The significance of contraception today cannot be overstated. Beyond preventing unintended pregnancies, contraceptives play a crucial role in empowering individuals and couples to make informed decisions about their reproductive health. The ability to plan if, when, and how to start a family has profound implications for personal well-being, family dynamics, and societal progress.
There are many approaches to contraception. For instance, the abortion pills (Mifepristone and Misoprostol) are very effective at terminating a pregnancy, but they are not a recommended, effective means of preventing future pregnancy. . By clarifying this distinction, we can foster a more nuanced understanding of nonreproductive health options.
So What Are Contraceptives?
Contraceptives, broadly defined, are methods or devices designed to prevent pregnancy. The keyword here is “prevent.” Understanding the various forms of contraceptives is crucial for making reproductive health-related choices. From barrier methods to hormonal options, the array of possibilities available reflects the diverse needs and preferences of individuals and couples.
It is also important to know that contraceptive use goes beyond the mere avoidance of unplanned pregnancies; it involves thoughtful consideration of factors such as sexual health, financial stability, and personal goals. By embracing responsible contraceptive use, individuals take control of their reproductive journeys, contributing to healthier communities.
What are Some Different Types of Contraceptives?
While condoms and pills are very well-known methods of contraception, you might be surprised to know that is not all there is. There are more than a dozen contraception methods, and we will take a look at some now.
Condoms: Condoms, available for each existing type of sexual and reproductive system, known as external and internal condoms, are a widely accessible and effective barrier method. They not only prevent pregnancy, but also protect against sexually transmitted infections, underlining their dual importance in sexual health.
Diaphragms: Diaphragms, another barrier method, offer a cervically-controlled option that provides a physical barrier to prevent sperm from reaching the cervix.
Contraceptive Pills: Oral contraceptives, commonly known as birth control pills, contain hormones that modify the menstrual cycle and prevent ovulation, offering a highly effective method when used consistently and correctly.
Injections: Hormonal injections provide a medium-term contraceptive solution, requiring administration every few months. This option suits those seeking a less frequent but equally reliable method.
Patches: Contraceptive patches deliver hormones through the skin, offering a convenient alternative for individuals who may have difficulty with daily pill intake.
The implant involves the insertion of a small, flexible rod under the skin, typically in the upper arm. These implants release hormones that work to prevent ovulation and alter the cervical mucus, providing a reliable and long-term contraceptive method. Their low-maintenance nature makes them a convenient and effective choice for those seeking hassle-free family planning, especially for teens.
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
IUDs, available in hormonal and non-hormonal forms, are inserted into the uterus and provide long-lasting contraception. They are known for their efficacy and low-maintenance nature.
In cases of contraceptive failure or unprotected intercourse, emergency contraception offers a time-sensitive option to prevent pregnancy. Understanding its availability and proper usage is essential for those facing unexpected situations.
Tubal Ligation: Tubal ligation, commonly known as getting your “tubes tied,” is a surgical procedure that permanently prevents pregnancy. This option is suitable for those who have decided not to have more children.
Vasectomy: A vasectomy is a permanent contraceptive method for people with penises. It involves the surgical cutting or blocking of the vasa deferentia, preventing the release of sperm during ejaculation.
If you would like to learn more about the different methods of contraception, visit the Find My Method website where you will find information about 18 different contraceptive methods, their pros and cons, and their effectiveness rates.
Despite the efficacy of contraceptives, it’s essential to acknowledge that no method is foolproof. Various factors contribute to contraceptive failure, including inconsistent use, incorrect application, and individual biological differences. Understanding the statistics on contraceptive failure rates and recognizing the factors that cause them allows individuals to make better decisions about their contraception use.
At the end of the day, consistency and correctness in using contraceptives are paramount. You need to be diligent about using your chosen contraceptive method to maximize its effectiveness and minimize the risk of unintended pregnancies.
Abortion as an Option
However, if there is a contraceptive failure that results in an unplanned pregnancy, there is always the possibility of getting an abortion.
Abortions are care treatments that terminate a pregnancy, either through the use of pills or surgical methods. Medical abortion involves the use of medications like Mifepristone and Misoprostol to terminate a pregnancy. Typically done within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, it can be self-administered at a private place. The use of this medication above 13 weeks requires special attention and it’s recommended that you are accompanied by trained staff in these types of cases. Surgical abortion, on the other hand, employs procedures such as manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) or dilatation & evacuation (D&E) and is performed in a clinical or hospital setting by qualified health-care professionals.
Abortion is more than a health treatment. It is a normal part of reproductive health, and multiple safe abortions don’t impact future fertility. It must be noted that there are ongoing studies related to the usage of abortion pills as a contraceptive method. Every person’s decision on their reproductive and nonreproductive health is different and depends on the restrictions, their context, and the options available to them.
If you would like to learn more about abortions, you can visit our website safe2choose. We are a social enterprise working to enhance access to safe abortions all around the world. We provide information in various languages on our digital platforms – i.e. our website and social media channels – and we also offer online chat and counseling support to those seeking abortion services.