There are many birth control options available for women and choosing the most suitable one for your needs can be confusing. To eliminate which you can choose from, you can ask yourself the questions below:
1. Are you sexually active and in need of protection against STD?
2. How effective should the birth control be?
3. Are cost and convenience a major factor when it comes to making a decision?
Although abstinence is the best option available, other birth control methods are just as effective if you get to use them properly.
Be aware of your fertility period
Being aware of your fertility period is one of the natural methods of family planning. To practice all you need to do is to take note of your ovulation and fertile periods, so you can avoid any sexual activities during this time. One step to do this is by measuring your basal body temperature as well as monitoring the excreted cervical mucus to know your fertility. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can consult with health care professionals so you can be trained on how to do this properly.
Use of spermicides
There are chemicals, called spermicides, that can be bought over the counter. These are in the form of creams, foams jellies, or even films that can kill sperm and stop them from fertilizing your egg cell. Before any sexual activity, the spermicide should be inserted inside the vagina. To make sure fertilization does not occur, it can also be used together with another birth control method. However, if tissue irritation occurs due to frequent usage, consult your obgynecologist for other options available.
Barrier methods can also be used to prevent contact of sperm cells with the egg cell. Male condoms are readily available and can be bought in many convenience stores and drug stores. Not only does it prevent contraception, but is also a safeguard against STDs.
Female condoms are also available, which is a pouch – like device which can be inserted inside the vagina up to 8 hours prior any sexual activity. However, it shouldn’t be used together with male condoms to prevent risk of breakage.
The diaphragm is a rubber dome that is also inserted inside the vagina, right before the cervix, before proceeding with the sexual activity. It can be used together with spermicides, to make it more effective and lower the risk of fertilization. Women who are in their menstruation period should avoid using diaphragm as a birth control method to prevent toxic shock syndrome.
Birth control pills
Oral contraceptives, or more commonly known as birth control pills, is a combination of progestin and estrogen hormones. It is one of the most common types of contraceptive that uses hormones, and is considered as highly effective. It should be noted that there could be side effects such as breast tenderness and light spotting, when taken. These pills can only be bought with a prescription, since serious side effects such as blood clotting and increased blood pressure may also occur.