A lot of studies have shown that most accidental and unwanted pregnancies belong to adolescents between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. The United States holds the highest teen pregnancy rate among the different developed countries. A recent study showed that approximately thirty-one percent of American women get pregnant before reaching the age of twenty, and roughly thirteen percent of all American males between the ages of fifteen and nineteen have admitted to have fathered a pregnancy.
But why do we have a high percentage of surprise pregnancies? We cannot blame it on a lack of contraceptive measures because there are a lot of different birth control products available in the market. Whether the youth understand the idea of using contraceptives is out of the question, it is whether or not they know where and how to get birth control products that is the problem.
How can I get birth control products?
A lot of different birth control products require prescription from doctors. Barrier contraceptive products like the cervical cap and the diaphragm need to be prescribed because you have to be sized by a health care professional to be able to get a good fit. A properly fitted cervical cap or diaphragm ensures efficacy and more protection from unwanted pregnancies. Hormonal contraceptives like oral contraceptive pills, hormonal patches, and vaginal rings deal with altering a woman’s hormone levels by means of synthetic hormones. Because these products use man-made chemicals to induce such alterations, it may have serious side effects or cause undesirable drug interactions, and therefore it requires a prescription. Contraceptive methods like the birth control shot and the intra-uterine device (IUD) are doctor administered and are therefore considered prescribed.
There are over-the-counter birth control products available as well. Contraceptive products such as: male and female condoms, birth control sponges, and vaginal spermicides are readily available without the need for a prescription note.
Where can we buy contraceptive products?
Birth control products that require a valid prescription note like oral contraceptive pills and hormonal patches can be bought only from pharmacies, either local or on the Internet. Generic, over-the-counter contraceptive methods can be bought from pharmacies, supermarkets and grocery stores as they do not require a prescription note. IUDs and birth control shots are available only through sexual health clinics as it requires the assistance of a doctor to properly insert or administer it.
It is important to emphasize, though, that over-the counter products are only sold to people eighteen years old and above. Younger adolescents can still buy these products, however they would first need a prescription before they can be sold these contraceptives.
How do I know which birth control product to use?
You can ask the people you trust for suggestions. They may be able to share a bit of insight on the different contraceptives they’ve tried and which ones they found effective. You can go to a sexual health clinic and attend a quick seminar on the different birth control methods to find out its pros and cons. The most important thing is to consult your physician so that you’ll have an idea of what kind of protection you need and which birth control method would work best for you.