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Contraceptives are helping to prevent and reduce adolescent pregnancy and STD. There are about 15 different contraceptives. The contraceptives I will be touching upon are the male condom, female condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, IUD, the contraceptive sponge, spermicide, contraceptive injections, vaginal ring, Contraceptive Patch, contraceptive patch, and sterilization. As the years go by more contraceptives are developed and improved for adolescents and adults to be able to enjoy intercourse. There are numerous pros and cons when it comes to contraceptives. A lot of concern has been brought up about contraceptives influencing adolescents to have intercourse at a very early stage in life. The side effects of contraceptives whether it’s barrier or hormonal can differ for each person. Most, but not all contraceptives can be bought at a local drug store; other contraceptives must be prescribed by a doctor. Schools and workplaces have raised more awareness about contraceptives due to unwanted pregnancies, teenage pregnancies and the high rate of STIs.
In the US about 211 million pregnancies are unwanted and about 43% of those pregnancies are due to misuse of contraceptives. Not only are unwanted pregnancies high, STD rates were reported 2 million in the United States in 2016. This is one of the highest numbers ever recorded. If people were more informed on the different types of contraceptives and how to use them correctly I believe these numbers would decrease.
The first type of contraceptives I want to touch is barrier contraceptives. There are six different types of contraceptives that are just barriers. The most popular contraceptive barrier is condoms. Condoms are made out of Latex, Polyurethane, and Polyisoprene. Condoms come in different sizes, textures, colors, and flavors. Condoms also can come lubricated or non lubricated. A male condom is worn on the penis by the male. Female condoms are a plastic pouch inserted in the vagina. Condoms are the only method of birth control that protects people from sexually transmitted diseases. “The effectiveness of condoms is about eighty-two percent if used correctly and has a sixty-nine percent HIV risk reduction”(Yah C., Simate, G., Hlangothi, P., & Somai, B.,2018). “Some studies indicate that the efficiency of condoms depends on the condom use, health promotion and individual lifestyle behavior”(Yah C., Simate, G., Hlangothi, P., & Somai, B.,2018). Not knowing how to use a condom correctly can have serious negative effects in terms of STDs and HIV. “Higher incidence of STIs than in the past is reported in the United States and the United Kingdom not only in adolescent, but also in middle-aged adults”(Pinyopornpanish, K., Thanamee, S., Jiraporncharoen, W., Thaikla, K., McDonald, J., Aramrattana, A., & Angkurawaranon, C., 2017). Condoms are more easy to get hold of for adolescents because condoms can be found at almost any store and bought without a prescription. Adolescents and adults can be allergic to latex and not know it until they experience side effects. Side effects can include rashes, burning sensations, itchiness in the vagina area, and even yeast infections. These side effects can happen rapidly or the next day or two depending on the type of allergy the person has.
Contraceptive sponges are disposable foam sponges. The sponge is filled with spermicide. The female inserts the sponge before intercourse. What the sponge does is help block the sperm from entering the uterus. The spermicide in the sponge is supposed to kill the sperm. The sponge must be left inserted in the vagina for six hours after intercourse then taken out after the six hours are up. “Today the vaginal sponge is the only sponge approved by the FDA” (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health, 2012). Spermicide can also be taken alone. “The most common spermicide agent is a chemical called nonoxynol-9″(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of women’s Health,2012). “It is available in several concentrations and forms, including foam, jelly, cream, suppository, and film”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). ” A spermicide should be inserted into the vagina no more than 30 minutes prior to intercourse and left in place six to eight hours after intercourse to prevent pregnancy”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012).”spermicides do not prevent the transmission of STD and may cause allergic reactions”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012).
A diaphragm is a cup made of latex that is flexible and inserted during intercourse. “Spermicidal cream or jelly should be used with a diaphragm”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). For a diaphragm to work correctly it has to be the correct size. “A healthcare provider can determine the right fit”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). After two years, or to be on the safe side after one year, a diaphragm should be replaced with another if you choose.
Cervical caps and diaphragms are alike but cervical caps are smaller. “The cervical cap is a thin silicone cup”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). Cervical caps are also inserted into the vagina before intercourse. “As with a diaphragm, a cervical cap should be used with a spermicidal cream or jelly”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). Cervical caps should be removed from the vagina before forty-eight hours. “Currently, Fem Cap is the only cervical cap approved by the FDA”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). Besides spermicidal cream or jelly causing an allergic reaction, diaphragms and cervical caps cause a lot of discomforts.
“Hormonal methods of birth control use hormones to regulate or stop ovulation and prevent pregnancy”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). “Hormones can be introduced into the body through various methods, including pills, injections, skin patches, transdermal gels, vaginal rings, intrauterine systems, and implantable rods”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). Injectable birth control is an injection given either in the arm or buttocks every three months. The injection is progestin and Depo-Provera. “This method of birth control can cause a temporary loss of bone density, particularly in adolescents”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). Bone loss can be regained after quitting DMPA. This birth control method should be taken with a lot of vitamins.
POPS is a progestin-only pill. Most people who do not get the shot take POPS. These pills must be taken every day at the same time. The pills are very tiny, different colors and can come in discreet packaging. POPS can sometimes mess with a woman’s ovulation. “POPs thicken cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to swim into the uterus or to enter the fallopian tube”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). “POPs alter the normal cyclical changes in the uterine lining and may result in unscheduled or breakthrough bleeding”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012). “These hormones do not appear to be associated with an increased risk of blood clots”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health,2012).
Combined hormonal methods is a hormonal method that has a synthetic estrogen and many different progestins. The synthetic estrogen is called ethinyl estradiol. “The combined estrogen/progestin drugs can be delivered by pills, a patch, or a vaginal ring”(US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health, 2012). This method could cause blood clots. The pill COC also has synthetic estrogen and progestin.
The contraceptive patch is a plastic patch that sticks to the skin. Once the patch is on the skin the patch releases the hormones through the skin into the bloodstream. The patch can be placed in many different areas on the body. You can put the patch on your upper body, lower abdomen, buttocks and outer arm. Every week a new patch is put on the skin for three weeks only; the fourth week a patch is not placed on the skin so the woman is able to get her menstruation.
The vaginal ring is a two-inch thin ring that is inserted into the vagina. The vaginal ring gives off ethinyl estradiol and progestin. The ring will release these hormones for about three weeks while inserted. After three weeks the ring is removed and replaced with a new ring seven days later. If a Women’s has cancer, high blood pressure or heart disease this product is not recommended for them. The vaginal ring may also cause the same side effects as the other combined oral contraceptive pills.
There are only two types of emergency contraception. Emergency contraceptives are not meant to be used as a day to day contraceptive. The copper IUD is a device that is inserted within 120 hours to prevent pregnancy. This contraceptive is said to be almost one hundred percent effective. This device will only work if it stays in place. Having sex while the device is inserted is not recommended because intercourse could move the device and cause complications. Emergency contraceptive pills are suppose to be taken right after intercourse if the person believes they are pregnant. Depending on the brand you either take one dose or two doses. The contraceptive pill is used correctly can work effectively but is not guaranteed. Plan B has become more popular with adolescents because it is a contraceptive pill that does not need a doctor’s prescription and can be picked up at your local stores. People who take emergency contraceptive pills may experience some bleeding or cramping.
Whichever contraceptive a person chooses they should all be effective if used correctly. A person may want to try out different contraceptives before sticking with one for a long period of time. I personally believe that the birth control shot and condoms are the most effective used together to prevent pregnancy and STD. Safe intercourse is said to be the most enjoyable intercourse.
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