Everything You Need To Know About Birth Control
What is birth control (contraception)?
All methods that prevent unwanted pregnancy are called birth control or contraception. Birth control is a very important topic for all sexually active women. Every woman should protect herself from unwanted pregnancy. There are lots of contraceptive (birth control) methods available to protect you from unwanted pregnancy. Not each method is suitable for each woman; it is up to you to choose the method that is most suitable for you. Also, the effectiveness of some methods depends on whether they are used correctly. To help you to get to know contraceptive methods and their potential side effects, we’ve made a list of the most commonly used forms of contraception.
What are the main types of contraception?
Natural methods of birth control: calendar method, cervical mucus monitoring, temperature method, withdrawal method;
2. Local methods of contraception: condom and spermicides;
3. Barrier methods of contraception: cervical cap and diaphragm;
4. Hormonal methods of contraception: birth control pills, skin patches, and vaginal
5. Emergency (post-coital) method of contraception: “the day after pill”;
6. Intrauterine devices (IUDs): copper IUD and the hormonal IUD;
What are the natural methods of contraception?
Calendar method of contraception (rhythm method)
A woman can get pregnant only during fertile days (five days before and during ovulation). The calendar method of contraception involves tracking fertile and infertile days to prevent unwanted pregnancy. To be able to use the calendar method of contraception, it is necessary to know exactly how many days your menstrual cycle lasts. The menstrual cycle should last 28 days on average. Ovulation occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle, so if your cycle is 28 days long, ovulation will happen 14 days before the next period starts. If you have regular periods and know exactly when your next period will start, this calendar method of contraception can help you. But if your periods are irregular and occur at different time each month, this calendar method of contraception is unreliable for you.
Cervical mucus monitoring
Cervical mucus is produced around the cervix and its role is to protect, nourish and help sperm to reach the uterus. Cervical mucus changes during the menstrual cycle. During fertile days, it has a very specific appearance and you can easily recognize when ovulation will happen. During this period, the cervical mucus is transparent, stretchy/elastic, liquid, like raw egg white.
How to take basal temperature (BBT)?
It is believed that the process of ovulation has passed when your body temperature rises suddenly. Elevated body temperature lasts until the next period. If you got pregnant, your basal temperature will still be elevated, and your period will be absent that month. The ideal time to take your BBT is first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. To use this method, you must take your temperature the same way every single day, for several months to get to know your body and normal body temperature.
This method is used very often. It means stopping the sexual intercourse before ejaculation. This method is also one of the unsafe methods because sometimes a small amount of sperm can be expelled before ejaculation.
What is local contraception?
Local contraceptives include condoms and spermicides.
A condom can be both male and female. The most popular type of condom is a male condom. The percentage of protection is about 98%. Female condom is similar to male condom. You must insert it into the vagina just before intercourse. The percentage of protection is 95%. Condom come in a variety of size, scent, and color. For it accuracy, you must use it during each and entire sexual intercourse. Also, after each sexual intercourse, make sure the condom is still intact, because a condom can break during sexual intercourse. That is why you can not use it with oily products. You can use it only with water-based moisturizers for the vagina. A condom is one of the most effective contraceptive methods. It also protects you from sexually transmitted diseases.
The use of spermicides mainly destroys sperm before entering the uterus. Most of them also have an antiseptic effect and prevent the development of vaginal infections.
What are the barrier methods of contraception?
Barrier contraceptive methods include the cervical cap and diaphragm. Women use both methods in the same way. The difference between them is that the cervical cap can stay in the vagina for a few days after sexual intercourse, while the diaphragm can stay only 2-8 hours. They have a similar shape, like a hat. You must insert it into the vagina no longer than 6 hours before sexual intercourse. Also, you can use it with the spermicides. The diaphragm covers the cervix and prevents sperm penetration. The cervical cap is smaller than the diaphragm and covers only the cervix. Diaphragms shelf-life can be up to two years.
What is hormonal contraception?
