There's been a lot of news about STIs lately. We all know it's important to protect yourself against disease, but it's also important to protect yourself against pregnancy if having a baby isn't part of your immediate plan. Maybe you already have a method that works for you, but in case you're unhappy and want to explore other options, I've put together a three-part series on finding the right method.
Want to see part one? Then
|Birth control pills||You only have to think about them once a day, and they monitor your period so you either always know when you're getting it or you can choose not to get it at all. They're 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.||Some people don't like the idea of taking hormones because of the possible side effects like blood clots and stroke. They may also decrease your sex drive, make you moody, or cause weight gain. Plus the pill does not protect you against STIs.|
|Male condoms||They're cheap ($5 for a 12 pack), you can buy them at most drugstores, they're easy to use, and they can protect you against STIs. They're also easily reversible, meaning that you can try getting pregnant as soon as you stop using them. All this and they're 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.||You have to stop what you're doing to put one on, which interrupts the flow of intimacy and can be a real turn off for some people.|
|Female condoms||They can protect against STIs better than male condoms since they cover your entire mucous membrane. They're made with polyurethane so they're great for people with latex allergies. You can also insert one up to eight hours before intercourse, so you don't have to interrupt intimacy by putting one on.||They're more expensive than male condoms ($10 for a 5 pack), and many women complain that they're harder to use and can be noisy.|
|The NuvaRing||You only have to think about it once a month. It's monophasic, meaning it delivers a steady amount of hormone consistently, which is great if other forms of hormonal birth control tend to make you moody. Plus it's 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.||It doesn't protect against STIs, and some men complain that they can feel it when they have sex with a woman. It's also been known to fall out.|
These are just some of the methods that are available to women. Tune in tomorrow for part two!