7 Facts You Should Know If You Take Any Birth Control Measures

The issue of birth control keeps rearing its head under the most unexpected circumstances. In India, family planning was given a major push during the 1960s, and became an important item on the government’s agenda from the 1970s onwards. You might be driven by a desire to do your bit to control the population explosion which has hit the planet since the previous century. You might have more practical, even mundane concerns which makes you look for an appropriate means of contraception. Therefore, you should be fully aware of the options before you choose any kind of birth control measures, including contraceptive pills.

Know Your Birth Control Options
The world has come a long way from when coitus interruptus was the only option available to partners who desired to enjoy sexual pleasures without risking pregnancy. The other option was to eat an apple instead of mating. Planned parenthood, or family planning took on a new dimension as governments realized that they must take a stand one way or another. Since, abortions are not an option for most governments, prevention of pregnancy took on a bigger dimension. For men the options are to use a condom, or get a vasectomy (closing the vas deferens) for those who don’t desire to sire any children. Vasectomy is a permanent closure. So, people should consider the matter carefully before opting for it. Scientists are exploring options of developing a male contraceptive pill.

Women Have Numerous Birth Control Options
Popping the pill became popular in the 1970s. It was a vital action for actresses, models, even sportswomen who couldn’t afford any untimely or unplanned pregnancies. However, birth control pills have come a long way from the formulation used in the previous century making them safer, and more effective. Unfortunately, they can only be bought when you have a valid prescription. This prevents many women access, especially women who need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. In countries which have a significant number of Catholics, access to birth control pills is a major concern. What often gets overlooked is that when done correctly, birth control has a positive impact on the health and professional growth of women, who are also better able to assign quality time to their families.

Other Birth Control Options
Placing an intrauterine device (IUD) like a copper T is a fairly popular option for women who can’t access contraceptive pills, or are unsure of being able to take them regularly. IUDs have proven to be one of the most effective contraceptive methods. Some women prefer to use a diaphragm as it doesn’t interfere with the pleasure, but prevents pregnancy. There are emergency “day after” pills which can be taken by any lady who didn’t use any contraception, but does not want to become pregnant. However, it is vital to note that these should only be used as an emergency, not as a regular measure. There are options of taking contraceptive injections, using a vaginal ring, contraceptive patch, or a hormonal patch to prevent conception.

Permanent solution: Women who feel that they don’t want any more children can opt for tubal ligation. In this the Fallopian tubes are tied up, thereby preventing the ovum from passing through to the uterus.

Consult Your Doctor Before You Choose Any Birth Control Method
It is advisable for you to consult your doctor and your partner before you opt for any contraceptive method. Your doctor knows your system, and family medical history. For example, if there is a family history of uterine, cervical, or even breast cancer in your family; your doctor might advise you to explore other options. Further, certain medications are known to disrupt the impact of birth control pills, and if you are on any such medicines, then using some other contraceptive method might be the preferred option. Your partner might have reservations about certain methods of contraception, which you would be well advised to respect. There should be a realization that the aim is to prevent unwanted pregnancy, not to diminish pleasure, or create a sense of guilt.

Bust These Myths About the Pill
The commonest myth surrounding birth control pills is that taking them make you gain weight. There have been no proven links between taking oral contraceptives (OCs), and weight gain, though you might feel bloated due to the estrogen in it. You can counter the increased appetite caused by the progestin with an appropriate diet and exercise schedule. Further, don’t treat the contraceptive pill like other therapeutic medicines, and go off it periodically. You increase the risk of conceiving if you take a break while still being sexually active. OCs don’t decrease your libido, though some women report a heightened sex drive when they go off combination pills.

Stick to a Tight Routine
When you take OC pills, you should be careful about taking it at precisely the same time daily. Though there is a three hour window within which you must take the pill; it is safer to stick to your schedule. The combination pills, which are progestin-estrogen pills, offer you a day’s window as long as you are careful about having two pills the next day. When you have the birth control pills regularly without a break, you are sure of regular periods, reduced PMS symptoms, and predictability. If you had irregular periods to begin with, then this regularity of menses becomes beneficial. And, don’t fall for the myth that if you take OC pills for a prolonged period, you become infertile.

Takeaway: If you want to have fewer children, or none, you would be able to ensure that without any major inconvenience, or jeopardy to your health.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors