In the last few decades, the number of women using a variety of birth control methods has increased tremendously as a result of advancements in the medical niche, among other factors.
Over time, the role of a woman has completely changed. Apart from being highly educated, today’s woman is also career-oriented and also has a greater understanding of sexually transmitted diseases.
Yet, with so many birth control options in the market, many women may opt for one choice without the benefit of knowing its side effects. Each method has its own pros and cons, with the latter linked to health risks.
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So, let’s look at the advantages and shortcomings of some contraceptives and alternative birth control methods.
Birth Control Pills, Benefits & Disadvantages
Because contraceptive pills avail the subject considerable control over the situation, this option is highly popular among women. Some women regard the contraceptive pill to be significantly efficient. And since it comprises of hormones, the “pill” can regulate the functions of the ovaries along with the uterus.
Besides preventing unwanted pregnancies, most contraceptive pills have additional benefits, including relief from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy), benign breast cysts, and ovarian/endometrial cancer.
Regardless, the use of contraceptive pills comes with its side effects. Whereas some women will experience bleeding or spotting in between menstrual cycles, others will report other concerns. These include anomalies such as mood swings, blood pressure issues, breast tenderness, accelerated weight gain, nausea, diarrhea, among others.
Often, these side effects will not impact on every woman who’s taking the birth control pill and may also not last long. Generally, uptake of antibiotics or sedatives alongside the pill hampers the efficacy of this contraceptive.
Use of pills to curb pregnancy might also not be safe for women with a high risk of breast, uterine, or liver cancer. Also, you should avoid using the pill if you have the following health problems; blood clots, cardiovascular diseases, besides diabetes and liver disease.
What’s more, women above the age of 35, along with habitual smokers, should avoid the pill—this is because smoking accentuates the risk of blood clots.
Depo-Provera/Birth Control Injections, Benefits & Their Side Effects
As another alternative to contraceptive pills, you can opt for birth control shots. This method involves the injection of progesterone to prevent pregnancy for a specified period. These injections work by impeding ovulation as well as thickening the cervical mucus and thus blocking the sperm.
Some women will experience varying side effects after having birth control injections. These concerns may include irregular bleeding during the first 6-12 months after taking the progesterone shot. Else, certain women will cease having periods after prolonged use of Depo-Provera injections. Also, others will complain about having unusually heavy periods.
More progesterone side effects that occur less often include loss of appetite, weight gain, severe headaches, breast tenderness, nausea, and depression.
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A cervical cap is primarily a reusable rubber cup that wraps tightly over the cervix. This latex birth control device prevents sperms from reaching the womb. Some women may have a preference for this birth control method because they’ll not have to change the device even after having intercourse several times in one setting.
Nevertheless, you’ll need to consult your doctor for a recommendation and also instructions on how to fix it. Remember, this device is not to remain in your body beyond 48 hours—this helps curb the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Also, you’ll have to replace a cervical cap yearly.
This device is relatively similar to a cervical cap, with the main difference being the flexible rubber construct. Even so, a user needs to take it out within 24 hours after use to prevent the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Another disadvantage involves the tendency of the diaphragm to slip off, more so, if placed incorrectly. Some women may also report getting urinary tract infections (UTIs) after using this device.
This barrier-based birth control method entails the placement of a polyurethane birth control device on the cervix before intercourse. It’s useful in preventing sperm from entering the womb since it also contains spermicides. Akin to the diaphragm or the cervical cap, this device carries the risk of bringing about toxic shock syndrome, especially if not removed within a relatively short period (few hours).
This membrane-like contraceptive contains spermicide nonoxynol-9. Basically, you’ll need to fix the film on the cervix approximately an hour before the sexual act—subsequently it dissolves.
Other similar devices within this category include contraceptive foams and their contraceptive suppositories counterparts.
Even though this category of devices is relatively convenient to use, they carry a relatively high risk of conceiving and are as well significantly ineffective against HIV and other STDs.
Also, a considerable number of women find the foam being messy besides eliciting an unsavory taste. Typically, you’ll also have to reapply the inserted device routinely before every sexual act as a means of maximizing its birth control efficiency.
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It’s crucial to understand more about the benefits and side effects of each birth control method before deciding on which approach you should use. Discuss the ideal option with your physician to avoid the pitfalls of making the wrong choice. MangoClinic is here to help. Call us at (786) 422-9327 to book an appointment!