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Luka Thalius and the Birth Control Conundrum pt. 1

Posted by Luka Thalius on September 9, 2014 at 7:40 PM

I've talked about using condoms on this blog before, but they're not the only type of birth control/pregnancy prevention on the planet.

 

They're not?

 

That's right! In fact, there are about several different types of birth control out there. Let's take a look at them.

 

Abstinence

Ah, the dreaded abstinence! The thought that one can actually decide to not have sex. Such an idea is ludicrous! But it does happen. Abstinence is the choice to refrain from having sex. Sometimes, religions require that you remain abstinent until marriage, so that might not be your choice. In some forms of abstinence, kissing and some light touching is fine as long as it doesn't lead to any intercourse.

 

I can not choose abstinence. I applaud those who can do it, but I honestly can't go more than a week or so.

 

With this in mind, abstinence is 100% effective against preventing pregnancy because there are no spermies getting to any eggs, and there's no penetration involved. There's also little to no chance of acquiring an STD or STI (Sexually Transmitted Disease/Infection).

 

You don't have to be a virgin to be abstinent. You can have sex, then decide it's not for you. It doesn't make you a prude, it means you're in charge of your sexual lifestyle. Embrace it!

 

Da Pill

I was on birth control pills for awhile, the Tri-Sprintec brand. They're pretty effective, when you remember to take them. That's one of few down sides to taking the pill: you have to schedule it. I forgot sooo much.

 

Yes, yes, but how do they work?

 

Birth control pills work by controlling ovulation (periods), and creating vaginal mucus. By doing these two things, it would be difficult for sperm to get through and enter the eggs. If there aren't any eggs there, there's nothing for it to latch onto. Likewise, the vaginal mucus becomes thick enough to stop any sperm from getting through, but not enough to gross out your partner. Specifically, the pills stops the pituitary gland from producing Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormones, which stop the process of dropping mature eggs. Fuck yeah, science!

There are 3 kinds of combination pills - with estrogen, without estrogen, and extended-cycle.

Estrogen and Progestin are both female sex hormones.

With estrogen and progestin: The pill gives you a normal dose of estrogen and progestin, allowing your menstrual cycle to remain fairly regular, or even relieve heavy bleeding and bloating.

Without estrogen (the minipill): This progestin-only pill doesn't change your menstrual cycle, it only thickens vaginal/cervical mucus and thins uterine linings (or endometrium, if you want to get science-y). This is a good pill for people dealing with diabetes, heart disease, blood clots, or are smokers. And if you've already had a child and are currently breastfeeding, they will not reduce the amount of milk you create.

Extended Cycle: This pill still prevents pregnancy when taken daily, but it also allows you to have your period once every 3 months.

Most birth control packs come with about 21-28 pills, they're approximately $15-$150, and some insurance companies cover them. Well, mine did, but I'm in Massachusetts.

Please remember to continue using condoms if you're taking the pill. Missed pills can be nerve-wracking, and you shouldn't just take the pill you missed with the pill you have to take at the same time. Try to use alternative methods to stay safe, just in case.

 

We still have a lot to look at. What are you waiting for? GERONIMO!

 

Da Patch:


The patch is like a pregnancy prevention band-aid, and it looks like one!

You place it on your skin for one week after your period begins, and it allows the body to soak up estrogen and progestin. Only one patch can be worn at a time. While on the patch, you may experience breast tenderness, missed periods, or spotting (light periods).

This is a good option for those who lead a busy life and can't be bothered with taking pills or shots. It's safe and convenient, and usually costs about $15-$80 a month.

For more info on the patch, go visit www.orthoevra.com

 

Implants:

Implants such as Implanon or Nexplanon are thin and flexible plastic pieces which are inserted into your upper arm, right under the skin *shudders* and releases progestin.


 

It prevents pregnancy for up to 3 years, however if you’re taking certain kinds of medication (for Tuberculosis, HIV, mental disorders, anti-seizures, and some herbal supplements), it will make the implant work less effectively. They’re about $400-$800.

While they’re good for women who are often busy, they can make your periods lighter or heavier in some cases, and are not recommended for women with breast cancer.

 

Diaphragm:

According to the Bedsider.org’s article on diaphragms:

 “It looks like Meg Griffin’s hat on The Family Guy” to which I laughed hysterically.


 A diaphragm (which is the hardest word for me to bloody type!) is a shallow cup made of silicon that is inserted into the vagina with spermicide. It’s intended to cover the cervix, blocking any wandering spermies from the uterus. It must have spermicide to work properly.

This must be done by yourself, or someone you’re comfortable enough with (like your doctor, or partner) putting their hands up in yo’ bizz. It’s sort of like using a tampon, so it’s easy enough to manage without getting things lost or worrying about how far to put it in. It’s really the amount of comfort you have with your body.

 Don’t use it if you have silicone or spermicide allergies, and don’t put it in there when you’re on your period, or else it really will look like Meg Griffin’s hat.

 Some of the positive things said about the diaphragm are that both partners shouldn’t feel it during sex, it can be placed hours in advance, there may be brobdignagian amounts of sex with it in, it doesn’t affect hormones, and there’s little risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Some negative things said about it are that it can be knocked out of place by large penises/phallic objects or some sex positions, it can cause some vaginal irritation, frequent UTI’s, and difficult insertion.

 

 I'll have to make another part soon, but here are some links for you to check out!

www.bedsider.org

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control-4211.htm


 

 

 

 

 

See you soon!

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