Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Safe Sex Education – Condom Effectiveness vs. Hormonal Birth Control
Birth control and safe sex education are volatile subjects. Unfortunately, safe sex education is still a taboo, with all the progressive movements and women’s rights around. However, we may very well assume that most people do not wait until they get married. Abstinence is not an option anymore, since these days the gist of young people educates themselves and get one or more degrees, they attend college or university well in their mid-twenties, they cannot even think of starting a family until their early thirties. A first occasion at the age of thirty would be more than awkward, it would most certainly lead to issues. So let’s put aside the idea that one will get married to the right person and they will stay faithful forever. It hardly ever – if ever – happens in real life. Safe sex education is more realistic.
It is natural that one does not want children. You do not have to explain yourself why. Listen to your heart. Instinct will tell you whether you want it or not, at least, not yet. You should always consult your gynecologist before you decide on contraception.
Do not trust condom effectiveness to avoid pregnancy. Hormonal contraception is safer than barrier methods. It is a fact. Hormonal methods have much lower failure rate. Some people believe in condom effectiveness, they think that condoms can protect them from unwanted pregnancy and STDs sexually transmitted diseases) alike. This is not the case. Even if a condom does not break, it is still less safe than pills. Those failure rates are higher for a reason. Due to improper storage, like exposure to heat, cold or light – how can you know whether condoms were stored properly before you bought them? –, a condom may have tiny imperfections that can lead to leaks. Fingernails or jewelry may damage a condom. You can wear away or tear a condom while you put it on or while you are having an intercourse. Semen can spill out at the top. Oil-based products like creams, lotions, moisturizers, lubricants can damage a condom. If you do not use lubricants inside the condom, a longer sexual intercourse may wear it off and it may break – if you do use lubricants, too much of them, the condom may slip off. Condoms can slip anyway, you will not even notice the tiny drops of semen that can get you in trouble. You do not want to play Russian roulette with your safety and health but a better sex life.
Male condoms are 85% safe. Even if you use a condom perfectly, condom effectiveness is only 98% safe. Female condoms have even worse ratings. A condom may help prevent sexually transmitted diseases, but do not trust condom effectiveness when it comes to unwanted pregnancy. It would be best if you used a combined method. Get a condom to protect yourself from STDs and use a safer birth control method at the same time.
Hormonal contraceptives are safe. When used perfectly, pills have less than one percent failure rate. IUDs are even better. Yes, there can be repercussions. IUDs may cause painful, intense menstrual bleeding. Birth control pills may mean a risk for you if you smoke, take antidepressants, are prone to blood clotting, have cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or high blood pressure. However, doctors may come up with lots of safe options. At the vast majority of the cases, the worst side-effects of pills are minor symptoms like nausea or tender breasts. Do not be afraid of chemical contraception.
If you are sure that you never want to have kids, you may want a hysterectomy. It does not have to be a radical hysterectomy, which means that your ovaries are removed, too. It is a good idea to keep your ovaries; do not get rid of them. They produce hormones that will help prevent osteoporosis and early aging. If you have your entire womb removed, with the ovaries left in your body, you cannot get pregnant ever again – there will be no place for a fetus to grow.
Always think twice which method to use, and be reasonable. Consider your sexual health, your sexual life, the number of sexual partners, the effects and side-effects of birth control methods before you make a decision.