There have never been so many choices available for birth control as we do now, and there’s still more to be released in the market soon. But even with the widespread availability of birth control products and techniques, a huge portion of the female population of the United States still end up with unexpected pregnancies.
Living in the modern world means we all have to keep up with its fast pace. We all try to accomplish too many things all at once that schedules are rarely met, and attention is hardly given to important details such as birth control. The oral contraceptive pill is one of the most effective means of birth control, but it just doesn’t fit a busy woman’s schedule to stop and take a pill. So how can she stay protected from accidental pregnancy?
It is not a problem, now there are over-the-counter birth control products that can help protect the busy average woman. Here are some of the contraceptives available over-the-counter:
The male condom. Condoms are easy to use, everybody knows how to use it. You only need to put it on when you’re going to engage in sexual activity, and is discarded after use. It is cheap, portable, and readily available. Some condoms come lubricated with non-oil based lubricants and some are lined with spermicide. Condoms with vaginal spermicide are highly effective. Used properly, they are as effective as the oral contraceptive pill in preventing pregnancies. Aside from preventing pregnancy, it also offers a moderately high level of protection against sexually transmitted diseases. The estimated effectiveness of the male condom is about eighty-six percent.
The female condom. It may be awkward to use at first, but female condoms are a good birth control measure for women whose partners are not wearing a condom. Like its male counterpart, it offers good protection against STDs, is available without a prescription, and is only good for single use. It should never be used when the male partner is wearing a male condom as there is a possibility that the vaginal condom will slip out of place. It is seventy-nine percent effective in protecting women from accidental pregnancy.
Vaginal spermicide. It comes in different forms, like: jelly, foam, cream, film, suppository, or tablet form. All types contain a sperm-killing agent which also helps prevent two STDs, namely gonorrhea and chlamydia. Be careful in following packet instructions as it will determine the effectiveness of the product. An application is only good for a single intercourse, and additional spermicide needs to be re-applied for repeated intercourse. Spermicides need to be applied ten minutes before intercourse, and needs to stay applied for the next six to eight hours after intercourse to ensure that all sperm cells are kills. The woman should not douche or rinse the vagina during the six to eight hours wait period. Its estimated effectiveness is about seventy-four percent.
Choosing what birth control method to use should not only depend on its convenience of use and whether or not it costs less. Consider if it fits your lifestyle. Consult your doctor to understand the pros and cons of each type of contraceptive to know which one suits you best.