CONTRACEPTIVES

When I was still in school, I always wondered what the TV commercials about contraceptives were all about. I was an inquisitive child but too ashamed to ask anyone about the contraceptives. It was then that I heard about Meri Sathi and got in touch with her soon. She told me that contraceptives might seem like something that only the married people who are planning on a family would use- false. Contraceptives are for everybody- me and you too! To protect myself from unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, I have opted using contraceptives rather than being in a pool of troubles later. Also, there is no age barrier that has been set to use the contraceptives!

Broadly, there are two kinds of contraceptives- long term and short term. Long term contraceptives are as the name suggests- long term but it can be either reversible or irreversible.

 

Short term contraceptives

Oral

Oral contraceptives, also known as Birth Control Pills, prevent pregnancy through several mechanisms, mainly by stopping ovulation. If no egg is released, there is nothing to be fertilized by sperm, and the woman cannot get pregnant. Pills are one of the most reliable contraceptive measures for women.

 

Injection

The contraceptive injection is a shot that contains hormones that stop your body from releasing eggs and thickens the mucus at the cervix. You need one shot either once every month or once every three months from a healthcare provider. The way it works is similar to the pill, or the ring, except you don’t have to remember to take it every day or week, but it probably isn’t the best choice for those scared of needles.

 

Female Condom

The female condom is a pouch that is used during intercourse to prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. It has flexible rings at each end. Just before vaginal intercourse, it is inserted deep into the vagina. The ring at the closed end holds the pouch in the vagina. The ring at the open end stays outside the vaginal opening during intercourse. And during anal intercourse, it is inserted into the anus.

Tips on using Female Condoms

You will find instructions in the packet and you can also get advice about how to use a female condom from a sexual health professional.

  1. Check the expiry date and that it appears in good condition.
  2. Take the female condom carefully out of the packet so that there is less chance of it ripping (don’t use your teeth and be careful with sharp fingernails or jewellery).
  3. Sit, squat, lie or stand in a position you find the most comfortable, similar to how you would insert a tampon. Squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom and insert it into your vagina as far as it will go, making sure that it doesn’t twist. The large ring at the open end of the female condom will cover the area around the vaginal opening – it is normal for this part to hang outside your body.
  4. When you have sex the penis should enter into the female condom, rather than between the condom and the side of your vagina. You can help guide your partner into you to ensure it goes in the right place.
  5. After sex, twist the large ring to prevent semen from leaking out and gently pull the female condom out. You can then wrap the condom up and throw it away in the bin (it can block up your plumbing if you put it in the toilet).
  6. Always use a new female condom each time you have sex.

Remember: Avoid using a female condom at the same time as a male condom. This can cause friction and they will be more likely to split

 

Long term reversible contraceptives

Implant

A contraceptive implant is a type of birth control mechanism. It is a small flexible tube measuring about 40mm in length which is inserted under the skin (typically in the upper arm) by a health care professional. The implant is among the most effective birth control methods. It prevents pregnancy for 5 years.

 

IUCD – Copper T

The Copper T IUCD is a small, flexible device made of soft plastic and copper. It is easily and quickly inserted into the uterus by a health care provider to prevent pregnancy. The Copper T IUD prevents pregnancy by blocking sperm from reaching an egg for 12 years.

 

Long term non-reversible contraceptives

Female sterilisation

Female sterilisation is an effective and permanent form of contraception. There is a very small failure rate. Sterilisation is only for people who have decided they do not want any children or further children in future. It is considered a permanent method of contraception.

 

Emergency Contraceptive Pill

Emergency Contraceptive Pill is designed to prevent accidental pregnancies. There are several brands of the e-pill available in the market which varies on the timings and how it works. Some are best when taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex. It is effective in preventing pregnancy once in a while but is not advised to be consumed on a regular basis.

To know more about Sexual and Reproductive Health call our Meri Saathi Free Helpline numbers 16600119756 or 9801119756, Sun-Fri 7:00 am to 7:00 pm