By hormonal contraception, we include consumption of contraceptive pills, using a vaginal ring and skin patch. Consumption of birth control pills is a very common contraceptive method. Contraceptive pills work according to the system of releasing hormones in the body that prevent ovulation. The percentage of effectiveness of these tablets is very high, about 99%. The contraceptive pill must be taken regularly (every day) and always at the same time.
How to use birth control pills?
There are different types of birth control pills. Each type has its way of use that you must follow. Most birth control pills you take orally 1 pill a day for 21 days (3 weeks) in a row, starting on the first day of your menstrual cycle. After 21 days, menstrual bleeding will start, and you will stop taking the pills. During menstrual bleeding, you should take a 7-day break from taking pills. After the break, you will start with new pack for next 21 days.
Oral contraception can also help you with other health problems: delaying the menstrual cycle, regulating the menstrual cycle, in the treatment of problematic skin, etc. Contraceptive pills are safe to use. Talk to your gynecologist about which pills are best for you. If you find bleeding in the middle of your menstrual cycle at the beginning of use, don’t worry because it is a normal occurrence. You can use the contraceptive pills at any time of your life from the age of 16 until menopause.
What are skin patches and how to use them?
The skin patch is method of hormonal contraception that sticks to the skin. It releases hormones through the skin. These hormones prevent the fertilization of the egg. Therapy with these patches lasts 21 days. One patch you have to change every seven days. After 3 weeks, menstrual bleeding will start, and you will stop using patches. After menstrual bleeding, you can continue with the therapy. The effectiveness of the contraceptive patch is over 99%.
What is a vaginal ring and how to use it?
The vaginal ring is inserted into the vagina. It also contains progesterone and estrogen, which prevent the fertilization of the egg. Vaginal ring therapy lasts 21 days. After that, menstrual bleeding will start, and you will stop using vaginal ring. After menstrual bleeding, you can continue with vaginal ring therapy. The effectiveness of the vaginal ring is about 99%.
Do contraceptives (hormone therapy) affect health?
Contraception (hormone therapy) disrupts the vaginal flora, creating an ideal environment for the development of vaginal infection. During hormone therapy, you must also take vaginal probiotic to avoid vaginal infections. By using FemmaBiotic, you can increase the amount of “good” bacteria, develop a normal vaginal flora, and avoid vaginal infections.
What is emergency (post-coital) contraception?
Post-coital contraception, also known as emergency contraception, is a contraceptive method that women use within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. Women use “the day after pill” due to the lack of regular contraception or if the condom has broken. The day after pill should be taken in the first 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse. This pill postpones ovulation and prevents the egg from fertilizing. If you take this pill after unprotected intercourse, there is a high chance you will not get pregnant. You should use this pill only in extreme situations, not daily. But, It is better to take this pill than to terminate a pregnancy. You should only take this pill once a year. If you take it more often, it can lead to menstrual disorders. If the period is absent, make an appointment with your gynecologist.
What is intrauterine contraception?
Intrauterine contraception (IUD) is a form of contraception that involves inserting an IUD into the uterus. Here are some examples of spirals. Copper IUD and the hormonal IUD are only available on the market here. Gynecologists place and remove the IUD. The ideal time to insert it in, is the second or third day of the menstrual cycle. The insertion takes just a few minutes and is painless; the only thing you may experience is some discomfort. The IUD is simple to use. The benefit of this form of contraception is that once you place the IUD, you no longer have to think about contraception, and you can easily remove it. The hormonal IUD releases a small number of hormones into the uterine mucosa, preventing the egg from fertilizing. Hormones act locally and the body doesn’t absorb them. Since it may minimize bleeding, this IUD is suitable for women who have heavy menstrual bleeding. The copper coil also acts locally, releasing copper ions, but menstrual bleeding may become more abundant than before the coil. Gynecological examination is necessary before the insertion of a IUD.
What is male and female sterilization?
Sterilization is an operation to permanently prevent pregnancy. Sterilization procedures for women are called tubal ligation. The procedure for men is called vasectomy. The advantage is that it is extremely effective, but the downside is that it is almost always irreversible. The decision to sterilize should be carefully considered, as it is common for patients to develop psychiatric illnesses as a result of the loss of fertility.