Having sexual intercourse doesn’t always have to be risky business, not when there’s a plethora of contraceptive options out there. Not only can contraceptives prevent pregnancy, some can also protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
When choosing the right type of contraceptives, there are a few things to consider. Is it accessible? How about convenience of use? Will there be side effects? Consult a women’s clinic in Singapore.
Below, find a list of contraceptives as well as their pros and cons.
Did you know that the condom is the only form of contraceptive out there that can protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases? This method of contraception is arguably the most common and easy to use. Not only can it be used on demand, it’s hormone free, inexpensive and can be easily carried around. There are male and female condoms available. Male condoms are rolled onto an erect penis to prevent sexual fluids from passing between two individuals. Female condoms are placed into the vagina before sex.
However, when not used properly, condoms can tear or come off during sex and some people are allergic to latex condoms.
Birth control pills
Birth control pills are oral contraceptive pills taken once a day everyday. There are a few different types of pills to choose from, so consult a doctor to determine which one is right for you. The combined pill contains estrogen and progestin, while the minipill contains only progestin.
When taken correctly, birth control pills are highly effective against preventing pregnancy. They may also bring on additional benefits, like reduce heavy and painful periods and acne.
However, birth control pills must be taken strictly as prescribed in order to work. They may also not be suitable for women who can’t take estrogen-containing pills and do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Also, birth control pills can only be obtained from a medical professional.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device made from progesterone hormone and copper or plastic. It is fitted inside a woman’s uterus by a medical professional and can stay in place for as long as ten years, depending on the type. Some IUDs contain hormones that are gradually released to prevent pregnancy. Also, an IUD can be used as a post-sexual intercourse emergency contraceptive so long as it’s fitted within 120 hours of unprotected sex.
Copper IUDs are 99% effective, and hormone IUDs are 99.8% effective — so they’re about as effective as they can get. However, upon the first six months of use, IUDs may cause irregular bleeding or spotting. IUDS also do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and must be inserted and removed by a medical professional.
The contraceptive implant is a small, flexible rod that releases a form of the hormone progesterone. It is placed under the skin in a woman’s upper arm and requires a procedure under local anesthesia to fit and remove. The hormone progesterone in the rod stops the ovary from releasing the egg and thickens the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to enter the womb.
The contraceptive implant is highly effective but needs to be replaced every three years. Like the IUD, it can cause irregular bleeding initially, has to be inserted and removed by a medical professional and does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
The Morning After Pill
The morning after pill, or emergency contraception pill, is taken after unprotected sex. It can be used to prevent pregnancy after sex is contraception wasn’t used, if a woman has been sexually assaulted, or if the condom broke during sex. The window period for taking the morning after pill is five days from having unprotected sex. However, the sooner it’s taken, the more effective it is. When taken the first three days after sex, it prevents about 85% of unwanted pregnancies.
The morning after pill contains special doses of female hormones and can be taken by any female, even those who cannot take other forms of oral contraceptive pills like birth control pills. It can also be easily purchased over the counter. However, emergency contraceptives cannot prevent STIs and may cause nausea and vomiting.
A contraceptive injection is an injection that’s inserted into a woman’s buttock or upper arm. It contains a synthetic version of progesterone and is slowly released into the bloodstream over a period of 12 weeks. This injection can last up to three months and is very effective. But due to this short efficacy period, constant tracking is required. It also does not protect against STIs and may cause disrupted periods or irregular bleeding.
The contraceptive ring is a flexible plastic ring that constantly releases hormones oestrogen and progesterone. It is placed in the vagina and stays in place for three weeks. After which, should the woman choose to continue with the contraceptive ring, she can just pop another back in. This contraceptive method gives better flexibility and control and has few side effects. However, it does not protect against STIs and is not suitable for women who can’t take oestrogen-containing contraceptives.
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