidelines to help you make an informed decision.

Possibility of Having a Child in the Future
The first question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to have a biological child in the future. This would enable you to choose between permanent or temporary birth control. You need to think many times before deciding on this part especially if you are considering permanent birth control.

Permanent birth control such as tubal ligation, tubal implants, and vasectomy is more ideal for couples who already have many children and have decided they no longer want to conceive. It can also work for a woman who has health issues getting birth such as if she is suffering from a disease that would put her at risk during labor and delivery. Temporary birth control is the better option for most couples, especially newly married ones who want to postpone having children until they are emotionally and financially ready.

Effectiveness of Birth Control Methods
Another factor to consider when choosing a birth control method is level of effectiveness. Birth control choices are not created equally, as some are more effective than others. Here are the different types of birth control tools that are ranked from the most to least effective:

most effective
Hormonal injections such as Depo-Provera, implants (like Implanon) and hormonal/copper IUDs (Intrauterine Devices) are on top of the list as the most effective birth control methods having 97%, 99.8%, and 99.9% level of effectiveness, respectively.

second most effective
Next on the list are birth control pills. Both progestin-only and combination pills have 92% effectiveness rate. Only 8 out of 100 women taking this form of birth control will be pregnant in a year. The rate is slightly lower than the first method because it gives leeway to the possibility that a woman would miss taking her pills in a day or few days. If not, if a woman can take complete pills, this birth control method is also 99% effective. Just as effective are the hormonal skin patch and vaginal ring.

third most effective
Barrier methods include the cervical cap, male condom, female, condom, spermicide, diaphragm, and Lea's Shield. The methods that enjoy highest success rate are male condom, cervical cap and diaphragm with 84 to 85% effectiveness rate. But this is only for women who haven't had vaginal childbirth. Out of 100 women using a diaphragm or cap, only 16 will get pregnant in a year. The female condom is less effective with 79% and spermicide with 71%.

Comfort and Intimacy
Finally, choose a birth control method that you and your partner are comfortable with. If you are not comfortable taking birth control pills because it doesn't protect you from sexually transmitted disease or if your partner doesn't want putting on a condom to interrupt the intimacy of your lovemaking, look for other suitable methods that will work well for both of you.

before and after drawings of vasectomy

Vasectomy is a type of permanent birth control that prevents sperm release when a man ejaculates during a sexual intercourse.

Success Rate
It is a very effective form of birth control with 99.85 percent effectiveness rate. Only 1 out of 1,000 women will have an unplanned pregnancy after their partners have had vasectomy. And this can only happen in the first year after the surgery. Until sperm count is confirmed to zero, another birth control method should be used. It takes 10 to 20 ejaculations before the semen becomes clear of sperms.

What Happens during Vasectomy?
- First, the testicles and scrotum are shaved and cleaned with antiseptic.
- The patient may be given oral or intravenous (IV) medicine to reduce anxiety.
- A local anesthesia is injected.
- The vas deferens from each of the testicles is cut, clamped or sealed.

The entire process takes about 20 to 30 minutes. It can be done in the office or clinic and performed by a family medicine doctor, a urologist, or general surgeon.

The surgery is done to prevent the sperms from mixing with the semen when it is ejaculated from the penis. If the semen doesn't contain any sperms, the egg will not be fertilized and no pregnancy will result. The testicles will still produce sperms but it will be reabsorbed by the body, similar to how sperms that are not ejaculated are reabsorbed by the body for those who have not undergone vasectomy. The nature of the procedure has it that a man will still ejaculate the same amount of fluid, just without sperms.

What to Expect After Surgery
- Expect that after the surgery, your scrotum will feel numb for the next one to two hours.
- Cold packs should be applied on the area.
- Lie on your back for the rest of the day.
- Ease the discomfort and protect the area by wearing a jockstrap or fit underwear.
- Swelling and minor pain in the scrotum will be present for several days following the surgery.
- If your work is not that physically demanding, the doctor can allow you to go back to work after one or two days.
- Avoid heavy lifting for a week.

As for sexual intercourse:
- You can resume anytime you feel comfortable. But ideally, you should wait for about a week.
- Remember that you can still get your partner pregnant until your sperm count is zero.
- Until it is confirmed that you have zero sperm count, you and your partner should make use of another form of birth control.
- You can go back to your doctor to have your sperm count checked.
- You may also purchase a home testing kit.

Advantages
- It's a safe and not so expensive procedure to have as permanent birth control method.
- At the same time, it won't interfere with your ability to have erections or orgasm.
- It won't even affect your sex drive although you will feel mild aching in the testicles during arousal for the first few months after the vasectomy.

