Did you know that unplanned pregnancies are extremely common? They happen not just to irresponsible teenagers but to other age groups as well.
A report by the United Nations Population Fund claims that half of all pregnancies are unintended. On a worldwide scale, that accounts for 121 million pregnancies every year, which is about the entire population of Japan.
It’s crazy to think that so many new lives are created every year without proper planning. For new couples or even married individuals, having kids may not be an immediate priority.
The usage of contraceptives in these and other contexts becomes critical. However, which ones should you and your partner use? Which contraceptives are safe? Which ones are most effective? We will be exploring precisely that in this article.
Not All Contraceptives Are Safe
The safety of a contraceptive method can depend on various factors. Some individuals have pre-existing health conditions that increase risks. For example, hormonal contraceptives may not be suitable for those with a history of blood clots and certain cancers.
Similarly, Intrauterine devices (IUDs) may not be recommended for those with certain uterine abnormalities or pelvic infections. In that context, the ParaGard IUD seems to have run into some additional controversy.
Apparently, the device has a tendency to break when being removed and cause serious injuries. As one might expect, this has put Teva and Cooper Surgical, the manufacturers, into legal trouble. Currently, there are about 1,800 pending ParaGard lawsuit cases from users who faced health complications due to the device.
TorHoerman Law states that those who have suffered from uterus perforation, excessive bleeding, and other complications can qualify for damages.
It is clear that knowing which contraceptives are safe to use for you or your partner will require some investigation. However, safety is just one side of the coin. Let’s explore effectiveness.
What Are the Most Effective Contraceptives?
MedicalNewsToday has a great resource page that ranks different contraceptives on the basis of their pros and cons, and effectiveness.
Abstinence is ranked at 100% effectiveness but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Some would argue that abstinence isn’t really a contraceptive but that’s a topic for another day.
Condoms are extremely popular and remain one of the most common options after permanent female methods and oral contraceptives. That said, how effective are they? Male condoms, for instance, have an effectiveness rating of 82%, while internal, female condoms are slightly lower at 79%.
Though unlikely, condoms can have tears that compromise their effectiveness. Many times, people aren’t fully aware of how to use or apply them. They either choose the wrong size or fail to leave enough space at the tip. People also forget that condoms have expiry dates.
Condoms can still be an effective contraceptive method if attention is paid to these aspects.
Progestin shots are another popular option with a 99% effectiveness rating. Each shot protects you from pregnancy for three months. However, this option does have some downsides, as it requires a prescription and may also trigger irregular bleeding.
Lastly, morning-after pills are one of the most popular and effective contraceptives. The only catch is that their effectiveness is based on how soon you take the pill. Remember, they won’t prevent pregnancy if you have already ovulated. If taken soon enough, it has an effectiveness of about 90%.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What sort of side effects do contraceptives have?
Each contraceptive can have unique side effects. For the most part, they aren’t too severe. Side effects can range from nausea, tenderness or soreness, mood swings, and changes in menstruation.
2. Can I combine multiple contraceptives for more effectiveness?
When done correctly and under the guidance of a healthcare provider, this can be helpful. There are a few popular combinations, such as condoms + hormonal contraceptives or condoms + the morning-after pill.
3. Are there any other uses of contraceptives besides preventing pregnancy?
While the main objective of contraceptives is to prevent pregnancy, there are several other uses for them. Perhaps the greatest one revolves around preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
Proper use of contraceptives is something every responsible adult should be aware of. In addition to preventing pregnancy, they offer a number of other benefits that can be worth looking into.
Some contraceptives, particularly hormonal methods like birth control pills are known to help regulate menstrual cycles. They can reduce menstrual cramps, make periods more predictable, and decrease heavy flow.
Long-term use of birth control pills is linked to a lower risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. These pills are also helpful for acne management and reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancies.
Lastly, contraceptives make life a whole lot more convenient. They remain one of the best tools for managing reproductive goals and family planning.
In the end, when selecting the best contraceptive, responsible adults should prioritize their sexual health by seeking knowledge about various options, including pills, which are widely used for their effectiveness. It’s important to note that pills can impact individual health, potentially causing changes in menstrual patterns, and mood, and occasionally presenting slight health risks. Therefore, informed decision-making is key to a responsible approach to contraception.