Contraception is an approach to controlling birth or fertility and preventing pregnancy. The main aim of using contraception is to prevent pregnancy. There are many considerations that go into choosing a contraceptive method. These include effectiveness, safety, acceptability, and availability. It is crucial to choose contraception that protects you from pregnancy and, at the same time, from contracting STDs such as HIV. It is important to note that some contraceptives may be effective at preventing pregnancy but fail to protect you against STDs. Therefore, contraceptives can be distinguished by their effectiveness and side effects.
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Benefits of Using Contraception
The benefits of using contraception apply to both men and women. Men usually reap the benefits of the positive effects of a woman’s use of contraceptives. These benefits are protection from pregnancies and not having to wear a condom during intercourse. Women also reap the same benefits from the positive effects of a man’s use of contraceptive methods, specifically: condoms and vasectomy.
However, there are many other benefits that women stand to gain from using hormonal contraceptives. Firstly, hormonal contraceptive balance hormonal fluctuations during a woman’s menstrual cycle. This helps relieve menstrual issues like irregular or heavy bleeding. It also helps control polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) symptoms such as excess hair and acne.
Hormonal contraceptives also make a woman’s periods less painful. A significant percentage of women who take birth control medication do it to relieve painful periods. This is because when hormonal treatments prevent ovulation, the woman will not have to go through the painful contractions that lead to cramps during ovulation. The other benefits of using contraception include preventing hormonal acne, reducing one’s risk of uterine cancer, and ovarian cysts.
Another benefit of using contraception is that it prevents newborn child death. Poorly coordinated pregnancies are one of the reasons for high newborn child death rates. Newborns of mothers who die while conceiving have a high likelihood of death. The use of contraception also counteracts HIV/AIDS by reducing the number of pregnant women with HIV/AIDS and the number of contaminated infants.
Types of Contraceptive Methods
Contraceptive methods can be divided into long-term reversible contraceptives and short-term reversible contraceptives. Examples of long-term reversible contraceptives are implants and intrauterine devices. Examples of short-term contraceptives are birth control pills, patches, and injections.
Long-Term Reversible Contraceptives
An intrauterine device or IUD is a tiny, T-shaped flexible plastic inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancies. The two types of IUDs are copper and hormonal. IUDs prevent the contact between the sperm and egg hence preventing pregnancy. This contraceptive is a long-term measure since a patient will not have to worry about birth control for a couple of years, depending on the IUD.
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An implant is a rod that is inserted under the patient’s skin on the upper arm. The rod releases progestin, a hormone that prevents the ovaries from producing eggs. The hormone also thickens the cervical mucus to block the sperm from reaching the egg. An implant also lasts a few years.
Short-Term Reversible Contraceptives
Birth control pills regulate hormones to prevent ovulation. Combined Oral Contraceptives (COC) and Progestin-Only (POP) are the two types of birth control pills. COCs contain two hormones: estrogen and progestin and are more effective than POPs, containing progestin alone. COC pills are taken for 21 days, while POP pills are taken while a woman is breastfeeding, hence the reason this form of family planning is classified as short-term.
Patches are connected to the skin either on your abdomen, back, buttocks, or upper arm. Patches release progestin and estrogen to prevent pregnancy. The patches are used for the short-term from the beginning of the patient’s menstrual cycle.
Injections are also classified as progestin-only injectable contraceptives and combined injectable contraceptives. The Depo Provera injection is an excellent example of a contraception injection that lasts for three months.
Natural Family Planning
Apart from long-term and short-term contraceptives, there are natural ways of family planning. These methods were used in the past and are still practiced today due to their effectiveness. These natural family planning approaches include abstinence, withdrawal, and calendar strategy. Abstinence is where a couple avoided complete sexual contact. In the withdrawal approach, the male partner withdraws their penis from the woman before ejaculating. The calendar strategy is where a woman monitors her menstrual cycle to determine her most fertile moments when she should abstain from intercourse.
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There are numerous contraceptive options available today; this is why being confused about which method will apply to your case is expected. To clarify your best options, you need to see a physician. Here at the EZCare clinic, we have numerous family planning options, and we shall examine you to determine which treatment best suits your goals. Don’t hesitate to call us or visit us at our San Francisco Offices for professional advice and attention.
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