Birth control is a choice we all face, whether you want to use the rhythm method or rely on something more dependable. But which one of these options best fits in with your lifestyle and the choices you want to make?
Hormonal birth control remains a very popular option, with the daily pill a very reliable method to keep pregnancy at bay. That said, it relies on your ability to take it every day, and depending on the pill it may require you to take it around the same time each day. If you’re not very organised, the pill may be a recipe for failure. Additionally, it can take your cycle some time to recover after you stop taking it, depending on your body and the pill you take.
In terms of hormonal birth control, the implant is another intriguing candidate. It involves a small implant that is placed just under the skin of your upper arm. Releasing hormones over the course of three years, the implant is very dependable and does not require you to remember it more often than once every three years. It can, unfortunately, cause irregular periods and spotting, but fertility is restored almost immediately upon removal of the implant.
Coils or Intra-Uterine Devices have been popular for quite some time, but the copper coil (good for around three years) has fallen out of favour due to its tendency to cause heavy, painful periods. It is quite good at removing the risk of pregnancy, but a new player on the market has succeeded quite well at edging it out. Good for five years of reliable birth control, Mirena combines the physical advantages of the copper coil with small doses of hormones slowly being released. An added advantage is the fact that many women report their periods becoming lighter and often even vanishing altogether with use, and fertility is restored almost immediately after removal. The downside is that most medical establishments refuse to insert one in a uterus that has not yet borne a child as this will make it tighter and more painful.
None of these methods of birth control provide any protection from sexually transmitted infections, but condoms remain able to afford this protection while also protecting you from pregnancy. It may be worth combining your standard birth control with a condom to allow you to cover all your bases and ensure you’re protected in every way.
The female condom is a lovely alternative and may suit you better, but the protection afforded by either style of condom is roughly equal and you may not fancy the extra expense.
Methods of birth control are varied and many. In fact, there are so many it is impossible to list each and every one here. If you talk to your nearby pharmacist they will be able to help you, and there are free clinics around the country that can help you obtain quality birth control for free. However, don’t feel you can’t spend any money on your birth control; after all, it is your way of taking responsibility for your body. Boots, Lloyds, and any other pharmacy will be able to sell you birth control, and in some cases, such as condoms, you may find their paid-for specimens more high-quality than the free alternatives. This will provide you with an incentive to keep using them, which will keep you safe in the long run.