In the life of a couple, the decision of whether or not to have children and when to have them is fundamental. Responsibility for contraception can be acquired by either of the two or jointly.
From the moment a woman has her first menstruation, the menstrual cycle begins: every 28 days or so, a gland in the brain releases hormones that act on the ovary and cause an egg to mature. Around day 14 of the cycle, that is, day 14 counting from the first day of the previous period, ovulation occurs and the mature ovum leaves the ovary towards the fallopian tubes. At that time if the ovum is reached by a sperm, fertilization will occur and therefore pregnancy. Meanwhile, changes are also taking place in the mucus of the cervix that becomes more fluid to allow the passage of sperm.
In addition, the uterine wall (endometrium) thickens and prepares to feed the egg if pregnancy occurs. During intercourse, sperm are released through the penis into the vagina and into the uterus and from there to the fallopian tubes. If the ovum is fertilized, it travels to the uterus, sticks to the wall, and the fetus develops for 9 months. If the ovum is not fertilized, it is detached along with the endometrium and menstruation or rule appears.
The contraceptives act at different levels within this process. They provide freedom to choose when to get pregnant and allow you to enjoy sexual intercourse without the risk of having an unwanted pregnancy.
How does it work?
It is made up of two types of hormones: estrogens and progesterone. It prevents the egg from maturing in the ovary and being released. And it also thickens the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to pass.
What types are there?
There are two types:
- Monophasic: all pills have the same amount of hormone throughout the cycle.
- Triphasic: not all pills have the same amount of hormones; There are three groups and it aims to imitate the natural cycle of women.
Can everyone take it?
First of all, you must always consult a professional and be indicated by him, since there may be some contraindications and it is necessary to carry out previous gynecological controls and once the pill is taken, annually.
Most women can take the pill, but it is contraindicated in:
- pregnancy or suspected pregnancy
- heart attack
- liver tumors
- abnormal vaginal bleeding
- cancer of the breast or other sexual organs
- thrombophlebitis or pulmonary embolism
In women with diabetes , high cholesterol, who consume other medications, smokers, with high blood pressure, they should consult with their doctor to assess the risks that taking the pill may pose in these conditions.
How do you take the pill?
The first time you should start taking the first day of the rule. One tablet every day always at approximately the same time, for 21 days.
Then a 7-day break is made, in which the period will come and on the eighth day a new container is started. Take for a full three weeks and rest for a week
How effective is it?
The pill has a 99.9% success rate if taken correctly, every day and always at the same time. In addition, the pill is effective from the first day of use, if this is totally correct.
Later we will see situations in which it can lose its effectiveness.
Other hormonal contraceptive methods
It is administered intramuscularly and is released regularly for several weeks. It works in a similar way to the pill and has a similar effectiveness. There is no risk of forgetting the daily intake, but irregular periods may appear, or even disappear, there is a risk of weight gain and fertility and regular cycles can take months to appear.
They are placed under the skin and release hormones regularly. They are not used in our country.
It is a latex sheath that covers the erect penis and collects semen, preventing it from entering the vagina. It is 90% effective, provided it is used correctly.
How is it used?
Once the erection occurs, it is placed by unrolling it from the end of the penis. You should never open the package with your mouth because you could accidentally chew on the condom. Once ejaculation has occurred, the condom must be removed before the erection ends so that semen does not spill out. Check that it is intact before throwing it away. Condoms are for single use only.
- No prescription or medical check is needed.
- Protects from sexually transmitted diseases.
- It is easy to carry.
- It has no side effects.
- Risk of breakage. If this happens, consult a professional as soon as possible.
- Latex allergy There are condoms that do not contain latex.
- It can decrease the sensitivity and spontaneity of the relationship.
Sponges and spermicides
They are chemicals that enter the vagina and inactivate sperm. They can be in the form of cream, ovules or sponges.
On their own they have very little contraceptive efficacy, but combined with another method, such as the condom, the failure rate is minimal. They do not require a prescription and are easy to use. They must be applied before each intercourse, and irritation of the vagina or penis may occur.
It is a latex hemisphere with a metal ring that is placed on the cervix and prevents the passage of sperm. It is 90% effective.
How is it used?
It should be placed before intercourse together with spermicidal cream and not removed until after 6 hours.
- It has no side effects.
- It is reusable after proper cleaning.
- It is cheap.
- It is necessary to measure the neck in advance and its placement requires training.
- Spermicide must be applied in every relationship.
- It must be carefully preserved.
- Latex allergy
- It can remain inserted up to 24 hours after intercourse, but never less than 6 hours.
- It can affect the spontaneity of the relationship.
It consists of a cover that adapts to the vagina. It is 90% effective. It does not need medical controls and prevents sexually transmitted diseases. It is one-use only. It can be expensive and affect the spontaneity of relationships.
IUD (intrauterine device)
It is a piece of plastic covered with copper wires that is inserted into the uterus by the gynecologist. Its efficiency is 99%. It makes it difficult for sperm to reach the egg and produces alterations in the endometrium that prevent the egg from nesting.
- It does not interfere in relationships.
- There is no risk of forgetting.
- It lasts for 3-5 years.
- It can lead to bleeding and pain.
- It can be expelled spontaneously.
- It is not recommended for women who have not had children.
- It does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
- Removal may be necessary because of pain, bleeding, or infection.
- You need medical control.
- Allergy to copper.
It is vasectomy in men, and tubal ligation in women. It consists of a simple surgical operation in which the semen or egg ducts are cut or blocked respectively.
- It does not alter the menstrual cycle or the sexual capacity of the couple.
- It does not need follow-up and has no side effects.
- 100% efficiency.
- It is a surgical process. It is irreversible.
- You must be very sure before doing it.
- In the case of vasectomy, you have to wait a while and several ejaculations to ensure the absence of sperm.
Natural methods are cheap, safe and do not need medical follow-up, but they have low efficacy, there is restriction of sexual relations, they are not useful in irregular cycles and they require important instruction from the woman.
Ogino or the calendar
It consists of calculating the fertile days of the cycle and abstaining during them. 20-50% effectiveness, cycles can be very irregular and calculations fail.
It consists of measuring the vaginal or rectal temperature, upon waking, at the same time and with the same thermometer. A temperature graph is formed and the moment it rises, ovulation occurs.
Thus, after observing several cycles, the fertile days can be calculated. 80% efficiency, in regular cycles.
Billings method or cervical mucus
The filancia of the cervical mucus is observed. When this increases, ovulation has occurred. 75% efficiency, in regular cycles and with great training by women.
It is a combination of the previous three. With regular cycles and training, 95% efficiency can be achieved.
It consists of withdrawing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation. It is only 40% efficient, since small semen emissions occur before ejaculation. Pelvic congestion may appear in women and prostatic hypertrophy in men.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.