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Birth Control

July 22, 2018

Birth control is a passion of mine. It is also a HUGE responsibility. Women have made INCREDIBLE strides in reproductive justice since hormonal birth control (such as the pill) was created. Women could and still can choose when to have a baby, how many babies to have, and can be more independent in their right to choose which is the best option for them. I think it has been absolutely liberating! Today, there are hormonal and non-hormonal birth control options. 

 

 

Hormonal Birth Control:
  • Implant (typically inserted into your arm on the inside of your bicep, around the part you see when flexing)

    • lasts up to 4 years, 99% effective

  • Plastic IUD (Intrauterine Device, inserted into the uterus)

    • lasts up to 6 years depending on brand, 99% effective

  • The Shot (an injection given by a nurse or doctor)

    • must be repeated every 3 months, 94% effective

  • Vaginal Ring (worn inside of the vagina)

    • must be replaced monthly, 91% effective

  • The Patch (worn on the skin of your belly, upper arm, butt, or back)

    • must be replaced weekly, 91% effective

  • The Pill (a pill taken orally by a person with female reproductive parts) 

    • must be taken daily and works best when taken at roughly the same time each day, 91% effective

  • Emergency Contraception (Plan B is the most popular brand) 

    • a higher dose of birth control pills can act as backup contraception if you believe that your birth control didn't work because they contain the same hormones as what's in emergency contraception.

    • *YOU MUST CALL YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO FIND OUT HOW MANY BIRTH CONTROL PILLS TO TAKE. DO NOT TAKE THE REMAINDER OF PILLS IN YOUR PACK OR COME UP WITH A NUMBER ON YOUR OWN. YOUR DOCTOR IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS HOW MANY TO TAKE FOR IT TO BE EFFECTIVE*

 

 

Non-Hormonal Birth Control: 
  • Copper IUD (inserted into the uterus) 

    • lasts up to 12 years, 99% effective

  • Male Condom (a person with a penis puts this on before penetration) 

    • must be used every single time, 85% effective

  • Female Condom (a person with a vagina inserts this into their vagina before penetration)

    • must be used every single time, 79% effective

  • Diaphragm (small saucer placed inside a vagina to cover the cervix before sex, works best when used with spermicide) 

    • must be used every single time, 85% effective

  • Birth Control Sponge (small sponge made of soft plastic to cover the cervix before sex, it contains spermicide)

    • must be used every single time, 76-88% effective

  • Cervical Cap (similar to a Diaphragm, but a bit smaller, works best when used with spermicide) 

    • must be used every single time, 71-86% effective

  • Spermicide (contains chemicals that stop sperm from reaching an egg, must be put into your vagina before penetration) 

    • must be used every single time, 71% effective 

  • Fertility Awareness Method (FAMs) *Whole post about this*

    • requires daily recording, 76-88% effective

  • Withdrawal or "Pulling Out" 

    • must be used every single time, 78% effective

  • Breastfeeding (a new mom must consistently nurse at least every 4 hours during the day and every 6 hours at night and only breast milk is fed to the baby and a breast pump is not used) 

    • must be done every 4-5 hours, 98% effective

      • *I've read that every 2-3 hours, consistently, may be more effective & is recommended*

  • Abstinence (no penetration of any type)

    • must be used every single time, 100% effective

  • Female Sterilization or "Getting Tubes Tied" 

    • permanent birth control option, 99% effective

  • Male Sterilization or Vasectomy 

    • permanent birth control option, 99% effective

  • Emergency Contraception 

    • Getting a copper IUD inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex may serve as emergency contraception! 

 

 

Notice, that the hormonal birth control options are very effective and the most common types that people think of when they hear of birth control. Now, what about non-hormonal? There are quite a bit more than the hormonal list. Does this list sound familiar to you? Do you know of anyone who uses these methods? What side effects have you heard those around you talking about? 

 

*Note: Many of the hormonal birth control options release hormones (progestin in particular), which causes ovulation to stop. Ovulation is part of the menstrual cycle.*

 

Every person is looking for something different when it comes to birth control. Some are looking for reliability, some are looking for convenience, some don't want to have to worry about doing something every day or every time they have sex. And that is all okay! Trying different birth control options to see what works best for you and your sex life is great. However, I believe that everyone needs ALL of the information on all of these types of birth control to choose their best option. A lot of this information may be omitted from regular sex ed or receives a bad reputation when casually discussing. 

 

For the information above regarding birth control types and effectiveness, I used Planned Parenthood's website on Birth Control options. Here is the link: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control

 

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