Which Contraception Method Is Right For You?

September 12, 2019

There are no contraception method perfect for everyone. Although some may be more effective than the rest, no method is ever 100% effective. The variety of contraception methods can be overwhelming. How do you know which birth control is right for you?

1. Contraceptive pill

The pill stops you from ovulating. When taking the pill, it’s best to take it around the same time everyday. It’s proven that the pill is 99.7% effective when used perfectly [1].

Once you start on the pill, your period will become more regular, lighter, and less painful. Symptoms of premenstrual syndromes (PMS) such as mood swings will improve. And the best part? You’ll have less acne.

On the other hand, you may experience other side effects such as irregular spotting, headache, tender breasts, or bloating. Speak to the doctor or pharmacist about you and your family’s medical history to find out if the pill is right for you.

2. The condom

Condoms help prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmissible infections (STIs). They are easy to get, easy to use, and prevent cervix cancer. It comes in different sizes, make sure your partner uses the right size when choosing condoms.

The condom is more likely to break if it is past its expiration date. Make sure you check the written date on the packaging before use. Keep in mind that condoms are for one-time use only.

However, it might not be the best contraception method on a regular basis. Did you know, 15 out of 100 women will get pregnant when using condoms as contraception[2]? It may be possible for the condom to slip off during sex. If this happens, use an emergency contraception available over the counter from most pharmacies.

3. Contraceptive patches

Works just like birth control pills and vaginal rings, the patch delivers hormones through your skin and into your bloodstream. It contains progestin and estrogen to suppress ovulation, thicken cervical mucus, and thin uterine lining.

Place the patch on your upper outer arms, back, stomach, or butt. The patch is usually waterproof and adhesive, so it should not fall off easily when you’re showering. Change the patch every week for three weeks, then go without a patch for the fourth week.

If you’re doing anything sans cramps and tampons, it’s safe to skip your period with a patch. Take off the patch on the fourth week and put a new one on.

Higher levels of body fat may be more difficult for your body to absorb the hormones effectively. Consult a pharmacist or doctor for alternative birth control methods.

4. Diaphragm

A reusable dome-shaped cup that you insert into your vagina to cover your cervix, stopping the sperm from joining an egg.

When having sexual intercourse, the diaphragm is 94% effective if used perfectly[3]. However, in real life, it’s about 88% effective which means about 12 out of 100 people who use a diaphragm will get pregnant each year[4].

Check your diaphragm if it’s in good shape. Take a good look for holes, cracks, wrinkles, or weak spots. Fill it with water to test for leaks. If the diaphragm is faulty, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting a new one.

5. Spermicide

Did you know spermicide comes in many different forms? Whether you prefer creams, gels, films, or foam, all of them work in a similar way — to block the cervix and stop the sperm from moving.

If you’re only using spermicide alone, keep in mind that the failure rate is 28% for typical use. Consider pairing with other contraception methods such as condoms or diaphragms for more protection.

6. Contraceptive injection

More than 99% effective, the contraceptive injections stop your body from making the egg. It can last up to 8 to 13 weeks, depending on which injection you take[5]. As long as you’re not pregnant, you can take the injection at any time during your menstrual cycle. 

If you often forget about taking the pill, this is one of the easiest options. However, don’t forget  to take the repeat injection before it becomes ineffective. Once you’re injected, you may experience symptoms such as irregular bleeding, headaches, mood swings, or breast tenderness.

Want to have a baby in the near future? After the injection wears off, it will take up to a year This may not be suitable for you, as it takes up to a year for your fertility to return to normal after the injection wears off.

7. Contraceptive implant

Made of two thin, tiny rods about the size of a matchstick. It’s inserted into your upper arms and the hormones (progestin) released will stop you from getting pregnant. It can last up to 5 years[6]. You can remove it whenever you’re ready to get pregnant.

After the implant, you might experience heavy or light bleeding. You could have a normal period or no period at all. If your period is inconsistent, there are pills available that will help.

Anyone can have an implant, regardless of age. If you’ve had breast cancer or are taking any medications, it’s not advisable to get contraceptive implant.

Consider Carefully Before Making the Right Decision

You may prefer one contraceptive method over another. Keep in mind that each body is different so some woman may experience different effects. Find a method that you’re most comfortable with. It’s perfectly normal to choose more than one contraception method to avoid unplanned pregnancies. Speak to your partner, consult a doctor or pharmacist to make an informed decision about which contraceptive is suitable for you.

References

 

  1. https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/how-to-take-birth-control-pills#1
  2. https://www.familyplanning.org.nz/advice/contraception/condoms
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295727.php
  4. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/diaphragm/how-effective-are-diaphragms
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-injection/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control-implant

 

PP-YAZ-MY-0127-1(09/19)

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