Birth control is definitely one of those things that no one likes to talk about, but people SHOULD talk about. Often times we don’t give a second thought to our birth control routine and we leave it in the hands of our medical professionals, but throughout different stages of your life, you may develop different needs in terms of your birth control plan. With so many different options available today it can be hard to make an informed decision so here are a few thoughts that may not have crossed your mind before!
Use Condoms Regardless
This is one of the more obvious birth control methods, but if you’re not in a monogamous relationship, use a condom even if you’re on other methods of birth control. A condom is the only way to prevent the spread of STI’s no matter how old you are.
The Pill Can Help In More Ways Than One
The pill can actually help in a variety of ways that you might not have realized. The pill lowers androgens, which helps to keep acne under control. It helps prevent ovarian cysts, reduces facial hair growth, helps to reduce menstrual cramps and helps in controlling iron-deficient anemia because you’re menstruating less than normal.
You Can Use An IUD At Any Age
IUD’s are great because they are reversible, can last upwards of 10 years, and are more than 99% effective. Less than 7% of American women have IUD’s but professionals think it’s because there has been a previous misconception that IUD’s were only an option for women who have had children. Today, however, IUD’s can be used for women at any stage of their life! They do not prevent STI’s though – so if you’re not monogamous, remember to wear a condom.
You Still Need Birth Control When You’re Older
Sure, it get’s harder to get pregnant when you’re older – but there is still a chance and if you don’t want it happening, and you’re having sex, you still need birth control up until you hit menopause. Taking an oral birth control can help relieve the symptoms of premenopause and an IUD can help regulate your period. The only downfall is that with each of those, you may find it hard to tell when you’ve entered menopause because a pill creates an artificial period each month and an IUD can take it away completely.
There May Be A Pill For Men Soon
For over 40 years, researchers have been studying oral hormonal contraception for men! Nothing has quite passed yet, but they are close. There was recently a breakthrough where there was success in terms of it being adequate birth control, however, the side effects caused depression so it was unable to go to market.
There Are Some Myths About The Pill
Some people think that taking the pill causes weight gain, but a review that was done in 2014 found that taking the pill actually had no major effect on weight but some people do feel hungrier or bloated, which may just be hormonal side effects that can be adjusted. Other people believe that the pill squashes sex drive but there was a study done proving the sex drive of those on the pill versus IUD’s were the same. Another myth is that you have to take the pill at the exact same time every day. That is mostly true, however, if you’re a couple hours late it’s not usually a huge deal, but definitely not recommended.
Emergency Contraception Facts
If you’re in the situation of needed emergency contraception, there are some things you’ll need to know. The first? It doesn’t end a pregnancy. It’s 89% effective in helping avoid it but if you get pregnant, it won’t stop it. The second? It doesn’t work well if you’re overweight. If you’re obese, Plan B is a third less effective than if you’re at a healthy weight. The third? A copper IUD is actually the most effective option. A doctor can insert it up to 5 days after unprotected sex and there’s a less than 1% chance of pregnancy.