Family planning is an important aspect in everyone’s life. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the most effective and convenient contraceptive. Hormonal contraceptives protect 98 percent of unwanted pregnancies and are convenient to use. But they affect a woman’s hormone levels. They can also cause side effects such as headaches, nausea, sore breasts and vaginal yeast infections, mood swings, and decreased sexual desire in women.
In addition, breakthrough bleeding may occur between periods. They also do not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases. There is a risk of thrombosis, i.e. the formation of blood clots. The risk of this is higher in women who smoke, are overweight, at risk for vascular disease, or women over 40 years of age. In addition, they are not recommended for women with clotting tendencies, heart disease, and cancer.
Condoms are the most widely used non-hormonal contraceptive method. Both men and women can use condoms for either sex.
Male or female condoms are a basic method of birth control. The concept of using condoms is to prevent sperm from entering the uterus and to prevent the fertilization of egg cells, which leads to an unplanned pregnancy. Condoms are for single use and are readily available in the market and online. While the male condom is used more as a method of contraception for couples, the male condom is used to cover a man’s erect penis while the female condom is inserted into the vagina. While latex is the most commonly used material for condoms, one can also use one made of lambskin if you have allergies.
There are many misconceptions and myths associated with condom use. The majority of people are reluctant to use and discuss condoms. In addition, there is less awareness of female condoms. Condoms are very practical and easy to use. However, we need to talk more about it in order to raise awareness. The female condom, also called the inner condom, is used in the vagina to prevent the sperm from entering the uterus. When used correctly, it is as effective as a male condom.
The advantages of using the condom are:
* It protects against unplanned pregnancy
* It protects both men and women from sexually transmitted diseases
* There are limited or no serious side effects
* Female condoms can also be used for anal sex
* The external ring is designed to increase pleasure
* Even if the partner loses the erection, the condom will stay in place
* Female condoms can be easily inserted a few hours before intercourse
* It gives females a choice and they don’t have to rely on their partners
* The material a female condom is made from is a soft plastic that will not irritate sensitive skin
Some disadvantages of using a condom are as follows. While they’re not harmful, knowing them can help you make better use of them:
* As with any other method, a condom is not guaranteed to last
* It can slip into the vagina during intercourse
* Female condoms are less available and therefore more expensive
* Due to the internal condom, loud noises may be made during intercourse
* Do not use a male condom with a female condom as this may cause it to crack
* Do not reuse a female condom
How to use it – After purchasing, open the package and take out the condom. Once outside, there are two rings, a smaller ring and a slightly larger one. You have to take the smaller ring and insert it into the vagina. The larger ring on the open end covers the area that is the opening of the vagina. During sexual intercourse, you should make sure that the penis goes into the condom and not sideways. After intercourse, remove the condom by twisting and pulling out the larger ring. Tie the end with a knot and toss it in a trash can.
There are several types of birth control methods that are ready to use for people around the world. However, condoms are the fastest method because they are easily available. In either case, both male and female condoms are equally effective in preventing pregnancy. There are studies to show that no method of birth control is 100 percent effective, but condoms do a good job overall. It is important to remember that both male and female condoms cannot be used together.
Other non-hormonal birth control methods are:
IUCD: An intrauterine contraceptive (IUCD) is a device made of plastic and copper. It is placed in the uterus to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The copper material in the device makes it difficult for the sperm to fertilize an egg cell. It makes the mucus in the uterine lining hostile to sperm and egg cells. Although modern IUCDs are very effective, about 2 in 100 women who use IUCDs for birth control will get pregnant within five years. Most IUCDs work well for at least five years, and many work for up to ten years.
Advantages of copper IUCD 380A:
* Provides long-term, highly effective reversible protection against pregnancy
* Acts immediately after insertion
* Does not require daily user attention or special attention before intercourse
* One-time process and inexpensive
* The IUCD does not affect sexuality or sex drive. It is not a hormonal method that does not affect your mood, weight, or libido
* Can be used by breastfeeding women
* Has no drug interactions
* Immediate return of fertility after removal
* In the first few days or months after insertion, there may be an increase in the duration / amount of menstrual bleeding or spotting or light bleeding
* Discomfort or cramps during the IUCD insertion and for the next few days, which will subside in due course.
Potential health risks:
* A hole in the uterus during insertion can be a rare complication that occurs at 0.5 to 1.5 per 1000 insertions
* It can leak on its own in about 2-8 percent and is most likely to happen in the first three months after onset and during menstruation
* Infection after IUCD insertion is less than 1 percent
* If pregnancy with Copper T occurs in the womb, there is a risk of spontaneous abortions, infections and ectopic pregnancies.
Non-hormonal pill taken once a week
Ormeloxifene has been available as a contraceptive in our country since the early 1990s and is currently marketed here under the trade name Saheli, now it is available as Chhaya. Ormeloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), whereby it has a weak estrogenic effect in some tissues of the body (e.g. bones), while it has a strong anti-oestrogenic effect in others (e.g. uterus, breasts etc.).
* It is taken once a week
* So there are no side effects to be seen
* It is safe for new mothers and nursing women
* Women of all ages can take this pill
* It’s safer in women compared to hormonal pills who have had a stroke, blood clots in the legs or lungs, heart attack, and women with a history of breast cancer.
* It causes delayed periods in a few women. However, this happens to around 8 percent of users and usually in the first three months
* Some women may have a short period over time.
(Neema Sharma, Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj)