The dos and don’ts of contraception: everything you need to know
Contraception is a crucial aspect of reproductive health, allowing people to control if and when they have children. While many forms of contraception exist, it is important to understand what works best for you, as well as the dos and don’ts of each method. In this article, we will discuss the different types of contraception, their effectiveness, and some key dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
Types of Contraception
There are many types of contraception available, including barrier methods, hormonal methods, and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Barrier methods include condoms and diaphragms, which physically block sperm from reaching the egg. Hormonal methods include birth control pills, patches, shots, and vaginal rings, which use hormones to prevent ovulation. LARCs are intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, which protect against pregnancy for several years without requiring frequent attention.
The effectiveness of contraception varies greatly between methods. While no method is perfect, some are more reliable than others. When used consistently and correctly, hormonal methods, IUDs, and implants have a less than 1% failure rate, making them the most effective.
On the other hand, barrier methods, such as condoms and diaphragms, have a failure rate of between 12% and 21%. Although these methods can be effective when used consistently and correctly, they are less reliable than hormonal methods and LARCs.
Dos and Don’ts
Regardless of which method of contraception you use, there are important dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
Do: Use contraception consistently and correctly.
Consistency is key when it comes to contraception. Using a method of contraception every time you have sex is crucial for it to be effective. Additionally, using it correctly is essential to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Don’t: Rely on withdrawal alone.
Withdrawal, also known as the “pull-out” method, involves a man withdrawing his penis before ejaculation to prevent sperm from entering the woman’s body. This method is not reliable and should never be used alone as a form of contraception as it is difficult to regulate and can easily be ineffective.
Do: Get regular check-ups and appointments.
It is important to schedule regular appointments with a healthcare provider to ensure you are using your preferred method of contraception correctly and to discuss any concerns or side effects you may be experiencing.
Don’t: Assume contraception protects against sexually transmitted infections.
While contraception can prevent pregnancy, it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using condoms in addition to your preferred method of contraception can provide protection against STIs.
Do: Consider backup contraception.
Backup contraception, such as emergency contraception or double contraception (using two methods at once), can provide additional protection against unintended pregnancy in case of mistakes or contraceptive failure.
Don’t: Be afraid to switch methods.
If you experience side effects or discomfort with your preferred method of contraception, do not hesitate to speak with your healthcare provider. They may be able to recommend a different method that works better for you.
In conclusion, contraception is an essential aspect of reproductive health. It is important to know the different types of contraception available, their effectiveness, and the dos and don’ts of using them. By using contraception consistently and correctly, getting regular check-ups, and considering backup methods when necessary, people can effectively prevent unintended pregnancy and prioritize their reproductive health.