One of the important life decisions is deciding how many babies you want or even if you want to make babies at all.
Contraceptives are the methods designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Some contraceptives also help to prevent sexually transmitted infections(STIs).
But not all birth control methods are created equal. Condoms, while good, have their limits. If you have a disease condition, you're more restricted in the choice of contraceptive. Your long term family plan can also determine your choice of contraceptives.
In this article, we'll talk about the five key factors to consider when choosing a contraceptive. Before that, we'll start with a quick overview of contraceptive types.
The point of contraceptives is to prevent you from having a baby when you don't want one. There are different kinds of contraceptives designed to do the job.
Let's think of contraceptives in terms of two categories:
Most popular contraceptives like condoms, pills, IUDs e.t.c fall in the reversible categories. You can discontinue using them, should you decide to have children.
In their own right, irreversible contraceptives are designed to render you sterile for the rest of your reproductive life. Meaning you wouldn't be able to make babies again. These options include tying fallopian tubes for females and cutting vas deferen in males.
Apart from childbearing, there are also other things concerning contraceptives which we'll talk about below.
Are you looking to have a Family or not?
Whether you desire to later have children or not should be one of the top questions to ask yourself when choosing a contraceptive. To make the right decisions, think about your long-term goals.
Which of the two categories of contraceptives will do it for you. Something in the short term that keep pregnancies at bay while you focus on other things? Or something to permanently stop your ability to conceive?
If you are in your youth, you might want to avoid the latter category as this time of life isn't always suited to making long-term plans like irreversible, reproductive decisions. You could still stick with condoms, implants and pills e.t.c which work just as fine in the short term.
How Drug (pills) Compliant are you?
The idea of swallowing tabs and gulping them down in water doesn't sit well with some people. Others simply forget to take their medications.
If you're not a pills person or can't just stick with it, then pills may not really be for you. They are plenty of non-pills options for you.
One is an implant, placed under your skin, to continue to boost your store of anti-pregnancy chemicals. Devices, like Vagina rings, IUD e.t.c, can stay in your reproductive organs. Or you can just commit to not forgetting to use your condoms.
Do you have a heart condition?
If you have a heart condition, some contraceptives are also not for you. Generally, Estrogen only or combined contraceptive pills shouldn't be used as they can worsen your condition.
Don't worry the fact that you are treating High BP, or are managing a stroke, shouldn't stop you from not wanting to have babies.
You still even have a broad range to choose one. You can stick with the devices. You can take a brand of Progesterone-only contraceptive. Condoms could just be fine for you.
How many Sexual Partners Do You Have?
The number of sex partners can also impact your choice of contraceptive. The more the partners the high risk of contracting STI.
You want to choose a dual-purpose contraceptive. Meaning the kind of contraceptive that keeps pregnancy at bay and also reduces your risks of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
Condoms, an example of barrier contraceptives, will do for that purpose.
Can you afford it?
As you want to use contraceptives, you should consider how much leaving your pocket. They are differently priced with some being expensive.
Iud are generally expensive. Implants cost a bit to use. This need not be a barrier to preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Condoms and Post pills are generally affordable.
Gynaecology by Ten Teachers
About the Author
Ayodeji Olukayode is a writer and a medical doctor-in-training. He likes to read, and listen to music.