- Fertility & Reproductive Systems
Choosing a Contraceptive
Due to the plethora of contraceptive options available, it becomes difficult to make a choice. As a matter of fact, you may have to try various options before you find one that is best for you. Gone indeed should be the days of 'accidental' pregnancies and shotgun weddings.
In this article, i'm going to help you consider your options and eventually make a choice that is better suited to your lifestyle.
Male Condom: a latex tube worn over the penis which collects sperm during intercourse. Here the onus of contraception is on the boy.
Female Condom: also made of latex and inserted into the vagina. Ideal when the man wont wear condoms. the female condom is more expensive and is not as widely available as the male condom
Spermicides: These consist of chemical agents that kill sperm and prevent them from moving further up into the uterus where fertilisation occurs. Spermicides are not very effective, and do not protect against STIs.
The Pill: the contaceptive pill comes in different ways. There's the 'combined pills' that has two hormones estrogen and a progestogen; there's also the progestogen-only pills. These work by increasing the thickness of the cervical mucus thus making the sperm unable to pass through. The pill is very effective and requires strict adherence for 3weeks after which the girl goes off the pill for 7days while she has her period. The pill however doesnt protect against STIs.
Injectable Hormonal Contaceptives: Depo-Provera is the most popular form. The injection is given once every twelve weeks. The injection contains the same active ingredient as the pill(progestogen) and therefore works similarly.
The Contraceptive Implant: this is a small tube about an inch long which is inserted say under the arm and maintains a constant release of progestogens in the girl's body thus effectively preventing pregnancy.
The MorningAfter Pill: following unprotected intercourse, this pill is effective up to 72hours after intercourse. It is really an emergency plan just in case things get a little out of hand.