Contraception is a deliberate method used to prevent pregnancies. Seems simple enough right? Think again. Today the NHS website lists fifteen different methods of contraception. This choice can seem daunting, especially when you’re trying to find the best one suited to you. Do not be afraid to consult a general practitioner – you might need to try a few before you find “the one.” There are a few factors to consider before making a decision. How effective are the different methods and how frequently do you need to use, or think, about them?
Bear in mind some methods will work better for some people and not for others. The contraceptive implant lasts 3 years, the intrauterine system (IUS) lasts for 3 to 5 years, and the intrauterine device (IUD) lasts for 5 to 10 years. All three are 99 per cent effective if used correctly. This could be ideal if you do not want the hassle of remembering to take contraception every day. However, if you think you could manage a daily method, another option is the combined pill or ‘the pill.’ Taken orally, the pill contains artificial versions of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. However, contraceptives containing these hormones may not be suitable for everyone. If you are looking for a birth control method that does not use hormones, why not look into the IUD, male and female condoms, diaphragms, or caps?
It is worth remembering that condoms for both sexes are the only methods that protect you and your partner from STIs when used correctly. Unfortunately, whilst using contraception is the right choice for many people, buying contraception and/or the morning after pill still contains an element of embarrassment for many people. This should not be the reality in our modern day society. In contrast, both women and men should be encouraged to take care of their own sexual health.
Within the next few years, a non-hormonal contraceptive called Vasalgel injected into the lumens of the vas deferens is predicted to enter the US markets. One injection would last for many years. The repercussions of a contraceptive like this could transform how control over reproduction is viewed in society, potentially making birth control a more gender equal topic.
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