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Contraception (general information)

Be responsible for your own health, health protection and safe sex! Try to be competent manager of your menstrual cycle and sexual activities! Modern contraception can protect from unplanned pregnancies and STIs, including HIV.

You need to know not much to be able to manage it. You need contraceptives if you are planning sexual relations. Choose family planning method according to your cycles. If your menstrual cycles are regular – it means:

  • Every month your ovaries are producing follicles and one or two viable eggs which mean you can become pregnant almost every month.
  • Every month you are ovulating at the middle of your cycle and you can become pregnant during 24–48 hours around the time of ovulation.
  • Every month your uterus (endometrium) is prepared to receive and develop already fertilized egg (future baby).

It means if you are healthy – you need birth control methods to prevent unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.

Effectiveness

Contraception - Birth control pills

Contraception – Birth control pills

All the methods of birth control listed below are effective. However, no method is absolutely 100% reliable. The reliability for each method is given in percentages. For example, the contraceptive injection is more than 99% effective. This means that less than 1 woman in 100 will become pregnant each year using this method of contraception.

The effectiveness of some methods depends on how you use them. You have to use them properly, or they may lose their effect. For example, different pills can be effective up to 99% if taken correctly (according to instruction). If it is not (for example, if you miss a pill, took pills on wrong days, etc) then it becomes less effective. Other methods which depend on user are barrier methods, the progestogen only pills, and natural family planning.

Some contraceptive methods depend not so much on user and need to be renewed only infrequently or never. These methods are: the contraceptive injections, implants, intrauterine devices, and surgical sterilization.
When no contraception is used, more than 80 in 100 sexually active women become pregnant within 1 year. It means the possibility of the pregnancy in women who have regular sexual relations is 80%.

Which kinds of contraception are available?

Presently the following modern contraception is available:

HORMONAL METHODS (Birth control pills, Combined oral pills, Progestogen-only pills, Progestogen-only injectable, Combined injectable, Subdermal implants).

BARRIER METHODS (Male condoms, Female condoms, Diaphragms, Caps, Spermicides)

INTRAUTERIN DEVICES (IUDs)

NATURAL METHODS

STERILIZATION

DUAL CONTRACEPTION

PLAN B – Emergency contraception – Morning After Pills

If you should choose family planning method, it should suit your menstrual cycle and please don’t forget to pay a special attention to:

  • effectiveness of the chosen method,
  • possible side effects,
  • possible risks,
  • contraindications for each mehtod (check vaginal discharge, yeast infection, STIs)
  • convenience and personal preferences,
  • future plans for pregnancy.

Try to identify the best combination and balance for you and for your present menstrual cycle and lifestyle.

HORMONAL CONTRACEPTION

There is only one kind of contraceptives which can prevent pregnancy and control your menstrual cycle. It is hormonal contraception. There are several kinds of hormonal contraception:

1. Combined oral pills,
2. Progestogen-only pills,
3. Progestogen-only injectable method,
4. Combined injectable method,
5. Subdermal implants.

The main mechanism of hormonal contraception based on blockade of the ovulation. No ovulation – no pregnancy.

If you are ready and if you already decided to start your sexual life – better visit your doctor for selection of the most convenient contraception for you. In general all girls and women can use hormonal contraception but sometimes you could have contraindications. Please read instructions very careful.


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