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What's the Right Birth Control For You? Part Two

What's the Right Birth Control For You? Part Two

If you're sexually active, choosing the right method to prevent pregnancy and protect you from STIs can be a tough decision. I've already told you about some popular methods of birth control, but here are some other options you may want to consider.

To see them


Method Pros Cons
The Patch You only have to think about it once a week and it's discreet (you wear it on your upper arm, upper torso, belly, or bum). You can bathe, shower, work out, or swim with it, and it's 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Some women don't like taking hormones since there are serious risks involved such as blood clots and stroke. It may leave a sticky mark on your skin, and you have to check it every day because some women complain that it peels or falls off.
IUCs (previously called IUDs) It's inserted in your uterus, so it can't be felt during sex. Also, it can be left inside you for up to five or 10 years (depending on the kind you get), so it's great if you know it'll be a while until you're ready to start a family or if you've already had children and aren't planning on having anymore. You can get IUCs that are with or without hormones and it's 99.4 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. It has to be inserted by your gynecologist, which some women say can be very painful. After it's inserted, you may experience irregular bleeding and cramps.
Diaphragms Once you get fitted, if you take care of it properly, your diaphragm should last one to two years. It doesn't change your menstrual cycle or affect your future fertility. It usually can't be felt during intercourse, and it can be kept inside you for up to 24 hours. It's only 84 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and it doesn't protect you against STIs and using one may cause a urinary tract infection. You also have to use spermicide with it, which some women find irritating to their lady business. It may become dislodged while you're having sex, which would make it even less effective at preventing pregnancy. If your weight fluctuates by 10 pounds, you'll need to be refitted for a new size. Also, if you have a latex allergy, this method isn't for you.
Cervical Caps Once your gynecologist fits you for one, you can keep it for a year or more. It's reusable, and it won't affect your menstrual cycle or your future fertility. If you're allergic to latex, there's a latex-free version called the FemCap. It's only 86 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and won't protect you against STIs. Some women have a hard time inserting and removing it. Also, you have to use it with spermicide, which can be messy and irritating.

These are just some of the methods that are available to women. Stay tuned for part three.


