Birth control comes in all shapes, sizes

By on March 28, 2007

There is no “perfect” birth control method other than abstinence. But each woman has and likes different types of birth control.

The best way to protect against sexually transmitted diseases is with condoms. Male condoms are also 84 to 98 percent effective for preventing pregnancy. Condoms should always be kept in a cool, dry place. Putting them in a wallet or glove compartment is not a good idea since the latex may break down, making them more susceptible to tearing.

Another popular method is “The Pill.” The pill is 95 to 99 percent effective for preventing pregnancy. There are more than 40 different kinds of pills on the market for women today.

Some students feel that it is good to use double protection when sexually active.

“I think to be safe it’s good to use condoms even when on the pill because the pill doesn’t protect against [STDs] and such,” sophomore diagnostic imaging major Amanda Chin said.

Another sophomore, Vince Mercandetti said that his sisters take the pill even though they are not necessarily sexually active.

“Having grown up with sisters, I understand it does not necessary always have to do with being sexually active,” he said. “The pill has a lot of advantages like a lightened period and reducing [the] risk for pelvic inflammatory disease and ovarian cancer.

“The Patch,” a two-inch beige adhesive pad that is placed on the upper arm, stomach or backside distributes medication into the system. It also comes with a higher risk for blood clots.

Another somewhat newer method of birth control is the “Nuva Ring.” This small vaginal ring releases hormones into the bloodstream and one dosage lasts for up to three weeks. This method exposes women to a lesser amount of Estrogen and may also lighten menstruation. This option is a good alternative for women who find it difficult to stick to the schedule of taking a daily pill.

A little-known alternative is the IUD (Copper T IUD-Intrauterine Device), a small T-shaped device that must be implanted in the uterus by a physician and prevents sperm from making its way up the fallopian tubes. However, if for some reason fertilization does occur, the egg will be blocked from being embeded in the uteran wall. The IUD is effective for up to 12 years per device. It does not, however, protect against HIV or other STDs and is 99 percent effective for preventing pregnancy.

Still another option is the Depo shot. Depo-Provera must be injected every three months. This method also does not protect against HIV or other STDs, but is 97 perecent effective for pregnancy prevention. A woman should not use the Depo shot for more than two years because it may result in bone density loss.

There are many other birth control options to explore. Ask your doctor for more information or visit:


About copress