The topic of birth control can be pretty uncomfortable if you’ve never discussed it with your partner before.
But the fact of the matter is, sexual health is important and birth control can make your life safer and easier! There are many methods available to you, so if you’re looking for new alternatives, do your research and keep reading.
These are latex tubes that fit over a penis to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. Condoms among the most common forms of birth control because of their affordability, ease of use, and effectivity. When used correctly, they can prevent pregnancy 98% of the time; they also work to prevent the spread of STIs.
This refers to special pills that are taken at the same time everyday. They regulate hormones that prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg and thicken cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Birth control pills are about 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancies; they also help ease symptoms of heavy or irregular periods for women.
These are small, T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus. There are two types — the copper IUD and hormonal IUD. The copper IUD, made of copper, keeps sperm from meeting up with the egg (sperm don’t like copper). The hormonal IUD releases the hormone progestin to intercept ovulation. IUDs are 99% effective and can last from 3-10 years.
This works like a sticker version of birth control pills. It’s a patch that you stick onto your skin once a week; it releases hormoes that prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs and also thickens cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. The patch is about 99% effective when properly used, and is a good option for those not keen on long-term birth control.
The vaginal ring is a rubbery type of contraceptive that users have to insert into the vagina once a month. It acts similar to the pill and the patch in that it blocks ovulation by releasing hormones like estrogen and progesterone. When used perfectly, vaginal rings can be 99% effective.
An implant is a small plastic rod placed under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. Similar to the pill, implants release the hormone progestin to stop the ovaries from releasing eggs and helps thicken cervical mucus. These last about 3 years and are 99% effective in preventing pregnancies. Those with implants can also choose to remove them at any time.
It’s important to remember that not all of these birth control methods can protect you from STIs. Keep researching, be responsible, and take good care of your body!