Howdy my sexy salemites! I hope your Jan term is saucy, spicy, and safe!
This month’s topic is birth control! There are several reasons to use birth control, like to prevent pregnancy or to help regulate periods and/or hormones, so let’s look at the different methods for each!
To help regulate periods, many people use the birth control pill, which should be taken at the same time every day. It can be used to skip periods and is covered by most insurances, but most packs cost $0-$50. The birth control patch is similar, but instead of taking a pill every day, you replace the patch weekly. This might be easier for those of us who forget to take our meds (guilty!).
Next, let’s look at some more expensive methods that need to be administered less often. The birth control vaginal ring (aka the NuvaRing) is a small flexible ring placed inside the vagina that releases hormones. These hormones (mostly estrogen and progestin) stop ovulation which helps to prevent pregnancy! Another option is the birth control shot (aka the Depo shot). This shot also contains hormones that prevent ovulation, preventing pregnancy! This shot needs to be administered every 12-13 weeks (about three months), so if you have a doctor/nurse in the area, this might be the best option for you!
Finally, the Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) and birth control implant are options that only need to be replaced every few YEARS. Some of these options don’t have hormones and use copper to change how sperm moves so that they can’t get to the egg. These options can be pricey, especially if you don’t have insurance, but are some of the most effective and you don’t even have to think about them for years!
These methods are great, but they don’t prevent STDs! So what should you do if you want to prevent pregnancy and STDs? Use a condom! Condoms are really good at preventing STDs and there are options for vaginal sex, anal sex and oral sex. Most are used on the penis, but they also make internal condoms that can be placed inside the vagina. Use them with another type of birth control to help prevent pregnancy even more!
Accidents happen though! Emergency contraceptives, like Plan B, can work up to five days after unprotected sex, but they work the best within three days. The Paraguard IUD and ella can also block a pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex. These methods are more expensive than most birth control methods, but they are your best bet if an accident happens.
So what should you use? Planned Parenthood made a quiz to help you decide what birth control you should use, but ultimately it is the decision of you and your doctor. Talk to your primary care physician or OB/GYN and they can help you make that decision.
Planned Parenthood can help you find a doctor to help prescribe birth control and can even help pay for it. Go to PlannedParenthood.com or https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/birth-control-methods to get more info!