All You Need To Know About Contraceptives

It's all about contraceptives! The pros, cons and how-tos. Review the options available and how they affect your sex life. Featuring guest, Jenna Perkins, NP

All You Need To Know About Contraceptives

All You Need To Know About Contraceptives

All You Need To Know About Contraceptives

Updated
November 7, 2019
Medically Reviewed by
3 minute read

There are so many ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but different methods work better for different people. Know your options so you can choose the contraceptives that are right for you.

In this stream, CEO of Sexpert Consultants, LLC. Reba the Diva, and her guest Jenna Perkins, a nurse practitioner, discuss contraceptives — how they work, how effective they are, etc. 

So, let’s walk through a few of the most common contraceptive methods. (Note that there are many more methods out there than listed, and while contraceptives prevent pregnancy, only a few can also protect you from STIs.) 

Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) 

This is natural contraception where you use a Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) to track the days of your cycle (the calendar method), cervical mucus discharge (the cervical mucus method), and temperature (the temperature method) to determine the days you’re most likely to get pregnant, and avoid intercourse on those days. Combining these three methods is known as the sympto-thermal method, and it can be highly effective if used correctly. 

The Pull Out Method 

This is when your partner pulls out before they ejaculate inside of the body. While the pull out method, or the rhythm method, can be effective, there is a lot of room for error, so it’s recommended to combine this with another contraceptive to be safe. 

IUD

The IUD is a T-shaped device placed in the cervix. There are IUDs that rely on hormones — like Mirena, Skyla, Liletta, and Kyleena —that release progesterone to stop sperm from entering. Some are non-hormonal — like the Paragard — that releases copper ions to make the uterus a hostile environment for fertility.  Hormonal IUDs can be used for five to seven years and copper IUDs can last 10-12 years. IUDs are 99% effective. That said, there are side effects to watch out for. Some women report insertion being very painful, experiencing cramping and a heavy period, etc. As with any contraceptive method, talk to your doctor first to see if an IUD option is right for you. 

Oral Contraceptive Pills 

This is one of the most common types of contraception, and it either has a combination of estrogen and progesterone, or just progesterone — which is great for women who aren’t candidates for estrogen use. There are a ton of different kinds of pills with varying hormone levels, so it might take a bit of experimentation to find one that’s right for you. It’s taken orally every day. Talk to your doctor about potential side effects.

Condoms

With perfect use, condoms are 98% effective. However, people typically aren’t using condoms properly all the time and the effectiveness goes down to about 85%. The condom is meant to act as a physical barrier to prevent sperm from entering the cervix. Condoms can be made of different materials, such as latex or lambskin, and can help prevent STIs. Though lambskin condoms are less effective when it comes to STI prevention. 

There are so many more forms of contraceptives, such as the NuvaRing, a female condom, diaphragms (which were popular in the ‘70s), and Plan B as a backup contraceptive. It’s important to do your research, read reviews on contraceptives, and to ask your doctor about your options. With a little research, you can find the method that makes most sense for you.

Reba the Diva

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Reba is an entertainer, sexuality educator and entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Founder of Sexpert Consultants LLC, a company that offers educational entertainment services with a focus on sexual health. Reba is an ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) and through her work is committed to promoting sexual health awareness among adults of all ages.

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