What is the best contraceptive for you? This is a great question, and honestly, no one method suits everyone! Take a browse below to see which one is best for you...
The Oral Contraceptive Pill
There are basically 2 types of oral contraception pills, each works different;
1) The Combination Pill is a combo of oestrogen and progesterone. It acts by stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens the cervical mucus, which keeps the sperm from getting to the egg.
2) The Mini Pill contains only progesterone and acts an Abortion – altering the womb to prevent implantation and Contraception – altered the mucus making it hostile to sperm.
Pros: Easy to use, Effective at preventing pregnancy, if taken CORRECTLY being the important word here! You must follow instructions and this includes take it at the same time every day!
Cons: The pill is linked to a higher risk of cancer, esp breast cancer. The most common side effects of the birth control pills includes weight gain, depression, acne, mood swings, headache, breast tenderness and/or irregular bleeding. They also contribute to increased blood pressure, blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. In addition they deplete many vitamins and minerals (especially folic acid, vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and E and the minerals magnesium, selenium and zinc) and the pill changes the gut microbiome (balance between good and bad gut bacteria). Doesn’t protect you against STDs. It may also take a while for period to return after use due to a homronalon imbalance.
The Intrauterine Device – IUD
For those women who don’t want to take chemical contraception, the next option is using mechanical contraception in the vagina. The IUD works be causing irritation and inflammation to the uterus. If intercourse occurs at the fertile time, and a pregnancy occurs the body developing embryo cant survive in the uterus due to the inflammation caueses. The IUD is an abortificant, not a contraceptive. The IUD may also affect sperm movement and survival in the uterus (womb) so that they cannot reach the egg to fertilise it.
There are two types of IUD, The copper IUD and the Mirena.
Pros: Effective (the most effective on the market) and last a long time (at least five years), Easy to maintain, you can't forget to use it as you might the Pill, It is cheaper than other contraception (more expensive at first but cheaper over the long term).
Cons: The IUD may expel itself from the uterus, usually during a period. There is a small risk of infection in the three weeks following insertion and because pelvic infections can lead to infertility, it is important you be particularly careful about protecting yourself from infections, including STDs. The IUD may perforate the wall of the uterus. This is a very rare occurrence and may happen when the IUD is being inserted. There is the risk of an ectopic pregnancy when the IUD fails. They can cause irregular bleeding or periods are likely in the first three to five months. vaginal dryness, flushing, headaches, nausea and acne, also may cause your periods to become heavier and more painful.
These options include Female Diaphram and condoms.
Pros: They also help protect from STD’s and cervical dysplasia. These methods work well combine with mucus and temperature methods and reduce the amount of time they are needed, see next page. Hormone free, doesn’t interact with other medications, safe in breast feeding.
Cons: There are no major side effects with barrier methods. Some females and males are allergies in compounds in the rubber and it irritate their skin. There can be embarrassment around the use of barrier methods, especially condoms. Diaphragms can be tricky to insert at first. Lack of spontaneity and tactile experience with Barrier methods (AKA it just doesn’t feel as good!).
The contraceptive injection is a shot that contains hormones, either a progestin alone, or a progestin and an estrogen together, that stop your body from releasing eggs and thickens the mucus at the cervix.
Pro: doesn’t have to remember your pill daily.
Cons: Nausea, bloating, headaches, acne, breast tenderness, weight gain and mood changes. It can take up to 1 YEAR for period to return so not a great option if you want kids one day and periods may come back irregular. You may lose bone density if you get the shot for more than 2 years in a row and doesn’t protect against STDs.
Pull out method
Pulling out doesn’t really have a science bit to share with you, in fact, it’s probably been around since before we had a word for science. Pulling out is also called coitus interrupts or the "withdrawal method" and it requires great self-control, experience, and trust, and as such, it is pretty unreliable. It works, some of the time, by the man taking his penis out of the vagina before he ejaculates, limiting the chances of any sperm reaching the egg. To be done effectively, if you are having more than 1 sexual deed the male needs to urinate between intercorse.
Pros: hormone free, can be used while breastfeeding or other on medications.
Cons: not as effective, interrupts sex and doesn’t protect against STDs.
Fertility Awareness Method or Symptothermal charting
Fertility Awareness is the technique of working out exactly what stage of your menstrual cycle you are in and at which stages you are not fertile and having sex at those times. The Fertility Awareness Method requires a woman to observe fertility signs. There are a number of different methods such as tracking the days of your cycle, paying attention to body temperature fluctuations and keeping a very close eye on changes to your cervical mucus.
Pros: hormone free, effective, you learn so much about your cycle, can be combined with barrier methods and pull out methods. And when the time comes you want to get pregnant, it can help you to know on which days you should have sex.
Cons: using this method takes practise and doesn’t protect against STDs. If this post was helpful to you, please give it a like!
This is another way of absorbing chemical hormones, with side-effects similar to those from the Mini-Pill.
Pros: easy to insert and remove, effective and doesn’t require a daily pill.
Cons: The vaginal ring commonly causes irregular bleeding and pain. It requires keeping track of the number of weeks inserted, and can cause all the side effects the same as the pill.
The ‘Implanon’ is a rod that is inserted into the skin of the arm and has a slow time release of synthetic progesterone.
Pros: Lasts up to 5 years
Cons: causes irregular and prolonged bleeding, high rate of ectopic pregnancy, excess weight gain, mood changes, breast tenderness, acne, hair loss, migraine, blurred vision, rashes or pain around the implant and subsequent delays in return of fertility are all possible associated problems.
Spermicides are usually used in conjunction with a condom or diaphragm.
Pros: Easy, hormone free
Cons: irritation and allergy, If you are also using a medicine for a vaginal yeast infection, the spermicide might not work as well, not as effective, Should not be used as a contraceptive on its own as it is not effective and doesn’t protect against STDs.
An operation involving blocking, burning or severing the fallopian tube so that the egg can not reach the uterus.
Cons: This is major surgery and has much higher risks. Reversibility is not guaranteed. There is a 10-20% increased chance of ectopic pregnancy
This a surgery in males that cuts the vas deferens to prevent the sperm reaching the semen.
Cons: cardiovascular disease, thyroid ad joint disorders, prostatic, testicular and lung cancer, prostatitis and epididymitis, diabetes and changes in bone marrow.
Morning After Pill
An emergency pill typically contains hormones that are similar to oral contraceptives, but are much higher dosed. It works mainly by stopping or delaying the ovaries from releasing an egg. It may also work by changing the lining of the womb that may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.
Pro: It helps prevent pregnancy after birth control failure or unprotected sex.
Cons: There is a possibility of failure (0.16-5%), with a subsequent risk of ectopic pregnancy, or abnormalities. It can interfere with your normal hormonal cycle, its recommended to be only taken once, every 6 months and it can cause nausea and vomiting and less common thrombosis and embolus.