Unwanted pregnancy is a concern that affects many people. Therefore, it is essential to take necessary precautions to prevent them. Here, you can use contraceptives, an effective method for preventing pregnancy. They interfere with the process of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation to hinder pregnancy.
In simple terms, contraceptives can affect ovulation, block the entry of sperm or reduce the chances of the sperms reaching the uterus.
However, the effectiveness of contraception depends heavily on the product you use. Usually, the companies calculate it based on 100 sexually active couples who use their products. Here, if 97 people among 100 participants gain protection against pregnancy, the effectiveness will be 97%. But, you have to remember that all contraceptives don’t offer protection from sexually transmitted diseases.
As of now, the contraceptions that offer STI protection are dental dams and condoms. It is best to choose contraceptions that provide dual protection from STIs and pregnancy.
Even though family planning and supporting the usage of contraceptives are essential, many people fail to use them due to lack of awareness, misconceptions, and unavailability. Some of the methods you can use are condoms, injectables, vaginal rings, contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, etc. Now, let’s have a look at the best contraception products. We will also delve into the difference between contraception and STI prevention.
What are the Best Contraception Products to Use?
As mentioned above, there are different contraception methods to use. They range from condoms to birth control patches. Here, we will look into the best contraception products in detail. Through this, you can find out the contraceptives that you can try out.
There are mainly two types of condoms that you can purchase. They are internal and external condoms. You can use an external condom, commonly known as the male condom, to cover the penis while having oral, anal, or penetrative sex. Here, there are different varieties, textures, shapes, and flavors available for you to try.
With internal condoms, you have to insert them inside the vagina. Here, it acts as a barrier preventing the entry and passage of fluids and semen. You can use it during anal and oral sex as well.
Compared to other contraceptive products, condoms have the highest effectiveness in preventing STIs and unwanted pregnancies. When used correctly, condoms can offer up to 98% effectiveness in reducing the chances of conceiving.
By bringing in condoms to your love-making sessions, you can spice up the moment and make it much more pleasurable.
A diaphragm is a cap-like barrier made from silicone that would fit inside the vagina like a tampon. When you use it, it will prevent the entry of sperms, but you have to use a spermicide to kill these sperms.
Once you place a diaphragm, you have to leave it inside for more than six hours. If you take it out before that, you will reduce its effectiveness.
When you consider its effectiveness, it is around 82%. It is lower than most other contraceptive methods.
When you place a diaphragm, it’s the pelvic muscles that maintain the diaphragm in its position. While using a diaphragm, ensure that you do it with a spermicide. It is a gel-like substance that helps in killing sperms.
You can use a cervical cap to prevent pregnancy by inserting this silicone or rubber cup into the vagina. You have to do it before engaging in penetrative sex. Through this, you can reduce the chances of sperms reaching the uterus.
Since the cervical cap is a mechanical barrier, you will require chemical protection to prevent pregnancy. Therefore, you can use a spermicide with this contraception product to kill the sperm. While you keep the cap inside you, ensure it stays in place. For that, you can insert your finger into your vagina and check.
Besides, you have to place the cap inside you for over six hours. But, you have to remove it within a day. As per the Pearl Index, the product’s effectiveness is 80.4%.
As discussed earlier, spermicide is a gell-like substance to kill sperms. However, its effectiveness when used alone ranges from 6 to 28%. But, when you use spermicide along with a diaphragm or cervical cap, its effectiveness will increase.
You might not acquire the intended result if you fail to use the product correctly. For instance, if you don’t apply a sufficient quantity of spermicide, it would lack its effectiveness.
Besides, there are some side effects of using this product. It can increase the chances of getting STIs and HIV from an infected person. However, it happens with frequent usage. Similarly, some of you might have irritation or allergies when using the product. It is yet another concern.
One of the contraception methods that you can try is sterilization surgery if you are looking for a permanent way to prevent pregnancy. It is a surgical procedure with 99% effectiveness in pregnancy prevention. For penis owners, this procedure is known as vasectomy. Here, the medical professional will cut the vas deferens. It is a straightforward surgery for sterilization. However, when you decide to opt for sterilization, you have to consider it seriously. It is because it is an irreversible process.
Birth Control Implant
Also known as nexplanon, it is a contraceptive implant like a flexible plastic rod. Your doctor would place it under the skin in the upper arm. When you use it, the implant will release progestogen. It prevents pregnancy for up to three years.
With the release of this hormone, your body won’t release an egg every month. Here, the sperm’s mobility gets hindered as the cervical mucus becomes thick. It is highly effective, and the product’s failure rate is 0.1%.
If you are looking for an effective and inexpensive method of contraception, you can consider a birth control implant for long-term usage. However, there can be side effects for some vulva owners. They include issues with their menstrual cycle, acne breakouts, breast pain, etc.,
Intrauterine device or IUD is yet another reliable contraceptive product that can provide results for up to five years. It is a small device that is available in two forms. Firstly, you can use a hormonal IUD, a device containing progestogen. Secondly, a copper IUD is another small device that would release copper into your uterus.
By using one of these products, your chances of conceiving become less. It is because its effectiveness is 99%. When you use the product, it will affect the sperm’s movement and survival in the uterus. Through this, it will make it difficult for the egg’s fertilization.
Birth Control Patch
It is a small bandage you can stick to your skin that facilitates the release of hormones like estrogen and progestin. A birth control patch works like a birth control pill as it delivers the same hormones. It is one of the best contraception products you can try to reduce the chances of getting pregnant.
When you use the product, your body won’t release eggs and thickens the cervical mucus. However, usage of birth control patches may result in side effects like irregular periods, nausea, breast tenderness, etc.,
Difference Between Contraception and STI prevention
As of now, we have looked into some of the best contraception products and methods.
But, the question that you may have can be, do all the contraceptives offer STI prevention?
The simple answer to it is NO.
Even though condoms offer protection from pregnancy, there aren’t a lot of products that provide the same benefits. Now, let us look at their differences in detail.
Contraception means any method that prevents pregnancy. They range from hormonal to non-hormonal products, such as birth control patches to condoms. However, only some contraceptions assist in preventing STIs. When it comes to STIs, it happens due to the entry of some bacteria or parasites into your body. Some of the common STIs are herpes, gonorrhea, HIV, HPV, syphilis, etc.,
Many people consider that birth control measures can prevent STIs. However, it doesn’t apply to oral contraceptives, like pills. They don’t offer any protection from STIs, and it is something every contraceptive user has to consider.
You can reduce the risk of contracting STIs by using products like dental dams, condoms. It is because they act as a barrier, preventing the exchange of bodily fluids. However, condoms don’t offer protection from the spread of STIs that can happen from skin-to-skin contact.
If the infected area doesn’t get covered, there is a high chance of transmission if you contact that region. STIs that can spread this way are herpes, HPV, syphilis, etc. Besides, some contraception products like spermicides can also increase the risk of getting STIs and HIV.
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