Kristensaurus Kristensaurus 7 years
Oh my gosh, I forgot that I was on the patch for two months in high school until I saw it here! It was terrible! Like allourregrets above, after two days the patch would start peeling off and sometimes coming off entirely when I pulled down my underwear to use the bathroom. Then I'd have to stick it back on and hope it survived the rest of the week! Very stressful. After two months I had dark patch-sized marks all over my abdomen and butt and they itched! That was the last straw, so I switched back to the BCP.
ruthieroo ruthieroo 9 years
I was on the pill briefly and had no problems, but for me the patch was a disaster. I started using it in April and had a stroke in Sept of the same year. 5 blood clots. Mind you, I did have a job that required sitting the majority of the day but I was not informed that would be a problem. My husband & I now use condoms and its fine with me. I'm not saying the patch is a bad idea but I would recommend going over all of your family history and your daily activities with your doctor before deciding on this.
switchblades switchblades 9 years
I've tried a lot of different brands and strengths of the pill, and had so many unpleasant side effects! I started on a low-dose at 12 years old because I had such irregular periods (as in, I didn't stop with the bleeding for 12 consecutive months...not fun for a little girl!). Then my doctor increased my dose but he put it up too high, cue horrendous cramps, acne, terrible moodiness, and severe infection. This also caused a reaction in my body, where lower doses were ineffective at regulating my cycle, so we were back to square one. I've been on Tri-Cyclen, Alesse, Min-Ovral, and about 6 or 7 others over the years, all before I was even sexually active. In 2005 I went to see a gynecologist (after fighting with my doctor for a referral for about four years) and she suggested I try the patch, because of the fact that I was well into my second year of university and not able to take the pill at the same time every day, which lead to me forgetting it a lot. I absolutely LOVE the patch. It's easy, and as long as you put it somewhere that the skin won't twist and bend a lot (I put it on my butt) it's fine. Sometimes you need to be careful about the edges getting stuck on your jeans, because then it might rip off, but my gynecologist said the edges coming a little loose isn't going to make it not work, as long as you make sure the patch itself is still stuck. Aesthetically it may not be the best, but I can't stand the thought of an IUD or the ring, and the pill wasn't doing it for me. To each their own I suppose though!
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 9 years
For me the IUD is ideal. Doctors don't necessarily want you to wait until after you've had a baby, they want you to be out of pregnancy range. I got mine when I was 19 and with probably renew at 24 before I go back to a more reversible birth control. I ha dto get the Mirena (hormone) IUD because I use mine not for pregnancy but to get rid of my horrible cramps and period. Because it is for my period I wanted a lower dose of hormones since it is a long term thing. Oh IUD's only hurt with insertion, since they go past you're cervix, but kikidawn if your friends IUDs moves (they shouldn't feel them at all) than maybe they need to go back to their doctor.
mblab mblab 9 years
I knew someone that found out after a year on the pill that her serious family history of life threatening blood clots should have prompted her doctor to NOT prescribe her the pill. She luckily didn't experience any complications while on the pill but once they realized the mistake her only birth control option was an IUD. She said it hurt a lot when they put it in and her periods were irregular. (I don't know if she got one with hormones or not) I do know that the research done on IUDs has basically only been done with women that have already had children. Since there's little to no research on its effectiveness/complications with women that have not had kids most doctors will not do it simply because of that if you haven't already had a child.
yogaprincess yogaprincess 9 years
I gained a lot of weight when I went on the Yasmin pill. I have since stopped and am now looking for a new form of birth control. Do any other forms of birth control or pills not cause weight gain?
Rose-Gamgee Rose-Gamgee 9 years
My experience with an IUD has been great. No periods, no side effects, nothing to remember to pack when I go on vacation. Have it replaced every 5 years and that is it.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Thanks very much for the links and information Dear :D They both seem kind of iffy to me ... I don't think I'd ever use either one. And it's interesting that the cervical cap goes down in effectiveness after having a child or an abortion.
Nitrobezene Nitrobezene 9 years
IUD sounds ideal
designerel designerel 9 years
eek the IUD freaks me out. i'm fine sticking with the pill...
DearSugar DearSugar 9 years
kikdawn - no question is a stupid question :) You're right - a cervical cap and a diaphragm do look a lot a like. The only difference is the size. A diaphragm fits over your vagina and covers the cervix, and a cervical cap is smaller and only covers your cervix. CaterpillarGirl - that is so funny, and very inventive of you.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
:ROTFL: That is hilarious CaterpillarGirl!!!
Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 9 years
The patch gave me horrible nausea.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I cant use any of these either. Funny story, my mom used to teach sex ed and i found her stash of "examples" and thought the diaphragm was a hat so I took it for my doll.
Hootie Hootie 9 years
syako syako 9 years
I'm sure I *could* find someone to do it, but honestly I'd want someone I trust and know well to be the one inserting, you know?
seraphicstar seraphicstar 9 years
iuds are so easy :) if you are determined enough you will be able to find somewhere that inserts them if you have not had a child. planned parenthood did mine. the pain is minimal btw, it only takes 5 minutes to insert it... most people have 1-2 days of cramping after. the hormonal version usually stops periods (added bonus!)
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
The IUD intrigues me, but it really scares me at the same time. I do not handle gynological pain well so it looks like that wouldn't be a good option.
syako syako 9 years
most gynecologists will not insert an IUD unless you've already had a baby - so the "holding off until you're ready to start a family" doesn't necessarily apply.
petite42 petite42 9 years
The copper IUD (without hormones) is good up to 10 years.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Ok this may sound stupid :OOPS: but what is the difference between a diaphragm and a cervical cap? They look the same in the pictures up there. Oh and I don't think I will ever use an IUD... I've known two people that have had them. They said they move and are very very painful.
laneylaney laneylaney 9 years
I wouldn't recommend the patch either. I was on it for two years and it was trouble for me. I am on the pill now and okay with it... I get ovarian cysts so I kind of have to be on the pill to keep them at bay.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
oh yeah, I forgot about the nasty sticky square that it leaves on your bum. (or wherever you put it) so not attractive.
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