The How-To Lounge: Finding the Right Birth Control for you Part 3





I'm back with the last installment of the How to Lounge on birth control. If prescription birth control isn't right for you and you don't want to use condoms, there are other methods on the market that could be a better match for you.

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The IUD

  • The IUD, otherwise known as the Intrauterine Device, is a T-shaped, 1.5 inch plastic device which is inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The IUD must be inserted by a physician
  • There are now 2 types of IUDs, the ParaGard and the Mirena
  • Both kinds of IUDs protect against pregnancy by affecting the way the sperm moves in addition to altering the lining of the uterus
  • Both kinds of IUDs have strings attached to the device that hang through the cervix into the vagina providing a way to make sure it is properly in place
  • The ParaGard IUD contains copper which is known to have spermicidal effects and can be left in place for up to 12 years
  • The Mirena IUD releases small amounts of progestin, similar to the hormones from the pill, the patch, and the ring, preventing the uterus from releasing eggs. The hormones released through this kind of IUD stay in the uterus and are not systemic, therefore will not cause many of the side effects of oral contraception. The Mirena can be left in place for 5 years
  • The IUD does not stop you from ovulating so you will still get your period, although it could alter your flow and even stop it altogether over time
  • When an IUD is inserted, your body produces white blood cells to help fight off the foreign object that your body doesn't recognize, which in turn will attack the sperm
  • The IUD is 99% effective, the most hassle free and most recommended form of birth control for women
    • The Diaphragm

      • The diaphragm is a latex or silicon dome shaped cup if you will that is personally inserted in the vagina to cover the cervix before intercourse
      • Diaphragms are made in a variety of sizes and can be fitted by your physician. They are recommended to be used with spermicide for added protection
      • To insert a diaphragm, pinch the device so it bends in half, find a comfortable position and push it as far back and up the vagina as possible. Tuck it behind the pubic bone to make sure the cervix is covered. Do not leave the diaphragm in for more than 24 hours
      • The diaphragm must be inserted before intercourse and left in place for 6 hours after the last act of intercourse
      • Women who use a diaphragm run the risk of frequent bladder infections, so remember to urinate before inserting the diaphragm and after intercourse
      • The diaphragm has a failure rate of 18%-20%

      While finding the right form of birth control takes trial and error, one thing to always remember is the only way to protect yourself against disease is to abstain from sex altogether or to use condoms. Since sometimes things do not go as planned, and not every form of birth control is 100% effective, you now have a second chance to prevent against pregnancy. While Plan B should not be used as a form of birth control, it is a safe way to prevent unintended pregnancy. Plan B contains a high dose of hormones, similar to those found in the pill, and must be taken within 120 hours after unprotected sex. For more information about Plan B click here. Good luck and be safe!

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