As a childfree chick you’re probably up close and personal with the subject of birth control (if you’re not you should probably get up close…real close!) There have been major advances in birth control over the last 60 some odd years (thank goodness). From a one time oops I need some NOW, to making it permanent, women have never been more empowered when it comes to preventing pregnancy, and if you’re here, you most definitely want to prevent pregnancy, am I right?
Types of protection
Let’s examine he different kinds of protection that can help keep you blissfully childfree.
Containing a very high dosage of estrogen, it is most effective in the first 72 hours, however, it can be used as late as five days later (though we really don’t recommend waiting that long, why risk it?) While not recommend for prolonged use, it is a reliable option for women whose basic birth control may not cover their needs fully.
The most basic, yet highly effective method when used properly. Condoms prevent the spread of STI’s, and when used properly, are very effective at preventing pregnancy. Ensure the condom fits correctly, inspect the packaging for any holes, and do not use after the expiration date. The material is more prone to breaking during sex the older the condom is. (Also, never use a condom that has been in a wallet! The heat destroys the elasticity of it.) There are female and male condoms. Female condoms can be inserted for as many as eight hours prior to sex. However, they are not as effective as preventing STIs or pregnancy.
Birth control pills
A very common method, this is taken daily at a specific time. If you do not have a set schedule, this is not the plan for you. Taking these pills every day is critical to ensuring you do not become pregnant. Missing one day dramatically increases your chances of pregnancy. There are several kinds, so be sure to talk to your doctor about which will benefit your lifestyle better. These include combination pills, progestin-only, and extended cycle. Each has their benefits and drawbacks.
This ring is placed inside the vagina and remains there for three weeks out of the month as a delayed release of estrogen. Removing the ring for one week, allows for you to have your menstrual cycle. This method is noninvasive; you insert it and leave it be. It can come out, however, it can be easily reinserted by pushing it back in. You cannot lose the ring in your vagina; the cervix prevents it from entering the uterus. A new ring is required every month.
A dome shape “cap” covers your cervix. This prevents sperm from entering to fertilize the egg. However, you must use a spermicide with this method. Also, you need to be fitted for the cap, so if you fluctuate in weight more than ten pounds, this is not a good method for you.
A small patch can be applied to the skin once a week. This method offers worry-free care; you can shower with it, swim, and overall carry about your day-to-day business. You can apply the small patch on the abdomen, buttocks, or even your arm!
A shot is given every three months in the hip area. The only side effect of the Depo-Provera shot is that it often will stop your monthly cycle (or if you’re like me, you might get stuck with your period for eight months straight!). For the first two shots, a pregnancy test is given. On the first shot, you will have to wait a week to have unprotected sex as it takes that week to go through your system. If you maintain the schedule, you will be continuously protected.
Smaller than a match, this stick-like, concentrated birth control can last over three years. It is inserted in your underarm and releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. An implant is most recommended in preventing pregnancy.
This is a device that is implanted into the uterus. The device irritates the lining. Thus, it will not allow the egg to attach to the lining. An IUD can cause pain in some woman (according to my sister, it hurt like hell) Apparently pain isn’t that common but is mainly found in women who do not have children (us). This method is good for up to ten years!
If you are serious about not having children, you can choose to have your tubes tied. In both men and women, the procedures can be quite painless, and the recovery time is mere days. For those who don’t ever want to have children, this is the best option for you.
No matter what your lifestyle is, there is a protection method that will suit you. Protect yourself and your investments, choose a birth control method. An unplanned pregnancy can severely impact your way of life, don’t risk losing it all for a night of fun.
Do you have a type of birth control you love? Or maybe you have some horror stories? Spill!