Discerning women should weigh their choices and make informed decisions when it comes to a contraceptive. Not only will it prevent pregnancy (whether you’re into birth spacing between kids or just aren’t ready to get pregnant yet), most of these contraceptives have benefits for your overall health. So women, take charge and choose one that will suit your lifestyle and preferences.
CONDOM – A condom is a thin latex sheath that prevents the exchange of sperm and body fluids between partners.
- Protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS.
- Prevents cervical cancers by reducing the risk of human papillomavirus in women.
- Safe, effective and easy to use.
* Latex condoms should only be used with water-based lubricants, not oil-based lubricants that break down the latex. Be sure to follow the instructions for use found in each condom packet. Very rarely, allergies to latex may occur.
ORAL PILL – Oral contraceptive pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation, thin the lining of the uterus and thicken cervical mucus to prevent pregnancy.
- Prevents ovulation, thus pregnancy.
- Regulates the menstrual cycle and reduces premenstrual syndrome.
- Prevents ovarian and endometrial cancers and other forms of pelvic inflammatory diseases.
- Progestin-only formulations are especially suited and safe for breastfeeding mothers and smoking women.
- Pills with anti-androgen hormone provide an added benefit of clear, smooth skin and treatment for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
*Slight nausea may be experienced when taking oral contraceptives. Most side-effects are mild and usually disappear after a few months. Choose a low-dose pill so that your body will adjust easily. Pills do not protect against STI’s and HIV/AIDS.
INJECTABLE – Injectable contraceptive stops ovulation, thins the lining of the uterus, and thickens the cervical mucus. In combination, these actions prevent pregnancy.
- Prevents unplanned pregnancy.
- Provides a 3-month protection with a single injection.
- Can be safely used by breastfeeding women.
- Helps prevent iron deficiency anemia, ectopic pregnancy and some forms of pelvic inflammatory diseases.
- Does not interfere with intercourse.
*Amenorrhea (or the absence of menstruation) is an expected benefit when using injectable contraceptives. The absence of menstruation is not harmful to the body. In fact, in most cases, it prevents anemia by reducing blood loss. Normal menstruation and fertility will return after one stops using the injectable contraceptive.
INTRAUTERINE DEVICE – The copper-bearing IUD is a small, flexible, plastic frame with copper sleeves or wire around it, and is being used as an effective method for family planning. The effectiveness of IUD may last as long as 10 years.
- Long term protection for up to 10 years. It is also highly economical in the long run.
- Can be used by women who cannot tolerate a hormone-based method.
- Does not cause weight gain.
- Medically safe and easily reversible (the IUD can be removed when you want to get pregnant).
* IUD should be avoided by women who have known or suspected pregnancy; pelvic inflammatory disease; abnormal uterine bleeding of unknown cause; and severe anemia.