Educating your children about sexual intercourse during their teenage years is important. But, teaching them the safety measures taken during the time is more important. Not only teenagers but everyone men and women should know about safe sex. Once you become sexually active, you must learn all about birth control methods and emergency contraception. However, choosing the best and safest option of birth control can be confusing. But, here we have brought you all the things you should know about birth control and emergency contraception.
Birth Control Options Available
It is necessary to learn about all the birth control options available to choose the most suitable one for you and your partner. So, let us look into the birth control options available.
- Barrier Method. We use this method each time while having intercourse. This includes male and female condoms, along with the diaphragm, cervical cap, and contraceptive sponge.
- Short-acting Hormonal Methods. This method of birth control has to be used on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, as prescribed by your doctor. This requires you to take the shot from your doctor every trimester. This method includes- vaginal rings, mini pills, shots, or skin patches.
- Long-acting Hormonal Methods. Unline the short-acting hormone method, this method allows you to be tension-free from three years to ten years. The duration depends on the method you choose and the device you opt for. After the doctor inserts the device, it will last from three years to ten years- or until you decide to get it removed.
- Natural Rythm Method. Also known as Fertility Awareness Method, this method does not use any kind of birth control. But instead, it focuses on knowing the time of the month when you are fertile and most likely to get pregnant. And in that case, you either do not have sex or use a barrier method. Various fertility monitor or ovulation home test kits are available in the market which you can use.
- Sterilization Method. This is a permanent method in which men go through vasectomy and women undergo a surgery called tubal ligation or occlusion.
How They Work and their Effectiveness-
Different birth control methods work differently. To be effective, it needs to be used correctly and consistently. However, the methods such as sterilization and contraceptive implants have lower pregnancy rates. Whereas, a method like the fertility awareness method has higher pregnancy rates. The birth control methods can work in various ways as follows-
- It can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg and fertilizing with it.
- Some will inactivate or damage the sperm before it reaches the egg.
- For females, it can prevent the egg from releasing every month.
- It might also alter the uterus line so that the fertilized egg cannot latch itself on it.
- It can thicken the cervical mucus not allowing the sperm to pass through easily.
Emergency contraception is used when women forget to use any type of birth control method while having sexual intercourse. These come in two types- copper-bearing intrauterine devices and combined oral contraceptive pills. Women need to take it within five to seven days after having unprotected sex. However, the sooner they use it, the chances to get pregnant are lower.
This emergency contraception does not abort established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo. Every girl or woman who might be sexually active could need emergency contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, it does not require any specific age to use them.
When to Use-
- When one has experienced unprotected sex.
- In case the condom broke, slipped, or was not worn correctly.
- If the woman or girl has gone through sexual assault and she was not on any type of birth control method.
- In case you forgot three or more oral contraceptive pills consecutively.
- When a diaphragm or cervical cap dislodges, breaks, tears off or you had it removed early.
- In the cases of failed withdrawal, that is- ejaculation in the vagina or on external genitalia.
- When a spermicide tablet or film fails to melt before sexual intercourse.
- Miscalculating the abstinence period or not using any kind of barrier method during fertile days.
Therefore, every women and girl have a right to access emergency contraception when at risk of unwanted pregnancy. They must use these methods with utmost routine and schedule. Along with this, they should know about the national family programs. Moreover, every girl who reaches a certain age must be educated regarding various birth control methods and emergency contraception. Emergency contraception should be included under the basic healthcare services. Especially for the people who stand at high risk of exposure to unprotected sex. It includes post-sexual assault care and services for women and girls living in emergency and humanitarian settings.
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