Keep In Mind
Vasovasostomy is the process to reverse Vasectomy. However, keep in mind that:
- Vasovasostomy is not always successful.
- Even after a successful Vasovasostomy, you will have far less pregnancy success rate.

birth control pill container with pills for each day of the week

One of the most sensitive topics that you can ever discuss with your child is about sexual health. For some parents, it's awkward to start the talk about the birds and the bees, but if you know better you would take it upon yourself to open up this matter so you can have the peace of mind knowing that your child is equipped with correct knowledge.

Birth Control Pills are among the touchiest subjects to talk about. If your daughter has started taking oral contraceptive pills or is planning to do so, here are some of the things that you need to know.

Are Pills Only For Contraception?
Birth control is not the only purpose of oral contraceptive pills. These can also be prescribed for:
- PMS
- acne
- endometriosis (cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body)
- irregular menstrual periods
- for hormone replacement therapy

Do Pills Have Health Benefits?
Yes, they have. Apart from providing treatment for the above mentioned conditions, these can also:
- lower risk of anemia
- protect against pelvic inflammatory disease
- reduce risk of pregnancy outside the uterus

Does the Pill Cause Cancer?
No, it doesn't. In fact, the pill has been found to protect against some forms of cancer like those that involve the ovaries and the lining of the uterus. A woman is 50 percent less likely to get cancer of the ovaries or uterus if she is taking birth control pills. Contrary to a popular perception, the pill doesn't increase the risk of breast cancer, as many health experts say.

Does It Cause Birth Defects?
No, there is no increase in birth defects for women taking birth control pill and do not smoke. If your daughter smokes, it's a must to encourage her to quit the habit. Smokers can still take pills but it would be best not to.

Does It Have Side Effects?
Yes, it has. Common side effects include:
- breast tenderness and enlargement
- bleeding and spotting
- nausea and vomiting
- bloating
- headaches
- low sex drive

How Long is it Safe For My Daughter To Take Birth Control Pills?
It is safe for your daughter to take birth control pills for years for whatever purpose serves her right, whether it's for regulation of menstrual cycles, treatment of acne, or for use as birth control.

How Do I Talk to My Child About Birth Control Pills?
The answer would vary depending on the mother-daughter relationship you have with your child. Of course, it would be best to cut to the chase and talk directly to her about it. Start the conversation by asking her if she's on the pill or if she's planning to take it.

Don't encourage lying by giving the impression that doing that is wrong. If she becomes scared on the onset, she'll find it difficult to open up with you. Don't force the issue if your daughter is not ready to talk about it. Assure her that you're there for her if she needs any help or advice.

It would also be great if you can provide important information that your daughter must know about the pill. You can say something like, "If you don't want to talk about it, it's fine but you should know that the health benefits of the pill include... and the side effects are...". This way, you are getting her equipped with the information without forcing her to open up. She will talk to you when she's ready.

birth control pill

The pill is one of the most popular methods used for birth control. This hormonal contraceptive has long been used by women who want to delay or prevent pregnancy. However, up to now, many still have a lot of questions with regards to the use of this pill. Below, you will find some of the most common questions about this form of birth control and the answers that will shed light on your concerns.

How Does the Pill Work?
A woman becomes pregnant when egg released from her ovary is fertilized by a man's sperm. When this happens, the fertilized egg then attaches to the womb. It develops into a baby while receiving nourishment. The hormones in the body of the woman regulates the release of the egg. These hormones are also responsible for preparing the body to receive the fertilized egg. When a woman takes on a pill, which contains synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones, the body's cyclical hormones are inhibited. The pill stops the body from releasing the egg while thickening the cervical mucus so that the womb will become unsuitable for implantation.

What are the Different Types of Birth Control Pills?
Birth control pills come in two types - combination and mini pills.

- The combination pills contain both estrogen and progestin.
Combination pills come in either conventional pack or continuous dosing (extended cycle).
The conventional pack has 21 active pills and seven inactive pills (Or it can also have 24 active pills and four inactive pills). Bleeding takes place when you take the inactive pills.

In the continuous dosing, the pack contains 84 active pills and seven inactive pills.
Bleeding occurs only four times a year when the inactive pills are taken.

Combination pills can also be monophasic, which means each pill has the same amount of progestin and estrogen, or multiphasic with varying amounts of hormones.

- The mini pills contain only progestin.
The mini pill just comes in one type and formulation.
Each pill in this pack is active.

Where Can I Buy Birth Control Pills?
Birth control pills can be purchased in pharmacies but only with a doctor's prescription. This means you need to consult your doctor first before you go into this birth control method.

How Do I Take Birth Control Pills?
You should ask your doctor when you should begin. Take the pills at the same time each day either before you eat breakfast or before you go to bed.

You start with a new pack the day after you take your last pill from your first pack if you are using a 28-day pill pack.

If you are using a 21-day pill pack, start the pack seven days after your last pill from the first pack.

