Everything youve ever wanted to know about contraception

Being sexually active is not only about being intimate with somebody, it should also be about taking responsibility for your own actions, staying safe and looking after your body. Transitioning into adulthood means making decisions about your own health, including what contraception to use. However, knowing what contraception method to use can sometimes be tricky to figure out. Chomas, I’ve made it simple, here’s everything you need to know about the ins and outs of the various different contraception methods out there.

Male Condoms

These condoms are worn by the guy. They are the shape of a penis with a small tip at the top to collect the sperm. They are placed on an erect penis before intercourse and keeps sperm from entering the vagina. They are made of latex, prevents both pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) and can be used in conjunction with other contraception. With condoms there is still a chance of the condom breaking or slipping off during sex. To prevent this make sure the condom is placed on the penis correctly by holding the tip and then sliding onto the shaft of the penis. This leaves a space at the tip of the condom to allow space for the sperm to collect.

Safe, effective, easy to get and offers dual protection against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Female Condoms

They are a pouch worn inside the vagina. When used correctly, it protects against pregnancy and STIs and can also be used in conjunction with other contraception. The female condom has flexible rings at each end. To correctly wear a female condom, squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom and insert it into the vagina. Make sure that the larger ring at the open end of the condom covers the vaginal opening. Make sure that the penis enters the female condom and not between the condom and the side of vagina. As soon as you’re done, remove the female condom, by gently pulling it out, twist the large ring to prevent sperm leaking out and then dispose of it in a bin.

The Pill

The pill is taken orally by the female. It contains a combination of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone which prevents the body from ovulating. Ovulating is when an egg is released every month, if there is no egg to be fertilised then pregnancy cannot occur. The pill is most effective when taken every day at approximately the same time of day. You will still have your period, but some girls find positive or negative side effects, or both. You will need a doctor’s prescription to go on the pill. There are different pills out there so speak to your doctor about the right one for you.

The Injection

Another method is the injection, which works similar to the pill, except instead of taking a pill every day at around the same time, hormones are injected into the body every 3 months by your doctor. Depending on how your body reacts, you might experience negative and positive side effects just like when using the pill. The benefit of the injection is that you won’t have to think about contraception every day or every time you have sex.

The Emergency Pill

As the name suggests, the emergency pill or morning after pill is for emergencies. If, for example, your usual contraception method has failed (e.g. the condom broke) or you have had unprotected sex, it can protect you from pregnancy. Since it only prevents pregnancy I also recommend that you get tested for sexually transmitted infection.

The sooner you take the emergency pill the better. It works best when taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex but in general it can be taken up to 5 days after having unprotected sex. You don’t need a prescription to get the emergency pill and any pharmacist or healthcare provider would be able to assist you. Even though there isn’t a limit to the number of times you can take the emergency pill, we recommend that you use it for emergencies only.

Remember that everyone is different and your body will react differently to different methods of contraception so it is important to find the right type of contraception for you! On a final note chomas, when choosing a contraception method keep in mind that condoms are the only method of contraception that offers dual protection: prevention of pregnancy and transmission of HIV and other STIs.

I hope I’ve been able to answer all your questions around contraception and I encourage you speak to your healthcare provider at your local clinic to discuss contraception methods chomas. Chomas, for more information on this topic, feel free to send me a question!