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Contraceptives - Know about it!

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Anjali J Bapat 90% (42ratings)
Masters In Counselling & Psychotherapy, DGO, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  34years experience
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Good afternoon friends. Today I am going to speak on a very important topic and that is contraception. It looks to be a very simple topic but it is so important that today's youngsters if they know about it a lot of anxiety, can be reduced. Now by word contraception, it means all the methods which are used to prevent the pregnancy. Why have I chosen this topic today? It's mainly because in my practice day by day I am seeing that many youngsters are getting confused because how to avoid pregnancy and few of them as they lack knowledge about it, they land up into an untoward, unwanted pregnancy situation. So, let's come to the point, contraceptives are divided into two types: the first one is what the males use and the second one is what the females can use. Let's talk about the ones which females can use. The contraceptive which is actually very very common and popular is the I-pill.

It is a contraceptive which many people take immediately after sex so it is also called as pill 72 which has to be taken within first 72 hours post unprotected sexual intercourse but mind you this I-pill is the is called as an emergency contraception and as you can understand by the word emergency, emergency comes just once in a while so the patients whom I have seen like they pop I-pill every month or even twice or thrice in a month often land up with some kind of hormonal disturbances. So please remember I-pill is a good contraceptive device with a good amount of success, however it cannot be taken too often. Once in a while if you take it you have to take it as soon as possible preferably within first 12 hours from the unprotected sex. The second contraceptive that is a hormonal oral contraceptive pill. Now these pills, a girl or a woman has to take regularly, mind you very regularly at bedtime one pill at bedtime and there are various kinds of hormonal contraceptives available.

Now, these brands or these contraceptives you can take it after a prescription from a gynaecologist once various conditions are ruled out. These contraceptives have to be taken irrespective whether in that particular day or that particular week whether you have intercourse or you do not have intercourse. A hormonal contraceptive that is oral contraceptive pills what it does is it prevents the ovulation from happening that means the egg is not released, as a result of that there is no question of her pregnancy. Very very unfortunately many people have a lot of serious doubts or misconceptions about this oral contraceptive pills. The first question that anytime we prescribe this contraceptive is that doctor Kuch side effect to Nahi hai na.

Well, there are a very very minimal amount of side effects and that is about to 1-2 kg weight gain but this weight gain is basically of water retention. What is the meaning of water retention? It means that once you stop using this contraceptive, your effect of the weight gain goes away. It is not the fat part of the body composition that increases. So, if a woman is on oral contraceptive pills and she watches her diet as well as does regular exercises practically there is no danger of gaining weight. Mild nausea may happen to some women but once you start taking it within the first few days it also goes away. Very important part point to remember and that is the oral contraceptive pills have a very less failure rate which means it practically fools proof. It is like using a Samsung mobile versus a Chinese mobile. You know that Chinese products there is no guarantee whereas Samsung has a good guarantee.

The same way oral contraceptive pills if taken regularly it can guarantee you that it will help you from prevention of unwanted pregnancy. Another contraceptive that is an intrauterine contraceptive device. Now this device or a copper T commonly known as is inserted inside the uterus but often it is used only after delivering a child. In a patient who has not never delivered a child, this contraceptive device is not advisable. Let's come to the male contraceptives. Often it is called as so-called protection. Now we get lots of queries about this particular method of contraception that when to apply, how to apply etc. Remember, I want to tell you one important thing any pre-ejaculatory secretions also have a potentiality of causing pregnancy, so therefore, if you are using condoms or barrier contraceptives, it has to be used every time that you have relations right from the beginning to the end of the sexual act.

The combination of various contraceptives can be done in the form of a safe period and a barrier contraceptives. Let me tell you a little bit about it. For a woman who gets periods regularly, that is once every month after 28 to 30 days, she is expected to have ovulation around 14th day of the period. So, from day 9 to day 28 to 0 is called an unsafe period. How will you calculate day 9? You have to calculate it from day one which is the beginning of the first day of the beginning of the bleeding. So accordingly, you can count it and from day 9 to day 20th is unsafe which means pregnancy can occur. Before day 9 and after day 20 is called a safe period, where there is a very very less chance of getting pregnant. So, whenever you are into that unsafe period that's the time where the couple can use barrier contraceptives or condoms and the other days there is no need of any contraceptives. This method is called as a combined method which means calendar method with a safe unsafe period with barrier method is called as a combined method of contraception. There are many other contraceptives like hormonal implants and gels and the spermicides etc, foam but tell you that these are not very often used.

The one which I would like to mention is about the injections. These injections are depo injections, hormonal injections which when given it will have an effect for about six to eight weeks, sometimes even little longer than that but it has to be repeated and mind you the major disadvantage of this particular injection is a breakthrough bleeding which means when a woman is on this particular injection as a contraceptive, she can have a bleeding a little bit of a bleeding any time during the month in the form of a spotting. However, the success rate of this particular method of contraception is really good. So friends, in a very simple way I have tried to explain to you what contraception is. The youths of today are very good with technology, about the mobiles, about the internet, computers, etc, etc.

They bother to find out how and how what is used, what is how it is to be handled, what are the details of it but unfortunately, they do not bother to get correct information about contraceptives from the expertise like gynaecologist. They rely on the various information given by their friends or on the internet or hearsay things or stories and then they get caught into various misconceptions, wrong beliefs and they land up into a very very unwanted situation of an unwanted pregnancy causing distress, anxiety, guilt and many more bad emotions. So, I will advise you that if you are going to go ahead with the sexual activities before ensure making rather ensure that you go to a proper gynaecologist, get yourself examined and take the exact guidance regarding the contraception. It will avoid a lot of unwanted movements in your life. Thank you so much.

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