How Effective Are Pills?
Combination pills are effective 99.9 percent while the mini pills have a 95 percent effectiveness rate. This rate is true only if you are able to take all the pills in the pack.

What Happens if I Miss a Pill?
Take the pill as soon as you remember. If you missed one pill and remembered the next day, take two pills. If you forgot to take the pills for two days, take two pills on the day that you remember and another two pills on the next day. Call your doctor if you missed more than two pills. It's possible to get pregnant if you forgot to take a pill so be sure to use another form of birth control until you're finished with the pack. No pregnancy will occur if the missed pill is any one of the inactive pills.

Does the Pill have Side Effects?
Yes. Side effects include nausea, weight gain, swollen breasts, spotting and mood changes. If you experience abdominal pain, chest pain, severe headache, or eye problems, be sure to contact your doctor right away.

woman's hands opening birth control pills

Birth Control has been used for many years by men and women to prevent pregnancy. The most popular form of birth control is the hormonal contraception, otherwise known as the pill that needs to be taken every day. This method is effective up to 99.9 percent. It's not 100 percent effective because there's the possibility of missing a pill. Pregnancy can result even with just one missed pill. It's also important to know that this doesn't protect from sexually transmitted disease.

How does it Work?
A woman becomes pregnant when an egg that comes from the ovary is fertilized by a man's sperm. This fertilized egg would attach to the womb of the woman. This receives nourishment and develops into a fetus. The pill contains a small amount of synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones that work to inhibit the natural hormonal cycle of a woman to prevent pregnancy. This means that the body will stop releasing egg from the ovary. It will also thicken the cervical mucus to prevent pregnancy.

Safety Issues
Women have always been concerned about safety as much as the effectiveness of the pill. Health experts and proponents of this form of birth control attest that it is relatively safe. However, many confirm that there are some side effects that can come with the use of the pill. A majority of these side effects are not serious. These include nausea, weight gain, swollen and painful breasts, spotting, lighter periods, and mood changes.

Now there is another set of side effects that people remember through the acronym "ACHES". These include abdominal pain, chest pain, headaches, eye problem, and swelling or aching of thighs and legs. Although these are not so common, they are more serious and should prompt a woman to get in touch with the doctor. These may indicate an underlying medical condition including gallbladder disease, stroke, blood clots, heart disease, high blood pressure, and liver disease.

For most women, birth control pills are safe. However, women who smoke and are over the age of 35 are discouraged from using the pill. Along with that, you should stay away from this birth control method if you've had blood clots anywhere in the body, particularly in the arms/legs/lungs, serious heart/liver ailment, or cancer of the uterus and breast.

Any woman who is thinking of taking birth control pills should first consult her doctor. Make sure to inform your doctor if you have any first-degree relative who has had experience with the above mentioned health problems. On top of that, one must remember that pills cannot be taken with some types of medication. You also need to talk to your doctor regarding this matter.

sperms swimming towards an egg

According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are approximately 6 million women who become pregnant each year in the United States. And half of them are unwanted pregnancies. All over the world, they're also experiencing the same problem. An unwanted pregnancy causes depression to the mother that affects the health of the baby inside the womb.

Birth Control Methods
There are many birth control methods available today. Learning each method will help not only mothers but also teens to prevent pregnancy. Each method has advantages and disadvantages that will guide you in choosing the most effective birth control method that will fit you.

• Pills - The success of birth control pills will totally depend on how they are used. It offers 96% percent efficacy when it is used according to the prescribed directions. Aside from preventing unwanted pregnancy, the pills have good benefits that include less chance of having Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), helping Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), and protection against breast and uterine cancer.

The common side effects of birth control pills are headache, weight gain, and spotting between periods. Moreover, the most serious complication related to pills is blood clot, but this is a rare complication.

• Condoms - The most commonly used birth control method is condoms. With proper usage, the condom not only offers protection against unwanted pregnancy but also prevents acquiring Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

Using condoms usually decreases sensitivity for some guys, but it doesn't mean that there will be no sensation at all. Only water based lubricants are used with condom and each condom must be used only once.

• Intrauterine Device (IUD) - This is a small device which is placed inside the uterus. Once it is inside the uterus, it provides long term protection against pregnancy, for about 5 to 10 years. This birth control method is safe and highly effective.

• Permanent Birth Control - Also known as sterilization, this birth control method is a surgical procedure done to men and women who don't want to have children anymore. This method has been proven to be the most effective birth control method.

Vasectomy is the surgical procedure done for men, where the vas deferens is cut to block sperm from coming through with the semen. This procedure doesn't affect a man's erection and enjoyment for sex.

Tubal ligation or implants is the surgical procedure done to women, where the fallopian tube is cut to prevent the passage of the egg into the uterus. Tubal ligation has higher risk for problems and is also expensive.

Remember that in deciding what birth control method fits for you, make sure to consult a doctor first.

 


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