Contraception is not only the woman’s responsibility – even men must do their bit with condoms.
All of us love sex, right? But when the sex is not monogamous and it’s not between married partners, there’s always the added dimension of worrying about unwanted pregnancies and contracting STIs.
Often, women are seen to take the first step in using some or the other form of contraception. There are many contraception options open to women today – the most common ones are:
The contraceptive pill.
It is taken for a period of 21 days from the last date of the menstrual cycle. After the 21st day, the woman’s body begins the process of ovulation. If there is no fertilised egg to work with at this time, the uterus begins to shed its lining, resulting in a period. Though effective, this method of contraception can also have such side effects as weight gain, nausea, headaches, spotting and water retention.
The Copper T:
This is a longer term contraception option, in which an IUD is inserted to prevent sperms from fertilising the eggs. It must be replaced in a period of three to five years, with a break for six months in between two insertions.
The female condom:
Female condoms are the easiest contraceptives – they must simply be inserted in the vagina before sex, and removed thereafter. This is a good option to try when the man is not too keen on wearing a condom for sex.
The morning-after pill:
This is an emergency contraception method, in which the woman takes a pill within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
However, the burden of contraception does not lie with women alone – men must be equally proactive in preventing unwanted pregnancies. Interestingly, contraception for men can be as simple as wearing a condom during sex, or as complex as getting a vasectomy. However, the latter option is only exercised by middle-aged men who have already had children but do not wish to have more.
But contraception differs from safe sex
Safe sex is not just about preventing a pregnancy. For the most part, it is about preventing the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Most people confuse contraception with practicing safe sex – they are two different concepts! Those practicing contraception options cannot protect against the spread of STDs and STIs. The spread of these can be limited only by wearing a condom, which prevents the exchange of bodily fluids during sex.
In fact, a condom is the best contraceptive as well as safe sex tool. Wearing it during sex – whether by a man or a woman – keeps STDs and STIs as bay, while also significantly reducing the chances of a pregnancy. Besides, anyone can use a condom, and its use has absolutely no side effects as well.