PULL OUT METHOD ISN’T THE BEST; 8 Things You Should Know About Birth Control
These are the 8 basic things everyone especially women need to know about birth control
THE “PULL OUT METHOD” ISN’T THE BEST
According to a paper published in the June 2009 issue of Contraception magazine;
For every 100 couples that use withdrawal as their birth control method, commonly known as the “pull out method,” four will become pregnant if they ALWAYS do it correctly, and 27 will become pregnant if they DON’T ALWAYS do it correctly
The authors concluded that typical use of withdrawal leads to pregnancy 18 percent of the time, while typical use of condoms leads to pregnancy 17 percent of the time. In comparison, for every 100 women using the pill, about five will get pregnant each year. Those aren’t bad numbers for a free, all-natural birth control method with zero side effects. But remember, withdrawal won’t protect you from STDs, and couples rarely employ the withdrawal method 100-percent effectively. That means, if you plan on being sexually active, you’re better off going with a more consistent, reliable form of birth control like the pill or an IUD.
CONDOMS CAN HELP PROTECT AGAINST HPV
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
Condoms are a highly effective way to help protect against genital human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection, currently infecting 79 million Americans.
HPV is responsible for
- genital warts
- recurrent respiratory papillomatosis
- cervical cancer
- vulva and vaginal cancer.
Condoms are currently the only birth control method that also protects against HPV and other STDs.
THE PILL REDUCES THE RISK OF DEVELOPING OVARIAN CANCER
Birth control pills prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation, which can reduce the risk for ovarian cancer. According to a 2008 study published in The Lancet,
if the current level of oral contraceptive use remains steady, 30,000 cases of ovarian cancer worldwide could be prevented each year.
The study also revealed that the longer women use oral contraceptives, the lower their risk of ovarian cancer. However, because the pill can also increase the risk of breast and cervical cancer, The American Cancer Society does not currently make recommendations about taking it as a prevention measure against ovarian cancer.
ANTIBIOTICS WON’T CHANGE THE PILL’S EFFECTIVENESS
A lot of people have been warned to double up on contraception when they take antibiotics. But for the most part, that’s a myth.
“It’s only a very few, very old antibiotics that can interfere [with the effectiveness of the pill],” says Dr. Kari Braaten. Research has shown that rifampin may be one of these. “The common ones like penicillin, flagyll or a Z-Pak won’t do a thing,” she says. A 2011 Harvard study that included 43,000 women confirmed this.
The study found that there was no difference in the effectives of oral birth control pill between women who took antibiotics and women who did not.
YOU CAN SAFELY USE THE PILL TO SKIP YOUR PERIOD
If you want to skip your period, go for it. Just skip the sugar pills and start a new pack.
“There’s no biological reason you need a menstrual cycle, unless you’re trying to get pregnant, of course,” said Jennifer Gunter, M.D., an OB/GYN in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Plus, there are some added perks in taking the oral birth control pill continuously, namely: fewer periods, no monthly bloating, fewer headaches and less-severe menstrual cramps.
THE PILL CAN MESS WITH YOUR SEX DRIVE
Although the effect is thought to be slight, the pill can influence libido in some women. But it’s not all bad news.
A 2012 review in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that while some women experienced a decrease in sex drive, others felt an increase. Still, the majority of women studied reported no change at all to their sex drive.
LONG-TERM USE OF THE PILL CAN INCREASE CERVICAL CANCER RISK
A 2011 review from the journal Gynecological Endocrinology looked at 28 studies and found that the relative risk of cervical cancer was slightly higher among women who used the pill over long periods, when compared with women who have never used the pill. Experts say the effect might be correlated with those women who are also infected with a high-risk strain of the HPV virus. Nonetheless, after weighing both the risks and benefits, The World Health Organization doesn’t oppose using oral birth control.
COPPER IUDS CAN CAUSE HEAVY BLEEDING
Paraguard, a copper IUD, is a safe, long-term contraceptive implant. You can keep it in for up to 10 years, but it can lead to heavy bleeding and cramping in some women. Women who already have heavy periods or painful cramps may want to stick with oral contraceptives or a hormonal IUD instead.