I receive countless questions from women inquiring about the best birth control options out on the market, and my answer is always the same-- everyone is different and some methods work better for some than others. Finding the right match can take some trial and error, so I am here to give you some information, in an ongoing series, about different methods to help you find what works best for your lifestyle.
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While there are methods to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, the safest and most effective way to protect yourself is abstinence. If you are in fact sexually active, here are some options to help keep you safe.
- Condoms are the most commonly used over the counter form of birth control because they protect against disease and pregnancy and there are usually no side effects to using a condom
- Condoms are only 75% effective so it is best if they are used with a sperm killing agent as well
- Putting on a condom correctly is essential to effectiveness. Remember to leave a 1/2 inch of room at the tip to collect semen and be sure to roll the condom all the way down the base of the penis
- If you are in a monogamous relationship and you have both been tested for sexually transmitted diseases and are interested in a more convenient method of birth control, there are many prescribed hormones and devises on the market that might be a better match for you
- The Pill is the most commonly prescribed form of birth control. The pill stops a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs during ovulation. The pill also thickens the mucus found in a woman's cervix which makes it more difficult for sperm to penetrate
- The Pill is 99% effective when taken properly: at the same time everyday. Be aware that taking antibiotics and other medications can interfere with the pills effectiveness, so it is advised to use another form of birth control while you are on other medications
- While the pill works well for most women, others are heavily effected by its side effects which include but are not limited to experiencing a low sex drive, nausea, moodiness, depression, breast tenderness, the possibility of blood clotting (especially if you are a smoker over the age of 35) and possible skin sensitivity to the sun
- In order to get a prescription for the pill, you must see your physician to go over your heath history in order to determine what pill is right for you
- The patch is a thin plastic sticker like patch that adheres to your skin, most commonly on your stomach, buttock, arm or chest. The patch must be changed once a week for three weeks in a row
- The patch has similar hormones to the pill, however many women find it more absent-minded friendly since you only need to change it once a week versus taking a pill at the same time daily
- The patch is most effective when it is changed at the same time every week and adhering it to a different part of your body each time
- The patch has been proven to be more effective than the pill when used correctly but can cause pregnancy if it becomes loose or falls off for more than 24 hours or if it is left on your body for more than the allotted weeks time
- The patch is not recommended for women who weigh over 198 pounds
Tune in tomorrow for Finding the Right Birth Control for you Part 2!