Contraception – Making the right choice for you

At some point in your life you will take a step back and re-evaluate your options when it comes to contraception and while there are some very manual guides out there I wanted to do a piece that was a little bit more personal while exploring the some of the non barrier methods of contraception. (I will explore the barrier methods in a different post 😉 )

Sex can still be a bit of a taboo subject in Ireland and I wanted to make this as interesting and engaging as I could, as least like a manual as possible while also keeping it informative. I spoke to a number of girls about there method of contraception where I could and have included their comments and advice below along with additional links for you to access more details.Related image

It can be scary and make you a bit nervous when you are making an important decision regarding you method of contraception. Most of the contraception methods in this post would be for girls in a long term/ committed relationship where there is little to no risk of contracting an STI.

My method which we will come to is a little bit out there but is making it’s way onto the market so I feel it should be discussed.

The Pill

The combined oral contraceptive pill, is a contraception method that includes a combination of an estrogen and a progestogen hormone. It is not usually recommended for anyone wo suffers with migraine or has a history of stroke or thrombosis in the family.

Most side effects women site are;

Weight gain, bloating, headaches, mood swings and nausea. Most girls also felt there was a risk with the pill and min pill if you were unwell as it is not always effective if you are vomiting or on antibiotics.

Chloe from Kildare said she liked that she could come off of it with ease, that she had experienced no side effects and that it helped ease previous period cramping.

The mini pill

The minipill, also known as the progestin-only birth control pill, is an oral contraceptive that contains the hormone progestin. It is also explored in the link above.

For more information take a look Here.

 

 

 

The Bar

The contraceptive implant is a small flexible plastic rod which is placed under your skin. It releases the progesterone hormone and gives contraceptive protection for up to 3 years.

Rachael and Jessica both from Dublin use the contraceptive implant (the bar). Image result for contraception gif

Jessica made the choice to use this form of contraception as it needed the least amount of upkeep and was in her opinion the most reliable. While Rachael decided on this form of contraception as the pill did not agree with her and it was easier to have the implant than to buy condoms all the time.

Both Jessica and Rachael reported irregular periods as a result of the implant, but don’t seem to have had any other side effects.

Pro’s:

Both girls agreed that the pro’s of using this method of contraception was the risk of pregnancy is reduced, it required very little maintenance and no needing to remember to take something like the pill or change something like the patch.

Con’s:

The upfront cost of the bar could be considered a con but both girls seemed to believe it was cheaper in the long run, however the cost of the removal and the minor scaring that comes with this form of contraception could also be considered a downside.

Advice:

Rachael’s advice to anyone making a decision regarding contraception is to choose the option that best suits your body- if you feel one method is not working don’t be afraid to stop and try something else. She also suggest making sure you use some form of contraception whether it be hormonal or a barrier method as a condom, and not to leave the risk of pregnancy to chance.

Jessica suggests trying short term methods first before making the leap into using something with more commitment attached.

For more information visit this Website.

 

The Patch

The contraceptive patch is a transdermal patch applied to the skin, and changed every few days. It releases  estrogen and progestin hormones into your system to prevent pregnancy.

I was unable to find anyone will to speak about their experience with this method, however you can find more information at this Link.

The Injection

The contraceptive injection contains progestogen.  The only type of this contraception available in Ireland is Depo-Provera, and it is effective for 3 months (12 weeks.)

Chloe from Kildare used Depo- Provera after her first child. She now uses the contraceptive pill Yaz. She did her research before opting for the contraceptive pill ie. read booklets and met with her local nurse, before making her decision.

She informed me that personally she would not use Depo- Provera again. Long Term use of the injection effected  her fertility, she had bad mood swings and says her hormones were all over the place and it just made her not a very nice person always arguing and giving out. Related image

Advice:

Her main advice to anyone considering their options for birth control is; ‘ Do your research, what works for your friend might not work for you. Everyone’s body is different.’ She suggests making an appointment to discuss contraception with your GP or nurse before taking the leap.

To find out more before you make a decision regarding this form of contraception make sure you are fully informed.

 

Natural Methods – Natural Cycles

This is the contraception method I use along with Condoms. For me I have to be extra careful with the added stress of an unplanned pregnancy as an epileptic.

It was actually my boyfriend who first suggested a natural method of contraception. I am unable to take the pill or most hormone contraceptives due to a risk of a TIA/stroke. Neither of us were particularly font of the coil so we started about doing our research and this was the one we liked the most.

It works by taking your temperature first thing each morning with a basal before you get out of bed. The logic behind it is your temperature will drop slightly before ovulation before it rises again.

The main disadvantages of this method is sleep, hangovers and medication can all effext your body temperature which in turn means there are times you will need to use a barrier method. It can also take 3 months for the Natural Cycle apps to see the pattern in your information. Related image

The app reminds you each morning to check your temperature, reminds you on days when you may need to take an ovulation test and alerts you when your period is approaching.

This method can be as affective as the contraceptive pill when used properly. For more information take a look Here.

 

Emergency Contraceptive

I want to touch on the subject of emergency contraceptive. As I feel a lot of young girls and women of all ages are made to feel like it is something to be ashamed of. IF you mess up or make a mistake like everyone does from time to time, you should not feel ashamed because you need to access emergency contraception. By choosing to access this form of contraception you are making a responsible decision to not leave something to chance.

Always remember this will not protect you from an STI but it can help you prevent an unplanned pregnancy.Image result for emergency contraception gif

It is a massive step forwards that you can now access it over the counter from about 45 euro but it is still a very hefty price tag.

If you have found yourself in the situation where you need to access this form of contraception or in case you find yourself in that situation in the future you can gain some information on it Here.

  • Some names have been changed as some participants wish to remain anonymous

 

**I would like to remind my readers that if you are having sex with more than one partner ( are not in a committed relationship) and you are not aware of their sexual health that you should still use a barrier method as many of the contraception methods mentioned in the post are just to prevent pregnancy and will not protect you from STI’s**

 

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