Sex is not just for procreation and can be an important part of good physical and mental health. This is true for women every bit as much as men. Sexually active women in their childbearing years who have male partners have to think about the possibility of unwanted pregnancies. Although birth control is the responsibility of both parties, trusting a sexual partner, especially a casual one, can be risky. It’s best for women who are sexually active to make sure they are using an effective form of birth control.
If you are considering birth control, here are some birth control methods available to women:
There is no method of birth control that is 100% effective except for abstinence, so sexually active women may need pregnancy testing in Santa Rosa even if they are using protection. Some of the most basic methods of birth control are barrier methods. They derive their name because they provide a barrier that prevents sperm cells from reaching the uterus and fertilizing an egg cell.
Condoms are the most commonly used barrier method. Although male condoms are the most used and readily available, there are also female condoms. They catch semen and hold it for disposal. Women can carry condoms, even the male variety, for use during a sexual encounter.
Another barrier method is the diaphragm, worn by the women to prevent semen from entering the vagina and reaching the uterus. A contraceptive sponge is a barrier that also contains a spermicide which will kill any cells that manage to get past the barrier.
Intrauterine methods of birth control include the IUD. This is a small device that is inserted into the uterus. It is t-shaped and contains either copper or the hormone, levonorgestrel. A highly effective method of birth control, the IUD has caused excessive menstrual bleeding in some women and the hormonal type has stopped menstruation in others.
Birth Control Pills
Perhaps the most popular form of birth control for women is the pill. This is an oral hormonal method. Birth control pills contain estrogen and when taken daily prevent ovulation and thus pregnancy. Science has developed more advanced meds such as the morning-after pill, which can be taken within 24 hours after a sexual encounter and still prevent pregnancy.
A highly effective and permanent method of birth control is tubal ligation. It involves invasive surgery in which the fallopian tubes are cut and then tied off. This prevents egg cells from moving from the ovaries to the uterus. This should only be considered by women who do not ever want to have children. Tubal ligations are reversible but this involves further surgery and is not always successful. The pregnancy rate after a reverse ligation is between 31 and 88%.
Enjoying sex is human, healthy, and fun. As with any other adult activity, it must be done responsibly. Unless you are planning to have children, it is important to use birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the consequences that come with it. It should also be noted that only the barrier methods provide protection against STDs.