Are pills and condoms the only way to not get pregnant?
Nope, they’re just the best known.
Let me start by stating the obvious: while there are many different kinds of contraceptives out there, only condoms offer some form of protection against STIs. And while all the other contraceptives reduce the risk of getting pregnant, they are neither 100 per cent fool proof nor should they be used instead of condoms.
Condoms: Even if you’ve never used a condom, chances are that you’ve seen one. Condoms are made from vulcanised rubber and are traditionally worn by the man on his member. This dramatically reduces the risk of getting pregnant and the transmission of STIs. However, as Ross from Friends found out a little too late, they are not 100 per cent reliable. On top of the traditional condoms, female condoms are also available. These ones are inserted into a woman’s vagina and are – more or less – as effective as traditional condoms.
Pills: ‘The pill’ is widely used and widely accepted as the contraception of choice by many sexually-active women. It is normally taken in cycles and missing even one dose can be disastrous. Nevertheless, if taken as instructed, they are one of the best ways to ascertain that you won’t get pregnant. There are, however, other kinds of contraceptives in pill-form, including the Morning After pill, which is regarded as an abortive procedure and is, therefore, illegal in Malta.
Patches: These thin, beige-coloured patches are very similar to the ones that help smokers quit and, when used properly, are highly-effective at keeping unwanted pregnancies at bay. Studies have shown that when used as instructed, only 3 in 1,000 women will experience pregnancies.
Rings: The NuvaRing is a small and flexible device that is inserted into a woman’s vagina for three weeks and then removed to allow the normal menstrual cycle to take place. This is particularly good because it helps prevent menstrual cramps and premenstrual symptoms.
Others: In total, there are 12 different kinds of contraception that include sponges, foams, implants and vaginal suppositories. Although these are not as widely used as condoms and ‘the pill’, they do offer an option to those women who cannot take ‘the pill’ for medical reasons, and they might be worth discussing with your gynaecologist.
Had you ever heard of most of these forms of contraception?
Would you try them out? Let us know in the comments section below.