Family Planning Options
Contraceptives are designed to control birth by preventing unwanted pregnancies. Some control birth by altering the way ovaries release eggs whereas others control birth by deterring sperms from coming into contact with female eggs. Focusing its attention on the advantages and disadvantages of the methods as well as the manner in which the methods are used, this essay evaluates the following five contraceptives.
Pills: are hormonal contraceptives that work by restraining ovaries from releasing eggs. Mostly, they are taken on daily basis or depending on the frequency of sexual intercourse. In terms of advantages, they do not affect sexual intercourses in any way; they reduce acne and decrease the risks of cervical cancer. In terms of disadvantages though, this contraceptive may change the lining of the uterus. By so doing, it might affect the reproductive systems of the women that use them. They are also taken on daily basis, they can cause irregular breeding and they do not prevent STIs. In addition, they require prescription from physicians (Health Bridge limited, 2016).
Diaphragm, which is a latex cup with flexible steel ring works by blocking the entrance of uterus so that sperms do not reach the eggs. It is used together with spermicide and one may require prescription from doctor before using it (U.S. DHHS, 2016). Usually, it is inserted into women’s private parts before sexual intercourses. In terms of advantages, it is hormone-free, some prevent STIs and it can be used even by breastfeeding women. In terms of disadvantages, some do not prevent STIs, need prescription and it may be dislocated during intercourse thereby leading to pregnancy.
IUD: the intrauterine device simply referred to as IUD is a T-shaped device that is inserted into women’s private parts for between five and ten years (Health Bridge limited, 2016). The copper IUD releases copper into uterus and by so doing it prevents sperms from reaching as well as fertilizing eggs. The hormonal IUD, on the other hand, releases progestin that restrains ovaries from releasing eggs. This thickens cervical mucus that hinders sperms from fertilizing eggs. In terms of advantages, sexual intercourse is not affected in any way, they are estrogen-free and they can last up to five years. In terms of disadvantages, they might cause irregular bleeding or increase menstrual bleeding, they do not prevent STIs and they must be inserted by physicians.
Condom: for condoms we may either have male condoms or female condoms. The female condoms are worn by women inside their private parts whereas male condoms are worn by males during sexual intercourses. Both contraceptives work by preventing sperms from coming into contact with female eggs. In terms of advantages, they are both hormone-free meaning that they do not affect reproductive system in anyway. They do not require prescription, they protect STIs and they are readily available for use. In terms of disadvantages, between 18 and 21 percent of the women that use these contraceptives end up being pregnant (CDC, 2016). They must also be inserted properly before intercourses, they may slip and they must be handled and stored properly.
Patch: is a hormonal contraceptive that is worn on the skin either at the buttocks, arm or any other part of the body. It works by releasing hormones into the bloodstream so that ovaries are blocked from releasing eggs. It may as well thicken cervical mucus so that sperms are not able to fertilize eggs in case ovaries release eggs (U.S. DHHS, 2016). The patch is worn on weekly basis meaning that you should replace it regularly. In terms of advantages, it reduces cramping, makes menstrual periods regular and it does not affect sexual intercourse in any way. In terms of disadvantages, it may cause skin irritation, it requires prescription from physicians and it does not prevent STIs. In addition, it may come off rendering it ineffective and some of its side effects might be similar to those of the pill and other oral contraceptives.
CDC. (2016). Effectiveness of family planning methods. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/pdf/contraceptive_methods_508.pdf
Health Bridge Limited. (2016). Types of contraceptives: Hormonal and barrier contraception. Retrieved from https://www.dred.com/uk/types-of-contraceptives.html
US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. [U.S. DHHS] (2016). Birth control methods: Frequently asked questions. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.pdf