I promise this title isn’t entirely misleading. In fact, in this week’s episode of Sexpert, you can learn all about how NASA has been asked to send condoms into space for our extraterrestrial (possibly sexually active) friends. For now, let’s talk a bit about birth control here, because Episode 015 of Sexpert is all about birth control.
We already know about condoms, and we also know that condoms are one of the most popular forms of birth control. What about the other types of birth control specifically for women, though? Women’s birth control is often kept on the DL, lacking the conversation that it so rightly deserves. There are so many different types of birth control for women – and so many (affordable) ways to get it – there’s little to no excuse for women not to be on it!
Many believe that women should be on birth control solely to prevent pregnancy; and whereas it’s quite effective at preventing pregnancy (I mean, that’s what it’s designed for), it can help women in a variety of different ways – this is why it’s important to remove the stigma and inform women (and men!) about women’s birth control.
It’s kind of exciting to look at the array of contraceptives available for women, so I figured I’d give you a quick introduction to the most popular types of birth control for women today.
This article was originally written (by me) for Fresh U. I have drawn from the original piece but if you want to learn more about the cost of birth control, where/how to get it, and the process of acquiring it, view the full article here.
The Pill ($0-$50)
The pill is just as effective as it is popular.
Pros: It can regulate your period, it prevents pregnancy (leaving women with only a 9% chance of an unexpected pregnancy) and it’s usually the cheapest form of birth control.
Cons: You have to take it every day at the same time in order for it to be fully effective and it’s infamous for making you gain weight.
Birth Control Implant ($0-$800)
Birth control implants, in my opinion, are super cool (I even have one!). These are most commonly seen promoted by professional athletes because of their convenience, especially for those that are physically active.
Pros: They last for years at a time, they can essentially stop you from having a period and they are very effective (women only have about a 0.05% chance of pregnancy) at preventing pregnancy.
Cons: They can be expensive (we’ll talk about this later) and they have to be inserted and removed by a professional.
Birth Control Shot ($0-$100)
Shots are also a popular form of birth control, especially among younger women. This could be a good option, especially for those of you that want something between the pill and an implant.
Pros: It lasts for a couple of months at a time and it prevents (only about 6% of women experience an unintended pregnancy) pregnancy.
Cons: You do have to return to your doctor about every three months for a new shot and it is also known to make you gain weight.
IUDs are becoming more and more popular among women that are not looking to become pregnant for a certain period of time. In fact, you probably even know someone with one.
Pros: It lasts for up to twelve years and is extremely effective (women have about a 0.2-0.8% of becoming pregnant) at preventing pregnancy.
Cons: It has to be inserted and removed by a professional and women are more likely to have complications with this form of birth control.
Female Condoms ($4)
For those of you that don’t want to be creating a chemical shift in your body, you can always turn to female condoms. Yes, there is such as thing as a female condom! These are inserted into the vagina before having sex and it works to catch your partner’s ejaculation.
Pros: It can be inserted hours before having sex, it isn’t a medicine that has to be prescribed and it does help to prevent pregnancy.
Cons: You do have to insert it before sex and remove it afterwards, so it doesn’t come with the “always protected” coverage that other forms of birth control have and it leaves the highest rate of unexpected pregnancies among women, at 21%.
For more information on each birth control method mentioned and more, visit Planned Parenthood’s website.
Birth control doesn’t just stop at the condom. Of course, it’s especially important to still use a condom even if you’re on birth control – this will even further decrease your chance of an unexpected pregnancy and any transmissions of STIs.
Be on the lookout for Episode 015 as we discuss alien sex, crush birth control myths, and dream about our middle school crushes.
Photo Courtesy of: Daniela Alejandra Robles