Contraception: Pros & Cons – Part 1

Posted by SVAKOM 24/05/2022 0 Comment(s) Official blog,
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There are many different tools available to prevent pregnancy when having sex. It is important to acknowledge that each one has its own benefits, set-backs, and reliability. The clear majority of contraceptive options available are primarily for use by people with a uterus, this post will mainly focus on those available options.

 

Due to the vast amount of contraceptive options available to people with a uterus, we will be splitting this into two parts.

 

Birth Control Pills (The Pill)

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Arguably the most notable form of birth control, Birth Control Pills – a.k.a. `The Pill` are exactly what the name implies; a pill that works as birth control.

 

Often referred to as combination pills, Birth Control Pills contain two types of hormones (estrogen & progestin) which work, as Planned Parenthood describes, by “… stopping sperm from joining with an egg,” and “… safely stop[ing] ovulation.”

 

Pros:

- Effective, when used correctly, at preventing pregnancies
- Non-invasive
- Easy to carry with you
- Affordable
- May make period cramps less severe
- May help with acne

Cons:

- Do not protect against STI’s
- Possible side effects include; nausea; headaches; sore breasts; spotting or bleeding between periods; abdominal cramping
- Must be taken daily

Birth Control Pills offer an easy method of contraception for those who have access to them. They can, however, cause side-effects which should be taken note of. If using Birth Control Pills for the first time, you made need some time for your body to adjust, but if severe discomfort or any health issues arise while using Birth Control Pills you should schedule an appointment with sexual health profession as early as possible.

 

Birth Control Implant (Nexplanon)


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Birth Control Implant’s are small, flexible plastic rods which are inserted by a medical professional into the upper arm of a person with a uterus. They last for 3-years and work in a similar fashion to Birth Control Pills by, according to the official NHS website, “…steadily release[ing] the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream, which prevents the release of an egg each month (ovulation).”

 

Pros:

- No need to remember to take anything
- Long-lasting
- Can breastfeed while using it
- Can reduce severity of periods
- Fertility returns after removal
- May stop your periods

Cons:

- Can cause side-effects
- Requires minor-surgery
- Does not protect against STI’s
- In rare cases can cause infection
- Less effective when used with other medications (such as some antibiotics)
- May stop your periods

 

 

The Birth Control Implant is a good option for people who may struggle to take daily pills as a form of contraception. As with all medicine which alters hormones produced by the body, their can be risks of mood swings and other side effects. As the Birth Control Implant requires a medical professional to insert it into your upper arm, those who lack the time to schedule this procedure or find it too invasive may want to look for other options.

 

Intrauterine Device (IUD)


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This type of contraceptive takes form as a T-shaped prong which either is made from a material which contains the progesterone hormone or is made from plastic and copper. It is fitted inside a person’s uterus by a medical professional. According to Planned Parenthood there are 5 different FDA approved brands of IUD’s; Paragard; Mirena; Kyleena; Liletta; and Skyla.

 

Pros:

- Lasts 3 – 10 years depending on type
- Unnoticeable
- Effective at preventing pregnancy
- Does not interrupt sex
- Can be used while breast feeding
- May lighten/stop periods & cramps.

Cons:

- May cause irregular spotting between periods
- May cause increase period flow (depending on brand)
- May cause Backaches
- Has a possibility of slipping out or pushing through uterus wall
- Does not protect against STI’s
- Invasive procedure necessary

The IUD is a good option for people who want to use a contraceptive that doesn’t contain hormones or for people who want something they won’t need to pay attention to. It offers effective protection against pregnancy and is practically unnoticeable.

 

Condoms


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Perhaps the most obvious choice for contraception, condoms come in external and internal variations. External condoms are the more universally understood ones that go over a penis, while internal ones go inside a vagina. Condoms tend to be made from latex, however, you can get condoms made from polyurethane which is a good alternative for those with an allergy to latex. Through preventing the transfer of sperm and other bodily fluids during sex, condoms prevent pregnancy from occurring.

 

Pros:

- Protects from STI’s
- Can be acquired without seeing a medical professional
- Non-invasive
- Easy to use
- Affordable and can be bought in bulk
- Does not contain hormones

Cons:

- Can come off during sex
- Can tear during sex
- Requires a level of trust with sexual partners
- Must be used every time when having sex

Condoms are standard forms of contraception and the protection from STI’s mean they work well on their own and in combination with other contraceptives. However, they are easy to remove/slip off which can lead to accidental pregnancy. Condoms are able to stretch to massive sizes meaning they can fit any penis.

 

That’s all for part 1, check back for part 2 where we will cover more contraceptive options such as the Morning After pill, Diaphragm, Hormonal Injections, Spermicide, and more.

 

All Photos by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash